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Advocates tell budget committee to invest $30 million in children services

Advocates tell budget committee to invest $30 million in children services

Today, advocates for children services urged a House Finance subcommittee to invest an additional $30 million per year in the State Child Protection Allocation to help protect children — the invisible victims of the opioid epidemic — from abuse and neglect.

A panel of witnesses including a caseworker, foster caregivers and agency directors delivered the testimony. They included PCSAO’s executive director, Angela Sausser; Tuscarawas County JFS Director David Haverfield and Scioto County Children Services Director Lorra Fuller, PhD; Franklin County Children Services caseworker Kayla Price; and Ross County foster parents Patrick and Leah Clevenger.

The Clevengers are featured in a PCSAO video about the challenges faced every day by caseworkers.

Today’s testimony is an important step in a months-long campaign to persuade legislators and the governor to increase the state share of funding for children services. Only 5 cents of every dollar spent on children services by county agencies comes from the state, compared to 52 cents from local sources. Spending by other states in the nation averages 40 cents of every dollar. Five state newspapers have endorsed PCSAO’s request (see Media Coverage).

Next steps will likely include additional testimony in the House of Representatives before the budget moves over to the Ohio Senate and then to conference committee by the end of June.