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Stories of placement challenges highlighted in House subcommittee testimony

Stories of placement challenges highlighted in House subcommittee testimony

Harrowing stories of real young people in children services custody struggling with serious challenges dominated PCSAO’s testimony today on HB 166, the Biennial Budget, before the Health and Human Services Subcommittee of the House Finance Committee, chaired by Rep. Mark Romanchuk (R-Mansfield).

As part of the testimony, Executive Director Angela Sausser released Stories from the Field: The Need for Reform, seven moving anecdotes from across the state that illustrate the need for improving Ohio’s infrastructure of residential treatment centers that serve young people with serious mental illness, developmental delays and juvenile delinquency.

Joining Sausser were South Central Ohio JFS Director Jody Walker, Richland County Children Services Executive Director Patricia Harrelson and former Adams County foster youth Jerica Estle-Grooms (pictured). Each underscored the importance of proposed new investments in the children services system, including $30 million per year for the State Child Protection Allocation and $25 million per year for multi-system youth.

Watch their testimony (begins at 30:00 mark) or read the panel’s written testimony.

The House subcommittee is expected to roll amendments into a substitute bill next week.