PCSAO thanks House leaders for $30 million investment in child protection
Today, the Ohio House of Representatives Finance Committee proposed to invest an additional $15 million per year in the State Child Protection Allocation (SCPA) for county children services agencies to address the impact that the opioid epidemic has had on children services.
PCSAO’s executive director, Angela Sausser, expressed the association’s gratitude for this first significant investment in the SCPA since the fund was cut in 2009. “Today’s children services system is in crisis,” she said. “Ohio’s opiate epidemic is challenging the county children services agencies to provide essential services to our vulnerable children – the innocent victims. We have 1,400 additional children in foster care than just six years ago who have very complex, costly needs. We are challenged with having enough foster parents to care for these children and unable to provide adequate supports to their kinship families.”
The proposed investment from the House Finance Committee in Sub. House Bill 49, State Fiscal Year 2018-2019 biennial budget bill, would be the first increase in state funding for county children services in over a decade. The state’s share in children services funding suffered a 21 percent decrease in 2009 and has remained flat funded at around $45 million per year since then. Previous attempts at increasing the state’s funding for children services resulted in competitive grants and one-time funding.
“We are so grateful to House Finance Chairman Ryan Smith (pictured), Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, Representative Sarah LaTourette, and members of the House Finance Committee for recognizing these innocent victims of the opioid epidemic by making this significant investment in children services,” Sausser concluded. “They are the champions for children, their families, and our county children services agencies. We are hopeful that the Senate will maintain this new investment and consider additional funding for children services to address this growing epidemic.”