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State budget increases children services funding

State budget increases children services funding

The following statement may be attributed to Angela Sausser, executive director of the Public Children Services Association of Ohio:

“With 2021 being such a pivotal year for Ohio’s children services system and the families we serve, we are grateful that the final version of the budget provides additional dollars to support counties as they begin implementing far-reaching changes. The General Assembly recognized that funding must align with new state and federal policy changes, and added $10 million per year to the State Child Protection Allocation.

“Policy changes that go into effect this year seek to ensure that children remain safely in their own homes or in the least restrictive settings by providing evidence-based prevention services, and by implementing new requirements for residential placements.

“The legislature also acknowledged the importance of kinship caregivers by continuing the Kinship Caregiver Program within TANF, as well as by supporting the Kinship Support Program and approving plans to begin the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program in SFY 2023.

“We appreciate the recognition of the importance of our work with Ohio families through this additional funding, as well as the ongoing leadership, commitment and resources needed for meaningful transformation. We remain committed to working with Gov. DeWine, his administration, and the General Assembly to ensure stable, appropriate placements and, ultimately, permanency for foster children.”