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Speaker Householder proposes more investments in children services

Speaker Householder proposes more investments in children services

“Blown away,” said Angela Sausser, executive director of Public Children Services Association of Ohio, the membership organization of county children services agencies, upon learning that Speaker Larry Householder added $60 million for child protection in the House version of Ohio’s budget.

“The Speaker has matched the Governor’s original investment in direct county funding, thereby doubling the state’s total current allocation for county children services – a truly spectacular move that will have a lasting impact on children and families in Ohio struggling with addiction and other challenges that lead to child abuse and neglect,” Sausser said. “Governor DeWine and Speaker Householder have shown through their bold actions that Ohio’s children finally have real champions on their side. We are confident that the Ohio Senate will join them.”

Speaker Householder, who represents Perry, Coshocton and part of Licking counties, is standing up for all Ohio children who experience trauma, spend birthdays away from home in foster care and grow up with reduced prospects for employment and stability. The cost of supporting the rising number of children in foster care has created a system in crisis, Sausser noted. “Between 2013 and 2018, placement costs alone for children in foster care throughout Ohio increased by $109 million, nearly two-thirds of which was paid for with local dollars” she said. “This increase doesn’t include the cost of our frontline caseworkers and the range of services our county agencies provide.”

Sausser added that in her 20 years of public service and advocacy on children’s issues, she has never seen such dedication to meeting the needs of children long neglected by public policy. “This is truly a stunning and remarkable budget,” she said. “For the first time, Ohio’s foster children are being given hope and the attention they deserve by Ohio’s leaders.”

Sausser expressed the gratitude of PCSAO and its many stakeholders to the DeWine Administration and the House for stepping up to take care of these children. “These investments will help preserve and strengthen vulnerable children and families,” Sausser said.