OCAPS Public Policy Committee Accomplishments 2015
OCAPS Public Policy Committee members were actively involved in the 2016-2017 State Biennial Budget process to advocate for additional funding for adult protective services for county agencies. OCAPS members testified before the General Assembly, met with legislators, distributed policy papers, and organized and participated in a call in day co-sponsored by Advocates for Ohio’s Future.
Tracey Mason, Chair of OCAPS, offered testimony to the House Finance and Appropriations Health and Human Services Subcommittee in March 2015.
Beth Kowalczyk, Chair of the Public Policy Committee, offered testimony to the House Finance and Appropriations Health and Human Services Subcommittee in March 2015.
Sara Lewellen, Vice Chair of OCAPS, offered testimony to the Senate Finance Workforce Subcommittee in May 2015.
Beth Kowalczyk and Sara Lewellen also offered testimony to the Senate Finance Committee in June 2015.
OCAPS worked in conjunction with Advocates for Ohio’s Future to educate individual legislators about the need for additional resources for adult protective services.
Also in March, OCAPS members spoke with Columbus Dispatch reporter Encarnita Pyle for a series of excellent, well-researched, thought-provoking articles she wrote on elder abuse and adult protective services in Ohio.
OCAPS has collaborated effectively with other organizations including Advocates for Ohio’s Future, the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors Association, County Commissioners of Ohio, and the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging. Beth Kowalczyk, OCAPS Public Policy Chair, leads a workgroup on Adult Protective Services for Advocates for Ohio’s Future, which pulls together stakeholders from many different organizations.
The OCAPS Public Policy Committee continues to support HB 24 through testimony and collaboration with other stakeholders. OCAPS member Charlie Holderman testified in support of HB 24 before the House Judiciary Committee. Tracey Mason, Chair of OCAPS, offered written testimony in support of HB 24 before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. Committee members also individually educated the legislators representing their districts about the importance of HB 24 and the impact of the proposed changes.
The OCAPS Public Policy Committee and other OCAPS members have worked with the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors Association and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to reach out to county departments of job and family services to offer technical support and information about the Adult Protective Services county planning grants that were made available as a result of HB 483 and the APS Funding Workgroup. As a result of their joint efforts, counties invoiced for $4 million of the $4.5 million that was available, 87 of 88 counties applied for grants, and 72 of the 88 counties applied for all of the funding available to them ($50,000 per county).