Attorney General Mike DeWine was at the University of Toledo today, meeting with child welfare experts from across Lucas County, looking for ways to improve procedures across the state.
Mr. DeWine said the stop in Toledo was his sixth of eight he has planned, noting that the Child Safety Summit kicked off in Cincinnati.
At the Toledo summit, which started at 10:30 a.m. at the university’s College of Law, panelists included Dean Sparks, director of Lucas County Children Services, and Lucas County Juvenile Court Magistrate Pam Manning.
Mr. Sparks said that 75 percent of the children in custody of Children Services are younger than 12 and 57 percent of the children are younger than 5.
He said the agency has limited access to law enforcement databases that would allow them to do background checks on families.
If the agency wants to do a background check, it must go through the Bureau of Criminal Identification, Mr. Sparks said, adding that the procedure is expensive.
Magistrate Manning stressed that the children who are in foster care need to be a part of court proceedings so they understand what is going on and can become advocates for themselves.
“People make suggestions for what programs … these kids need, but we never hear from the kids,” she said.