Senate approves $15 million increase for child protection
Today, the Ohio Senate approved Am. Sub. HB 49, joining the House to provide an increased investment of $15 million per year for children services. This new funding — the first increase in the State Child Protection Allocation in more than a decade — will help address the impact that the opioid epidemic has had on children and their families.
Thanking the Senate for its investment during a tight budget year, PCSAO Executive Director Angela Sausser said that the funds are desperately needed to combat the opioid epidemic. “Ohio’s children services system is in crisis, but this new investment will improve our ability to provide vital services to our most vulnerable population, abused and neglected children,” she said. “By investing new dollars for children services, the Senate has ensured that public child protection agencies can more appropriately respond to the impact of Ohio’s opioid epidemic on children and families.”
With more children coming into agency custody due to the epidemic and staying longer because of their parents’ relapses, the needs at the local level are many. “Public children services agencies will be able to recruit and support additional foster families to care for the influx of children being removed from their homes; address rising placement costs driven by the need for higher levels of care due to the trauma children have experienced in their homes, and recruit additional caseworkers to reduce the burden on our beleaguered workforce,” Sausser said. “We are extremely grateful to Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, Senate Finance Chair Scott Oelslager, Majority Floor Leader Randy Gardner, Senator Jay Hottinger and members of the Ohio Senate for recognizing these innocent victims of the opioid epidemic by providing this significant investment in children services.”