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New PCSAO Factbook demonstrates need for system investment

New PCSAO Factbook demonstrates need for system investment

PCSAO released the 14th edition of its biennial Factbook today as the House Finance Committee considers Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposal to nearly double the state’s children services investment.

According to PCSAO Executive Director Angela Sausser, the Factbook’s trend data reflect a system in serious crisis due in large part to Ohio’s drug epidemic. “Nowhere else can you find county-by-county data demonstrating the debilitating impact of addiction and other factors on the child protection system,” she said. “The data here underscore just how critical the Governor’s proposal is for our system right now, as we respond to the tsunami of today’s challenges and prepare for implementation of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act by the end of this biennium.”

In the two years since the 13th edition was released, Sausser pointed to:

  • 3,200 more children in foster care during 2018 than in 2016;
  • A $54 million increase in placement costs for children in foster care; and
  • 34 percent of kids in custody consuming 56 percent of all placement costs.

“Not only are county agencies spending more in placement costs, but half our caseworkers meet the threshold for PTSD,” Sausser said. “We encourage the General Assembly to maintain the Governor’s investments, and we stand ready with data from their districts to demonstrate the need.”

The Factbook is available online, and copies of the 202-page publication may be ordered for $20.