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APNewsBreak: Ohio rebukes agency's intern use

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm •  Published: December 6, 2012
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Ohio regulations stipulate that "an agency shall not use volunteers or college interns as a replacement for paid staff."

In responses to the state, Hill included a June letter to the University of Cincinnati School of Social Work stating that ACTION would no longer provide student internships.

University of Cincinnati spokesman Richard Puff told the AP that top officials at the school didn't receive the letter, which was addressed "To Whom It May Concern." Puff also said the school had ended its relationship with ACTION long before the letter because of concerns about how student evaluations were done. He said three UC graduate students in spring of 2011 were the last to intern with ACTION. He didn't know whether any had been involved with the Troy man's case.

The state file doesn't indicate whether any other schools placed interns with ACTION.

Johnson said Ohio currently has 64 certified private adoption agencies. Over the last 10 years, nine Ohio certifications have been revoked or denied.

State files show three earlier complaints against ACTION; all were followed with corrective actions taken by the private agency. The last one was in 2003.

The man had been a foster parent dating to 2006. About two years ago, three children from Texas were placed with him through ACTION, part of an interstate compact to help match children with adoptive parents. They included a biological brother and sister. All were under age 13.

The man had adopted all three and was in the process of adopting a fourth child, a 9-year-old boy, who came from Texas last year, when he was arrested.

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services spokesman Patrick Crimmins said the department decided after reviewing the cases to continue contracting with ACTION on adoption placements. It had placed 28 children through ACTION since 2004 and has placed one through ACTION since the Troy arrest.

He said the last boy placed in Troy has been returned to Texas and is in foster care, with efforts being made to find "a suitable adoptive family."

The three other children were in the care of Miami County children's services, and Ohio judges will rule on their permanent custody.

A judge ruled recently that one of the boys can testify via closed circuit TV in the upcoming trial of a man his adoptive father allegedly arranged with to rape him in their Troy home.

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Contact Dan Sewell at http://www.twitter.com/dansewell