State Representative Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City) has announced that the Ohio House of Representatives today concurred with the Senate changes to House Bill 279, legislation that will expand the class of persons who may be designated as a power of attorney for the purpose of providing care and obtaining custody of a child, and enhance Ohio’s policies regarding kinship caregivers.

In order to reform Ohio law to meet federal requirements, H.B. 279 requires that when a public children services agency or a private child placing agency receives temporary custody of a child resulting from a complaint filed in juvenile court, the agency must exercise due diligence in notifying all adult grandparents and other adult relatives within 30 days of the child’s removal from the custody of the child’s parents. This legislation goes to great lengths to encourage agencies to place children with family members and to place sibling groups together when appropriate.

Once children have been properly placed in the care of a guardian/family member, House Bill 279 makes provisions for maintaining placements that are in the best interest of the child. This is achieved by eliminating both the automatic termination of power of attorney and the automatic termination of caretaker authorization affidavits.

“Ultimately, the highest priority must be the welfare of children,” said Rep. Grossman. “I am proud to have sponsored this important bill that will support Ohio’s children.”

H.B. 279 continues to shore up Ohio’s current child custody laws by allowing a putative father of a minor to put his name on the Department of Job and Family Services’ putative father registry at any time. This legislation also specifies the types of agencies that may request search of a putative father registry and makes clear that the right of a mother or agency to make a request in not limited to situations of adoption.

Finally, this legislation requires the Department of Job and Family Services to develop recommendations for implementation of a subsidized relative guardianship program in accordance with federal law.

House Bill 279 will now be sent to Governor Kasich for his signature.


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