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Opiate Epidemic

The opiate epidemic has reached every corner of Ohio. State leaders have responded by expanding Medicaid, which makes treatment options available to more people struggling with addiction, as well as by limiting prescriptions and piloting evidence-based practices such as the Maternal Opiate Medical Support (MOMS) program.

Opiate Epidemic

Children of parents addicted to opiates are flooding into the state’s child protection system. They are the invisible victims of the epidemic. A recent survey by PCSAO found that half of children taken into custody in 2015 had parental drug use identified at the time of removal, and 28 percent of children removed that year had parents who used opioids, including prescription opiates, heroin and fentanyl. That means nearly a third of children in custody are there because of the epidemic, and that number doesn’t count many children who continue to be served in their homes or who are placed with kin.

The epidemic is largely responsible for an 11 percent increase in children in custody in just the past six years. But during that same period, state funding for child protection declined by 21 percent. The impact on the system has been devastating:

In response, with support from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and Casey Family Programs, PCSAO has launched Ohio START.

PCSAO Resources

Related Resources

Media Coverage

Ohio Newspaper Editorial Board Support

Jun. 11, 2018 – Editorial: You can make a difference for a childStar Beacon
Right now, everyone in Ashtabula County has the opportunity to make life better for a child in need. The Ashtabula County Children Services Board is desperate to find new foster families. The demand has grown in the last several years as the number of emergency placement cases in the county has tripled thanks to the opioid epidemic.

Dec. 27 – Editorial: Opioid falloutThe Courier
The response to Ohio’s opioid problems can’t be just about helping adults face their addictions. Communities must also make sure the innocent victims of the epidemic aren’t forgotten.
Children of addicts are often left behind, either temporarily or permanently, and as a result, demands on foster care are straining an already overburdened and underfunded system.

Dec. 25 – Editorial: Children in the opioid epidemicAkron Beacon Joural
On this Christmas Day, the opioid epidemic casts a shadow. In part, that is timing. On Thursday, the National Centers for Health Statistics released numbers detailing the toll in 2016, nationally 63,632 people dying from drug overdoses, at a rate of nearly 20 per 100,000 people.

Apr. 27 – Editorial: The Ohio House gets serious about the opioid epidemicThe Akron Beacon Journal
Children services agencies have faced a heavier burden, more children falling into their care
as parents die from overdoses or prove unfit because of their drug use. The House plan
recognizes the problem with an additional $30 million for the biennium.

Apr. 23 – Editorial: Don’t abandon the childrenNewark Advocate
Kasich and members of the legislature have said the addiction menace is one of the most critical issues facing Ohio. They should prove it in their budget.

Apr. 23 – Editorial: Partners in the opiate crisis, and how the state could helpThe Akron Beacon Journal
The Public Children Services Association of Ohio reports that in 2015 (the most recent
numbers available), 28 percent of children taken into custody had parents who were using
opiates at the time of removal. The likelihood is, last year was worse.

Mar. 12 – Editorial: Children in harm’s way with the scourge of drugsThe Youngstown Vindicator
…we urge Gov. Kasich and the Republican majority in the Ohio General Assembly to loosen the state’s purse strings and provide the relatively small increase in funding to assist those who are providing a safe haven for the “invisible victims” of this deadly scourge.

Mar. 3 – Editorial: Heroin epidemic straining children servicesThe Canton Repository
That’s why the PCSAO and other advocates for children services are right to call on state lawmakers to increase children services funding $30 million annually from the current level of about $45 million a year, and to create a subsidy for relatives who become caregivers. It’s a small amount compared to the overall two-year, $67 billion state budget Gov. John Kasich has proposed. Ohio has made significant strides in addressing the opioid epidemic. State lawmakers must do all they can to make sure its invisible victims aren’t so invisible anymore.

Feb. 17 – Editorial: Boost funding to an Ohio foster care system increasingly burdened by the opioid crisis: editorialThe Cleveland Plain Dealer
The state legislature must give counties the money and the resources to provide safe foster homes and to help county workers who are responsible for them. Make no mistake: The well-being of Ohio’s next generation will depend on how well adult Ohioans take care of heroin’s youngest victims.

Feb. 17 – Editorial: Will Ohio protect its children?The Akron Beacon Journal
Yet a truly urgent and comprehensive approach that includes a focus on children has been lacking. After years of decreased funding from the state, agencies such as Summit County Children Services have stretched as far as they can go to handle the fallout from the opiate crisis. Surely, the state can find $30 million to meet their request.

Feb. 13, 2017 – Editorial: more needed to fight overdosesThe Columbus Dispatch
Given these circumstances, Ohio legislators are right to question the governor’s budget. Ohio is in the grip of a plague that shows no signs of abating. Stronger efforts are needed to combat it.

Dec. 17, 2016 – Editorial: Opiate epidemic squeezes Children ServicesThe Akron Beacon Journal
If the state is serious about addressing effectively the opiate crisis, its leaders must include plans to step up with additional resources to help hard-pressed agencies such as the Children Services Board.

Columns and Opinion

Apr. 28 – Sheriff Russell Martin: Protect vulnerable child victims of opioid crisis – Columbus Dispatch
According to the 2016 national survey on Drug Use and Health, 891,000 people between the ages of 12 and 27 are abusing opioids. The news is especially bad here in Ohio, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Feb.

Apr. 11 – MHRS: What Columbiana County is doing about opiate epidemic – Salem News
The notorious photograph posted at Facebook by the East Liverpool Police Department in 2016 brought global attention to the opiate epidemic in our region, creating concern and controversy. The epidemic and what is being done to address it concerns everyone.

Feb. 25 – A missing piece in our fight to combat the opioid epidemic: Deborah Pryce –
When we consider whom this crisis impacts, we think of those suffering from addiction and their friends and family who struggle to support them. Often overlooked are babies born to women addicted to opioids.

Feb. 18 – What should be next for Ohio’s opioid crisis? – Tribune Chronicle
The 2016 Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio entitled Ohio’s Appalachian Children at a Crossroads: A Roadmap for Action, reported that babies born in Ohio Appalachia “are almost twice as likely as the average Ohio newborn to be diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome” at a rate of 15 babies per 1,000 births.

Jan. 14, 2018 – Children of the opioid crisis – Portsmouth Daily Times
Opioid parental addiction continues to catapult Ohio’s children into crisis. The Public Children Services Association of Ohio’s website provides media stories pertaining to how the opioid crisis is affecting these children.

Dec. 22, 2017 – Angela Sausser: Ohio children as casualties of the opioid epidemic – Akron Beacon
A tsunami of opioid-affected children is flooding Ohio’s children services agencies, exploding county budgets and overwhelming available foster care resources. Compared to 2016, a thousand more Ohio kids will be spending the holidays in foster care this year, instead of at home with their family.

Aug. 3 – HOPES Agenda takes multifaceted approach – Advertiser-Tribune
The opiate epidemic played a larger role in the budget than in previous years, with the HOPES (Heroin, Opioids, Prevention, Education and Safety) Agenda seeking to combat the problem through a multifaceted approach. With that in mind, more than $180 million in investments of new money was appropriated through the bill to fight this ruthless battle that affects all areas of the state.

Jun. 30 – Opinion: There’s an ongoing terrorist attack in Ohio – Washington Post
There is an ongoing terrorist attack happening in Ohio. It has nothing to do with the Islamic State or political anarchists. The weapons in this case come in the form of heroin and other opioids, and the terrorists are the pushers who spread the deadly poison.

May 27 – Jacque Ringer: Child protection agencies need support – Marion Star
It’s 1:30 in the morning and the phone rings. A female victim in the home has overdosed, unresponsive to emergency treatment. The officer says there are three unattended children in the home and in need of immediate care.

May 13 – Patty Harrelson: Children Services needs more support from state – Mansfield News Journal
Opioid abuse makes headlines frequently in north central Ohio, but it’s almost always involving adults abusing heroin or pills. Local children remain the most faceless and innocent of victims.

May 11 – Rep. Ryan Smith: Investments made to combat drug epidemic – Herald-Dispatch
The Ohio House is committed to fighting our state’s drug epidemic. We recently passed our plan to face this issue with bold reforms in the state’s operating budget. Our plan is not a piecemeal approach, but rather one that identifies and prioritizes areas of greatest need. This problem requires a holistic response, ranging from prevention to helping addicts re-enter the workforce free from substance abuse.

May 5 – Angela Sausser: Snowball Effect of Opioids on Ohio’s Child Welfare System – Chronicle of Social Change
Ohio’s child welfare system is in crisis, due chiefly to the opioid epidemic. The ability of child-serving agencies to provide essential services to vulnerable children – the innocent victims of this crisis – is at great risk.

Apr. 13 – Rep. Ryan Smith: Fighting the Drug Epidemic is Top Priority for Ohio – Herald-Dispatch
The group that is most affected by this scourge is often the one that is most overlooked. Children who have witnessed or experienced the horrors of drug addiction are often left with trauma that stunts their development and leaves lifelong scars.

Feb. 25 – Robin Reese commentary: Funds needed for epidemic’s young victims – Toledo Blade
Too many Lucas County children have had to enter the care of relatives or foster parents because their birth families have been blinded by their substance dependency. The number of children in LCCS custody jumped 21 percent between 2011 and 2016. The number of children placed in the custody of a relative skyrocketed 40 percent in that same time, even as the proportion of available kinship caregivers had declined.

Jan. 13, 2017 – David W. Haverfield commentary: Addiction crisis is swamping children-services agencies – Columbus Dispatch
It’s the phone call no children-services worker wants to take.

Oct. 25, 2016 – Theodore Decker commentary: Ohio isn’t taking very good care of its kids – Columbus Dispatch
Since 2009, the number of children in agency custody statewide has increased by 19 percent, to nearly 14,000. Over roughly the same period, counties saw state funding drop by 17 percent, for a loss of about $93 million.

July 16 – Robin Reese commentary: Children are also victims of addiction – Toledo Blade
Lucas County, like many communities across the country, has been gripped by an epidemic of heroin, opiate, and fentanyl addiction. These powerful drugs have been destroying families and claiming lives at a record pace.

National/International News Coverage of Ohio

Oct. 28 – Pilot program aims to help parents struggling with substance abuse and keep families togetherNBC News
With a severe shortage of foster care options, Ohio authorities developed a pilot program called START to help families impacted by the opioid crisis.

May 25, 2018 – Judicial Tough Love Helps Addicted Mothers Stay Clean – Wall Street Journal
Family drug courts have been around for more than 20 years, but they have attracted new interest amid the opioid epidemic and rising rates of foster care. More than 15,500 children were in Ohio foster homes last year, up from 12,600 four years earlier, according to the nonprofit Public Children Services Association of Ohio.

Sept. 18 – Young girl gets caught up in dad’s opioid struggle (includes video) – CNN
The Lead talks with an eight-year-old girl in Ohio about her struggle to deal with her father’s opioid use as the Trump admin works to find a solution.

Sept. 19 – The opioid crisis took this 8-year-old’s father away – Oklahoma’s News 4
Data from the Public Children Services Association of Ohio shows the opioid epidemic has led to an 11 percent increase in the number of kids and teens forced into Ohio foster care since 2010 and those kids are lingering in the system nearly 20 percent longer.

Aug. 24 – Ohio Seeks More Foster Parents to Help Kids From Drug-Ravaged FamiliesNBC News
Ohio’s top lawman sent out an SOS on Thursday to residents thinking of becoming foster parents — we need you now to take in kids from drug-ravaged families.

Aug. 17 – State Work To Keep Opioid Epidemic From Splitting Up FamiliesNBC News
After Raven Mosser gave birth six years ago, she woke up to a social worker in her hospital room. Her newborn son had been born exposed to opioids — drugs she had been abusing for years. If she didn’t get clean, she was at risk of losing him.

Aug. 9 – Couple fosters 13 children left by addicted parentsCNN
When Cyndi and Jesse Swafford were certified to become foster parents 10 years ago, they were told to expect to wait for a baby up to two or three years. Fast forward to today — with a foster license, a new baby can be placed with them within a week.

Aug. 7 – Here, heroin spares no one, not even the sheriff’s wife (Includes video) – CNN
Nearly 15,000 Americans — 500 from Ohio alone — died of an opioid overdose in 2005. In 2015, those numbers soared to 33,000 and 2,700 deaths, respectively.

Aug. 7 – Ohio foster care system flooded with children amid opioid epidemic (Includes video) – CBS
On a winding trail in southeastern Ohio, four children symbolize the devastating consequences of the opioid epidemic, reports CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds.

Jul. 5 – Meet the children of Ohio’s opioid nightmare – Mother Jones
The spiraling opioid epidemic has disrupted so many families that all the foster homes in Ashtabula County are full.

Jul. 1 – The opioid crisis is straining the nation’s foster-care systems – Washington Post
Deb McLaughlin’s 3-year-old grandson climbed all over her, pleading to play trucks, restless as always. Her 1-year-old foster daughter, who had just woken from a midday nap, sat in her lap, wearing a frilly dress and an irresistible smile.

Jul. 1 – For Opioids’ Youngest Victims, Is Help Too Little, Too Late? –
Police in East Liverpool, Ohio, last fall wanted to show the graphic toll of opioid overdoses, so they made the decision to post some photos to Facebook. The shocking images, which an officer had taken during a traffic stop, were graphic and heart-wrenchingly poignant.

Jun. 20 – A Small Town’s Answer to the Opioid Epidemic is Actually Working – Tonic/Vice
Judge Jeffrey Benson has only been a probate juvenile judge in Ross County for two years, but with a 33-year career as a trial lawyer prior, you could say he’s seen it all.

May 17 – ‘It’s just horrific’: caseworkers break their silence to reveal toll of addiction on children – The Guardian (UK)
Inside the Clinton County child protection office, the week has been tougher than most. Caseworkers in this thinly populated region of southern Ohio, east of Cincinnati, have grown battle-weary from an opioid epidemic that’s leaving behind a generation of traumatized children.

Apr. 20 – How This State Is Helping Kids Whose Parents Get Addicted And Neglect Them – Daily Caller
The Public Children Services Association of Ohio is distributing the grants for each of the 18 counties enrolled. The four counties later added were …

Apr. 6 – Chronic pain sufferers are scared by Ohio’s new opioid rulesNBC News
Chronic pain sufferers fear they could become casualties in the war on Ohio’s opioid overdose epidemic. They say recent moves by Gov. John Kasich to fight the plague by restricting how many painkillers can be prescribed will add to their anguish — and could force them to go underground to find the relief they need to make it through a day.

Mar. 22 – Terrified Child heard Calling 911 as Parents Overdose While DrivingNBC News
A terrified 9-year-old girl called 911 from the back seat of an SUV and plead for help as her parents passed out in suspected overdoses.

Mar. 16 – Drugs are killing so many people in Ohio that cold-storage trailers are being used as morgues – The Washington Post
By about 3 p.m. Friday, a county morgue in east Ohio was already full — and more bodies were expected. Rick Walters, an investigator for the Stark County coroner’s office, had just left for two death scenes: a suicide and an overdose.

Feb. 7 – Opioid overdose crisis plaques ClevelandCBS News
At his meeting with the sheriffs today, President Trump promised to help them “stop the opioid epidemic.” Every day, 91 Americans die from an overdose of opioids, which include prescription painkillers and heroin. In Cleveland, it’s a crisis.

Feb. 8 – Why opioid overdose deaths seem to happen in spurtsCNN
Drug deaths in America sometimes seem to come in groups; just look at Ohio. At least 14 people died of opioid overdoses in Cuyahoga County over the weekend, CNN affiliate WEWS reported.

Jan. 25 – Take back our cities from opioidsUSNews
The opioid epidemic in our cities increased at an alarming rate over the past year. Every day, 3,900 people initiate nonmedical use of prescription opioids for the first time, and these drugs have claimed the lives of our young and old; black and white; men and women; rich and poor. Iraq war veterans, highly educated professionals, even former drug counselors have also joined the fallen faces.

Jan. 16 – Young Victims of the Opioid Epidemic: Editorial – The New York Times
Opioid overdoses have claimed more than 300,000 lives in the last 15 years, including some 33,000 in 2015 alone. But those numbers do not tell the full horror of this epidemic, which has devastated the lives of countless children whose parents have succumbed to addiction to prescription painkillers and other opiates.

Jan. 15 – The children of the opioid crisis – The Wall Street Journal
The police officer who entered Mikaya Feucht’s Ohio apartment found it littered with trash, dirty dishes and plastic milk jugs full of the opioid addict’s vomit.

Jan. 12, 2017 – Unfinished business: Bipartisan help for child victims of the opioid crisis – The Hill
In the wake of the partisan 2016 election, there is an urgent need for the parties to start solving problems together again. Helping children whose futures are threatened by the opioid crisis is exactly such an opportunity.

Dec. 30, 2016 – An addiction crisis along ‘the backbone of America’ – Washington Post
The young woman sat on a city bench in Athens, Ohio, smoking a Marlboro. She told me her name is Keri, she’s 29, and she has a 10-year-old daughter and a history of drug addiction and mood disorders. She’d just been to a court hearing to get custody of her child. Bad as things are for her, they used to be worse, she said.

Dec. 15 – The Children of the Opioid Crisis – Wall Street Journal
Left behind by addict parents, tens of thousands of youngsters flood the nation’s foster-care system; grandparents become moms and dads again.

Nov. 28 – Opioids send Ohio foster care into costly overdrive – County News (National Association of Counties)
It happened twice in Ohio in September. You may have seen the photo, circulating virally online: a man and a woman, passed out in the front seat of an SUV, with the woman’s 4-year-old grandson in the back.

Nov. 3 – How drug addiction led to more grandparents raising grandchildrenPBS NewsHour
The number of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren is going up and increasingly it’s because their own kids are addicted to heroin or prescription drugs, or have died from an overdose. For some, it’s a challenge with little help available.

Oct. 7 – These states are struggling with a drug addiction-fueled crisis in foster carePBS NewsHour
The nation’s drug-addiction epidemic is driving a dramatic increase in the number of children entering foster care, forcing many states to take urgent steps to care for neglected children.

State News Coverage

Nov. 13 – Program helping families impacted by substance-use expands – Norwalk Reflector
A program designed to help families experiencing the effects from a loved one’s substance addiction has expanded to include 17 counties. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Director Mark Hurst, announced that funding from their offices will help the Ohio Sobriety, Treatment and Reducing Trauma (START) Program expand to 17 new counties.

Nov. 8 Ohio Voters Show Mixed Response To Opioid-Related Levies – ideastream
… in custody on any given day in Ohio this year than we did just five years ago,” said Scott Britton of The Public Children Services Association of Ohio.

Nov. 6 – Miami partners with Butler County to research the opioid crisis – Miami Student
Miami University is partnering with the Butler County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Services Board (BCMHARS) to research the opioid crisis in southwest Ohio. Butler County, along with Hamilton and Warren counties, has been named a recipient of grant money from the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA). The legislation was signed into law in 2016, and the U.S. Department of Justice awarded the three southwest Ohio counties a collective $2.1 million in October.

Nov. 7 – Montgomery County court program helps recovering addicts get their children backWKEF/WRGT
A Montgomery County court is handing down a message of hope. Families graduating from Family Treatment Court are officially starting a new beginning. Each road to recovery is different, but the one thing these graduates have in common is getting their children back.

Nov. 8 – Ohio Voters Show Mixed Response To Opioid-Related LeviesWKSU
The opioid epidemic continues to burden foster care and children services throughout Ohio, prompting a near-record number of levies on the ballot. “We have about three to four thousand more children in custody on any given day in Ohio this year than we did just five years ago,” said Scott Britton of The Public Children Services Association of Ohio.

Oct. 31 – AG’s START Family Recovery, Intervention Program Expands to 34 Counties – Hannah News
Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Sobriety, Treatment and Reducing Trauma (START) Program for families battling substance abuse is expanding to more than a third of Ohio, even as some areas of the state hardest hit by the opioid epidemic have dropped out of the adult recovery and child intervention initiative.

Oct. 31 – Helping Broken Families Heal: Ohio Program Expands – Public News Service
The opioid crisis has left some parents struggling with addiction, resulting in an overburdened foster-care system. An innovative program is expanding in Ohio to help these parents and their children heal. Highland County is one of the first 17 counties participating in the Ohio START pilot.

Oct. 29 – Ohio to get $56 million to combat opioids, GOP lawmakers announce before election – Cleveland Plain Dealer
State lawmakers are heralding nearly $56 million in federal funding that has been directed to combat the opioid epidemic in Ohio.

Oct. 29 – Drug-addicted babies worry Hancock County judge – The Findlay Courier
Hancock County Juvenile Court Judge Kristen Johnson is worried about babies born with drugs in their systems.

Oct. 22 – What Ohio did with the feds’ $26M for addiction treatment – Dayton Daily News
In the first year of the program, Ohio spent 72 percent of the $26 million in emergency money it received through the 21st Century Cures Act, which was distributed in grants to county addiction and mental health boards. The state received another $26 million in year two of the program.

Oct. 14 – Easing impact of the opioid crisis on kids has national security benefits, too: -Cleveland com
During the first week of October, Congress defied the conventional wisdom that “nothing gets done” in the final weeks before an election by acting in a smart, bipartisan way to address the devastating impacts of the opioid crisis on kids. While I certainly expect child advocates to celebrate what’s happened, I want to point out its ultimate potential impact on national security as well.

Oct. 15 – High addiction rate equals high need for foster parents – Portsmouth Daily Times
One sure sign of the shortage of foster parents is the appearance all over the area of road signs such as this one.

Oct. 11 – How The Opioid Epidemic Impacts Foster Care in OhioWOSU
Opioid addiction continues to deplete Ohio’s communities and is driving up the number of children entering foster care. It’s been a year since the Ohio Attorney General’s office granted money for 30 Days to Family Ohio to address the issue.

Oct. 11 – Crime and Addiction in Ohio, Part 4: Community Impact – Public News Service
“They will do the time and we don’t have the rehabilitation in the prison, so they’re not getting any better,” she states. “They get out and they try to get help and it’s still pointless because they still have that felony. Also: Literature review: Incarceration hurts communities.

Oct. 9 – Treatment Programs For Mothers With Addiction Scarce – Ohio Public Radio
Opioid abuse is taking its toll on Ohio families, especially children who often find themselves being passed from one place to another with no stability. And sometimes, those children suffer from the trauma they experience while with their drug addicted parent. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports.

Sept. 27 – Heroin children, removed: Children of the opioid epidemic face neglect, trauma – Cincinnati Enquirer
The infants often cry and cry. Some of the toddlers go limp when caregivers pick them up. Others hug every adult in sight. Some older children with younger brothers and sisters act as if they are little parents.

Sept. 24 – Ohio has record number fatal drug overdoses – Lima News
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Fatal drug overdoses increased to a record 4,854 last year in Ohio, a 20 percent rise compared with the previous year, according to information reported to the state.

Sept. 20- Opioid-Fighting Efforts in Ohio Get $16 Million Boost – Public News Service
The funding announced Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will go toward prevention efforts in both rural and urban communities, and for health centers in the state to expand substance abuse services. Nisha Patel, associate director of the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy at HHS, said last year alone, there were 60,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. – two-thirds of which were attributed to opioids.

Aug. 15 – Brigid’s Path weighs in on new CDC numbers detailing pregnant women and addictionWKEF/WRGT
A disturbing trend between pregnant woman and opioid addiction was recently revealed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency found the trend quadrupled over a 15-year period between 1999 and 2014.

Aug. 13 – Opioids’ most innocent victims: Lawsuit filed against over drugs’ effects on children – Cleveland Plain Dealer
Liam’s adoptive mother picked up her son and asked him to display his feet. With his right foot on the glass table, the 5-year-old showed that one of his toes was inches removed from the rest.

Aug. 9 – Opioid crisis not slowing down in Ross County –
It’s the video that stunned our viewers and even first responders working the case. Medics rushed to treat a baby who was just born in a toilet while police said his mom was high on drugs and didn’t even know she gave birth to a baby.

Aug. 8 – Opioids’ most innocent victims: Lawsuit takes aim at drug companies over effects on children –
Liam’s adoptive mother picked up her son and asked him to display his feet. With his right foot on the glass table, the 5-year-old showed that one of his toes was inches removed from the rest. Liam was born with opioids in his system as a result of his birth mother’s drug use.

Aug. 6 – Middletown reports huge drop in drug overdoses. Here’s what the city says is working – Dayton Daily News
The city’s multi-prong approach to the heroin epidemic seems to be making an impact, according to officials who reported the latest statistics Monday during the 14th Heroin Summit meeting, which have been held quarterly since 2015.

Aug. 3 – We must protect the youngest victims of the opioid crisis – Point Pleasant Register
Far too many children are also living in homes where drug abuse is occurring. That’s one of the many “Adverse Childhood Experiences” (ACES) that can induce a prolonged activation of the stress response system and impair development of children’s brains and immune systems.

Aug. 3 – Children here experience parental loss at higher rate than national average (Includes video) – Cincinnati Enquirer
Children here are experiencing a parent’s death or incarceration at alarming rates, a new survey shows, in what appears to be, in part, another symptom of the opioid epidemic.
Also: Report:

Aug. 2 – David W. Haverfield: Opioid crisis drives need for more foster families – The Columbus Dispatch
In January 2017, I shared the story of a Tuscarawas County children services caseworker who responded to an abuse/neglect referral of a 9-year-old girl. (“Addiction Crisis Is Swamping Children Services Agencies”).

Jul. 23 – Ohio mom overdoses in car with 2-year-old daughter in backseat, police say – 10TV
A woman in southwest Ohio is facing charges after she allegedly overdosed in her car while her 2-year-old daughter was in the back seat, police said. Hillary Fuller-Solarzano, 26, was charged with child endangering and disorderly conduct, CBS affiliate WHIO reports.

Jul. 19 – Opioid crisis forces Marion County Children Services to seek tax increase – Marion Star
Marion County voters would pay more than double what they are used to under a proposed levy that Marion County Children Services says is necessary to keep the lights on.

Jul. 17 – Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Part 2 – Register-Herald
When you’re trying to make the best out of a difficult situation, having grandparents raise their grandchildren is much more preferable in many instances than putting children into foster care or temporary placements. Although there are behavioral issues that will come up, especially when parents are not included in the family picture, with the right resources, grandparents can conquer the problem when they can assess the support they need.
Also: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Part 1

Jul. 15 – Kettering center for drug-withdrawal babies celebrates first yearWHIO
Brigid’s Path, a $2 million Kettering facility specializing in the treatment of babies experiencing withdrawal, is preparing to celebrate its one-year anniversary. Depending on the opioid used by a mother, a baby’s withdrawal will typically begin within the first 48 hours of life but may stretch to 96 hours, said Dr. Stephen Hunter, a neonatologist at Dayton Children’s Hospital and Brigid’s Path’s medical director.

Jul. 1 – As opioid epidemic worsens, more grandparents raise grandchildre – Toledo Blade
In more than 10 percent of Ohio households, grandparents are the primarily caregivers for their grandchildren. And Sheila Gibbs, Lucas County Children Services family services manager, said upward of 60 percent of the 700 open child services cases result in children in the care of a relative.

Jun. 11 – 727 opioid overdose fatalities recorded in 2017; highest in Cuyahoga County’s history –
A new report from the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office shows the amount of people dying from opioid overdoses is slowing, but is still up from the year before. In 2017, 727 people in the county died because of an opioid overdose— that number includes legal prescription overdoses. Also: Fatal opioid overdoses increased in 2017 in Cuyahoga County, medical examiner says.

Jun. 9 – New project aiming to help addicted mothers-to-be – Courier
If you’re pregnant and using opiates, Dr. Allison Westcott wants you to seek medical care – without shame. “Just call us,” she said. “We will get you in. We want to take care of you.”

Jun. 7 – Children Are The Losers When Parents Struggle With Opioid Addiction – National Public Radio
Rachel Martin spends time with a little boy in Vinton County, Ohio, who was taken from his mother as an infant and is being raised by his adoptive mother.

Jun 1 – Opioid family court cases increaseABA Journal
As a juvenile court judge for Montgomery County, Ohio, Anthony Capizzi sees the devastating trickle-down effect of opioids firsthand. So in 2016, he started Family Treatment Court, aimed specifically at helping parents achieve the sobriety they need to stay with their children.

May 31 – Attorney General DeWine releases interim report on Ohio START program – Highland County Press
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine released Wednesday the Ohio START Interim Report, tracking the progress of the Ohio START (Sobriety, Treatment, and Reducing Trauma) Pilot Program. Ohio START is an intervention program that provides specialized victims services, such as intensive trauma counseling to children who have suffered victimization due to parental drug use.

May 17 – ‘Keep a Promise’ campaign aims to fight substance, child abuse – Toledo Blade
The new public awareness campaign “Keep a Promise” aims to raise awareness about the connection between substance abuse and child abuse, aiming to establish a central resource for those seeking help.

May 16 – Tidal Wave of Children Into Foster Care SystemWTVG
There are so many kids going into foster care because their parents are trying to recover from heroin addiction that the system is on overload. Some are calling for changes to the timeline it takes to reunited parents with their kids, so families have a stronger chance of staying together.

May 13 – New to parenthood and sobriety, Akron couple works to balance both after opioid-dependent newborn is sent to NICU – Akron Beacon Journal
The screaming baby was inconsolable. Jennifer Kiser and Will Martin passed their newborn back and forth in desperate attempts to calm him down, but no amount of love or comfort would ease baby Dominic’s quivering limbs and high-pitched cry of despair.

May 9 – Cleveland Mother/Daughter Duo Serve Community with Drug Exposure Testing –
Ohio’s drug epidemic – labeled a “tsunami” by the Public Children’s Services Association of Ohio – is tracking upward with more than 20,000 drug-affected children in Ohio expected to be removed from their homes by 2020. In Medina County, more than 55 percent of children removed from their homes …

May 7 – Tuscarawas County joins suit against opioid manufacturers, distributors – New Philadelphia Times-Reporter
Tuscarawas County will join federal litigation against manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids. Last year, Ohio was the second state to file suit against opioid manufacturers and distributors. At this point, 17 states have joined the effort, Styer said. More than half of the counties and many municipalities have filed suit.

May 7 – New partnership aims at helping addiction exposed children in Trumbull CountyWFMJ
The Trumbull County Family Court and Trumbull County Children Services are collaborating to address the needs of children and families struggling …
Related: Grant to bring recovery coaches to cases.

May 3 – Cuyahoga County seeking foster parents as the number of children in custody increase –
The attorney general’s office estimated that half of the children in foster care are there because of substance abuse from one or both parents. And nearly 3,000 more kids are in the system now than they were seven years ago, when the opioid crisis emerged, the office said.

May 2 – Senator visits area to discuss opioid crisis – Marietta Times
Portman is touring the state to discuss a bill he introduced in the U.S. Senate to reauthorize and substantially expand the federal government’s actions in response to the crisis.

Apr. 26 – Rehoming: How parents are trading kids in an underground network (Includes video) – KVUE
“Rehoming” is a term usually applied to pets. You pick up a stray dog at a shelter and, for one reason or another, it doesn’t fit in with your life. You drop the animal off at someone else’s house and move on. A WKYC investigation found that, not only is the same thing being done with children, all it takes is a piece of paper easily obtained on the internet to gain custody. Also: Investigator: Crackdown on underground network of parents who trade kids (Includes video) and How parents with adopted foreign kids can seek the help they need (Includes video).

Apr. 26 – Hundreds of Hamilton County kids sent to state custody due to drug epidemic (Includes video) – WLWT
The heroin epidemic is putting hundreds of children in Hamilton County in foster care this year. More and more children are staying in foster care for longer periods of time while parents stand before judges due to drugs.

Apr. 26 – Addressing Addiction in Ohio: What’s Working and What’s Not (Includes audio) – Public News Service
Nearly one in three Ohio adults has a loved one suffering from problems as the result of using prescription pain medication, according to data from the 2017 Ohio Health Issues Poll. A new report examines the scope of addiction in Ohio, and the areas that need to be addressed to combat the problem. Comments from Amy Bush Stevens, vice president for Prevention and Public Health Policy, Health Policy Institute of Ohio.

Apr. 26 – Memorial to recognize young victims of abuse and neglect – Toledo Blade
Robin Reese hopes a year will come when Lucas County Children Services celebrates not a single child dying from abuse, neglect, or violence.

Apr. 25 – Ohio poverty report suggests federal data is outdated – Athens NEWS
“The state recently allocated an additional $15 million to foster-care placement funds to meet some of this need, though PCSAO (the Public Children Services Association of Ohio) estimates that costs have increased by as much as $45 million in the last year alone.”

Apr. 19 – With overdose deaths up, what’s ahead? We ask experts on the front lines of the epidemic –
More kids in foster care: If the opioid epidemic continues at its current pace, Ohio will have more than 20,000 children in custody by 2020, a December 2017 report from the Public Children Services Association of Ohio says.

Apr. 18 – Opiate epidemic straining central Ohio foster care systems (Includes video) – WCMH-TV
The opioid epidemic continues to hit central Ohio hard. According to a map by created by the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) and the Centers for Disease Control in 2016, two central Ohio counties, Franklin and Licking, are said to have both high overdose deaths and high number of children entering

Apr. 10 – With Foster Care Numbers Rising, A Pilot Effort to Get More Relatives Involved – ideastream
In an effort to keep up, the state is piloting a program in nine counties, including Cuyahoga, Summit, and Stark, to find the relatives of a child entering protective custody and recruit them to take the child in

Apr. 9 – Cost of foster care services rising – Findlay Courier
Children being protected by Hancock County Children’s Protective Services are being sent to Youngstown, a four-hour drive from Findlay, because that’s the closest foster care placement available.

Apr. 7 – Here are possible ways to combat the opioid crisis – Columbus Dispatch
No single tactic will end the opioid crisis, which has intensified during the past decade. The strategies here have proved effective for keeping people alive while attacking at least one aspect of the crisis. Some are personal action items, some can be accomplished by organizations, and others require governments to act. And some are unconventional, if not controversial.

Apr. 6 – What The Opioid Crisis Is Costing The Mahoning Valley – Idea Stream
The local governments suing drug companies over the opioid crisis say addiction has cost them-not just in damage to people’s lives, but in dollars and cents. It’s hard to come up with a price tag, though. Numerous different agencies handle prevention, treatment and response to overdoses. The federal government, state of Ohio, foundations and local communities are all paying for the epidemic.

Apr. 4 – Appreciation for front-line fighters in opiate epidemic – The Columbus Dispatch
The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board serving Coshocton, Guernsey, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble and Perry counties will host a public appreciation event for individuals on the front line fighting Ohio’s opiate epidemic at 4:15 p.m. Monday, April 9

Apr. 2 – Letter: Addiction crisis boosts need for advocates for children – The Columbus Dispatch
Not only does this reduce the costs associated with any one case, but it could abate the high rate of turnover from job stress among caseworkers, which, according to Public Children Services Association of Ohiodata, costs the state an alarming $24.3 million in 2016.

Mar. 28 – CCS program highlighted in statewide opioid conferenceWBNS Columbus (CBS)
A statewide opioid conference takes on an important issue, how children are affected by the opiate crisis.

Mar. 25 – New treatment program for pregnant women addicted to opioids – IndeOnline
As the state’s opioid crisis deepened, CommQuest Services found itself treating more and more pregnant women who were using heroin and similar drugs. Not only do expectant mothers who use opioids risk a fatal overdose, children born to opioid-addicted mothers can endure severe withdrawal symptoms and long hospital stays. So, when a pregnant woman who is using opioids contacts one of CommQuest’s centers in Canton, Massillon or Alliance, the race is on to get her stabilized on medication within 24 hours.

Mar. 21 – The need for foster parents continues to climb in Lucas CountyWNWO
Last year, there were more than 1,000 cases of child abuse and neglect in Lucas County. While no child in the system is without a home, the demand for foster homes has been on a steady increase over the last few years.

Mar. 20 – Opioid makers and distributors under scrutiny in Ohio – Star Beacon
A recent Raycom Media investigation into doctors who over-prescribe opioid pain medication and their so-called “pill mills” suggests that, for at least half of the nation’s heroin users, addiction started with a legal prescription for painkillers. Medicare provider data from 2015 shows 128 general practice health care providers wrote more prescriptions for opioids than all other drugs combined.

Mar. 18 – Program aims to help opioid-addicted parents keep kids – Columbus Dispatch
Jenny Conrad knows how to talk to parents addicted to heroin and other opioids because she has been there. Now recovered, Conrad and two other former drug addicts are teaming up with Fairfield County Child Protective Services workers to help currently addicted parents recover and hold on to their children.

Mar. 18 – So many opioid epidemic stories are devastating. These are stories of hope – Journal-News
The stories and images of the devastating effects of the drug and opioid crisis have taken hold across Butler County and the wider nation. The stories of sobriety and those getting clean are sometimes overlooked. But when heard, they shed light on what it takes to get clean and stay that way.

Mar. 9 – Wanted: Lucas County foster families – Toledo Blade
More than 140 more children need foster care than at this time last year, and those already in foster care are staying there longer. It has become all the more common to find caseworkers at the office late, scrambling to find a safe place for yet another child to sleep that night.

Mar. 2 – Program in Warren to focus on effects of opioids on kids – Youngstown Vindicator
Child-welfare advocates have tried to explain to the public the increasing need for foster parents to provide homes for children in agency custody whose parents are addicted to opiates.

Feb. 28 – Caring for kids of opioid crisis – Warren Tribute Chronicle
FORUM SET: “Hope for Recovery from Addiction — The Grand Family Edition” will be held 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Kent State University at Trumbull classroom building, 4314 Mahoning Ave., Champion. The free event will offer support and resources to grandparents and other family members caring for children affected by the opioid crisis.

Feb. 27 – Summit County Children Services works to reunite families as opioid crisis continues – Plain Dealer
With the opioid epidemic fueling record numbers of children in its custody, Summit County Children Services is hoping a small grant to help reunify families will make a big difference.

Feb. 26 – Melania Trump visited the region to talk about opioids. An important part: Drug-addicted babies – Dayton Daily News
An increasing number of babies are born in the Greater Cincinnati region with drug withdrawal symptoms, which Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Dr. Scott Wexelblatt hopes is “at a peak.”

Feb. 26 – Who speaks for the children? – Piqua Daily Call
They are boys and girls. They are various races and ethnicities. They are newborns and adolescents. They are the youngest victims of an epidemic that knows no color lines, gender divisions or age limits, one that has swept the nation with a vengeance, from Hollywood to the heartland, including right here in Miami County. Many of them are too young to talk yet, and those who are old enough can tell stories that sound more like nightmares. But by and large, their voices go unheard, so someone must speak for them.

Feb. 19 – In Southwest Ohio, the opioid crisis has driven a record number of children into state custody – Belt Magazine
In 2006, there were 1,920 Hamilton County children in state custody, according to Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services (HCJFS). Over the next eight years, that number only grew by some 200 children.

Feb. 13 – Study: Many Ohio kids experience early childhood trauma – Columbus Disbatch
Economic hardship, neighborhood violence, split-up parents and substance abuse. Any one of those conditions can make for problems that follow a kid through childhood and beyond.

Feb. 11 – DeWine pushing Big Pharma to pay for opioid problems – Pharmacy Choice
LIMA Under Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s direction, the State of Ohio is examining how to best pressure large pharmaceutical companies to take financial responsibility for the social problems caused by the opioid epidemic.

Feb. 10 – New treatment court therapy aims to keep families intact – Dayton Daily News
Jennifer Buehler and Eddie Thomas regained custody of their son last week, 10 months after Jennifer “was gone” from a drug overdose.

Feb. 9 – Kudos to Appalachia Ohio – Portsmouth Daily Times
Mike Dewine is filing lawsuits against the drug companies. But, is there a plan for jobs and ways to decrease the unemployment rate in Appalachia Ohio? Recovering people with addictions will need jobs after sobriety.

Feb. 8 – Appalachia Ohio, economic status and the opioid crisis – Highland County Press
Recovering people with addictions will need jobs after sobriety. According to a report by the Public Children’s Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO), within one year of recovery from opiates, 85 percent will relapse.

Feb. 6 – Mansfield joins national lawsuit against opioid manufacturers – Mansfield News Journal
Mansfield is joining more than 200 other cities across the country in a national civil suit against pharmaceutical companies that manufactured and distributed opioids.

Feb. 4 – Counties seek family members to care for kids of addicted parents – Columbus Dispatch
As Ohio’s drug-addiction crisis continues, the state is trying new approaches to help the children caught up in it. The problem is that more than 15,500 children were in county custody statewide last year, including some who had watched their parents overdose or die.

Feb. 1 – Epidemic creates extreme challenges – Sandusky Register
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Thus begins “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. Though this was a novel about life during the French Revolution, the phrase and the title seem equally appropriate for Sandusky in particular and Erie County in general during this Bicentennial year.

Jan. 30 – Fueled by opioid epidemic, foster care numbers soar in OhioNACo
A thousand more Ohio children spent the holidays in foster care this season compared to last year, thanks to the opioid epidemic sweeping the state. That somber news comes from a report released last month by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, a statewide membership organization for county children services agencies.

Jan. 30 – In Highland County, drug abuse leads to children suffering – The Times Gazette
On Tuesday afternoon, 103 Highland County children were in the custody of Highland County Children Services. More than half were there because their parents abused drugs at home.

Jan. 28 – Ohio Foster Care Population Rose 13% From 2016 To 2017; 50% Due To Substance Abuse – Open Minds
The number of Ohio children in foster care rose 13% between 2016 and 2017, from 13,769 as of July 1, 2016, to 15,510 as of November 1, 2017. Half of the rise is attributed to parental addiction disorder, specifically opioid use. If the rate of increase set during 2017 continues, by 2020, a projected 20,000 children will be in the Ohio foster care system.

Jan. 23 – Local legislators hear hopes for more training, better rules for foster parents – The Vindicator
Another record number of people – about 117 – died in Trumbull County in 2017 from accidental drug overdoses, but three state legislators were asked Monday to also remember the children negatively affected by the opiate crisis.

Jan. 17 – More foster families are needed in Medina County – Medina Gazette
From 2014-17, Felton said, there’s been a 73 percent increase in the number of children entering foster care: 2014 – 92 children; 2015 – 113; 2016 – 138; 2017 – 159. Felton said 75 percent of the cases involve some sort of substance abuse.

Jan. 16 – County program to help children of addicts in foster-care systemWDTN
An estimated half of all children in foster care are there because of parental substance abuse, according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Office.

Jan. 12 – Opioid Makers Meet With DeWine as Judge Presses for Meaningful Response to the Opioid Crisis (Includes audio) – WKSU
Ohio’s attorney general has met with two of the five opioid manufacturers the state is suing to try to come up with a settlement. Many of the lawsuits have been consolidated in the Cleveland courtroom of federal Judge Dan Polster. This week, he told lawyers he wants to “do something meaningful to abate this crisis” and to do this year. He’s set a Jan. 31 meeting for the 13 states.

Jan. 12 – Opioid epidemic: Cuyahoga County again sees record number of overdose deaths – The Morning Jounral
The medical examiner’s office is forecasting the epidemic is going to get even worse in the county. It’s projecting 1,000 deaths in 2018 and 1,200 in 2019, with carfentanil becoming an even more significant contributor to the toll.

Jan. 9 – The real opioid victims: children of addicts (Includes video) – WXYZ
The foster care system is becoming overloaded. Nationally, foster care cases involving parents who have drug problems have hit the highest point in 30-plus years of reporting. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services noted that roughly 92,000 children entered the system in 2016 — that’s driven by a 32 percent spike in drug-related cases from 2012 to 2016.

Jan. 7 – Grandparents raising kids of addicts struggle with little aid – Columbus Dispatch
The nation’s crisis of drug addiction remains relentless in its outsourcing of parental responsibility. But the pool of aid to help so-called kinship families clothe, feed and educate kids they neither expected nor planned for barely budges. The vast majority of children who wind up with other relatives aren’t in the protective-services system. Those who start out there are more easily tracked, and their numbers have soared. Since 2010, according to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, the number of kids who come into state custody and are placed with relatives in lieu of foster care has increased by 116 percent.

Jan. 7 – Opioid epidemic takes toll on children of Tuscarawas County (Includes video) – New Philadelphia Times Reporter
Officials at Tuscarawas County Job & Family Services have seen more and more children with severe behavioral issues because their parents are addicted to opiates. While the number of children in foster care in the county is dropping, the cost to the county is not because of the need for specialized treatment to deal with these behavioral issues.

Jan. 6 – Opioid epidemic leads to rise in children in foster care – Northwest Signal
Due to the opioid epidemic in Ohio, the number of children in foster care in the state has been rapidly rising within the past few years.

Jan. 6 – Richard Wexler: Child welfare has a foster care addiction – Akron Beacon Journal
If only the member agencies of the Public Children Services Association of Ohio were as good at actually helping children as they are at fear-mongering. Then, Ohio would have the finest child welfare systems in America.

Jan. 5 – Foster care in demand because of opioid epidemic (Includes video) – WFMJ
Due to the Opioid problem in the Valley, 21 News has been reporting on the need for foster families. “It is about a 180 day process which includes 36 hours of pre- service training,” stated Pape. “As well as a home study which includes safety, a psychological evaluation, finger printing”.

Jan. 3 – Clark County to recruit relatives, foster families due to drug crisis (Includes video) – Springfield News-Sun
Clark County is one of eight Ohio counties hard hit by the opioid crisis that have been chosen to participate in a pilot program to recruit more relatives and foster families to care for children in need.

Jan. 3 – Fund seeks to help counties pay bills, fight opioid abuse – The Morning Journey News
A veteran Ohio politician called on Wednesday for the creation of a special state fund to help counties boost employment, fight opioid abuse and cover basic expenses.

Jan. 2, 2018 – Summit County sees spike of children placed into foster care over the holidays – News 5 Cleveland
The number of children in Ohio’s foster care system is on the rise due to the growing opioid epidemic. Over the holidays there were a thousand more children placed into the system than in 2016.

Dec. 31, 2017 – Opioid crisis breaks records – Warren Tribune Chronicle
More than 100 dead from accidental drug overdoses hasn’t been the only effect of another record-setting year in the trenches of the opioid epidemic in Trumbull County.

Dec. 30 – Report: More than 20000 Ohio children projected in foster care by 2020 –
It’s no secret the opioid epidemic has put a strain on children services departments throughout Ohio. Lake County voters should be well aware of the problem.

Dec. 27 – Foster system feeling the impact from Ohio’s opioid epidemic – Athens Messenger
Volunteers place 1,240 handmade pinwheels in front of Athens County Children Services along East State Street in 2016. … One of the many ways the opioid epidemic has negatively impacted Ohio is by increasing the amount of children in the state’s foster care system, a new report has found.

Dec. 26 – On July 1, 2013, 12,654 children in Ohio were in agency custody – Youngstown Vindicator
A tsunami of opioid-affected children is flooding Ohio’s children services agencies, exploding county budgets and overwhelming available foster care resources.

Dec. 26 – Opioid crisis straining local, state child welfare system – Ashland Times Gazette
The opioid epidemic is impacting the child welfare system locally and across Ohio with more children in custody than ever before. Ashland County has seen almost double the number of children in custody in 2017 compared to the same time last year, Department of Job and Family Services social services administrator Jana Carroll said Friday.

Dec. 22 – New report shows 1,000 more Ohio kids are in foster care in 2017 because of opioid crisis (Includes video) – WCPO
More than 15,500 children are in the custody of Ohio’s children service agencies, a 23 percent increase over 2016, according to the latest data from the Public Children Protective Services Association of Ohio, a Columbus-based nonprofit. Report: The Opioid Epidemic’s Impact on Children’s Services in Ohio

Dec. 22 – Report: More Ohio children in foster care – Tiffin Advertise Tribune
According to a Public Children Services Association of Ohio report, 1,000 more Ohio children are expected to spend the holidays in foster care compared to figures from 2016.

Dec. 22 – Foster care report: ‘Many of these kids watched their parents overdose or die’ – SpringfieldNewsSun
The number of Ohio children neglected because of parental drug use is swelling foster care rolls and straining county children services agency budgets, according to a new report.

Dec. 22 – Report: Ohio opioid epidemic strains child welfare agencies – Dayton Daily News
The growing number of Ohio children neglected because of parental drug use is straining county children services agencies, according to a new report.

Dec. 21 – More Lucas County children enter foster care as opioid crisis continues – Toledo Blade
More Lucas County children are in foster care now than at this time last year, and child-welfare officials worry the number of children in need soon will outpace the capacity of foster homes available to take them in.

Dec. 21 – Opioid crisis overwhelming Ohio’s foster care system, according to report (Includes video) –
A new report says opioids are overwhelming Ohio’s foster care system saying a thousand more kids will spend Christmas in foster care compared to last year. Fostering is tough, especially during the holidays when family time is treasured.

Dec. 21 – Stark foster care program gets boost due to opioid crisis – Canton Repository
A local initiative to connect children in foster care with their relatives is getting a boost from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Stark is one of eight counties hit by the opioid crisis that has been selected for a pilot program funded by a $1 million grant from the Attorney General and run by Waiting Child Fund, a Cleveland-based not-for-profit organization.

Dec. 21 – Ohio child advocates: Opioid crisis straining foster care – 10TV
The opioid crisis is overwhelming Ohio’s foster care system as record numbers of children are removed from the homes of drug-addicted parents, the state’s children service advocacy group said Thursday.

Dec. 21 – Opioid epidemic: Life expectancy down for second year as drug overdose deaths continue to … – News 5 Cleveland
“In 2015, two years ago we had about 50 percent of the children in foster care primarily because of their parents substance use,” said Angela Sausser, the Executive Director of Public Children Services Association of Ohio. Children are also falling victim to the crisis. Sausser says in a few years …

Dec. 21 – Number of Ohio foster children rising fast during opioid crisis – The Columbus Dispatch
We could have 20,000 children in custody by 2020, and we could be spending more than half a billion dollars in placement costs,” said Scott Britton, assistant director of the Public Children Services Association of Ohio. “

Dec. 21 – Ohio child advocates: Opioid crisis straining foster care – Youngstown Vindicator
Child advocates say the opioid crisis is overwhelming Ohio’s foster care system as more and more children are removed from the homes of drug-addicted parents.

Dec. 20 – Summit, Stark counties to participate in new program to recruit foster families – Akron Beacon Journal
Summit and Stark counties will participate in a new state program designed to recruit more foster families. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that eight counties that have been hard hit by the opioid epidemic will take part in the Foster Care Recruitment Program.

Dec. 20 – Clark, Montgomery counties picked for foster family recruiting program – Dayton Daily
Clark and Montgomery counties will participate in a new pilot program to recruit foster families, according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office. Eight counties particularly hard-hit by the opioid addiction crisis were selected for the program, which will be funded by a $1-million grant.

Dec. 11 – DePasquale: Series ‘helped raise awareness’ of struggles – Star Beacon
The year-long “Protecting Our Children” series published by The Daily Item and Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. newspapers in Pennsylvania and Ohio has helped bring awareness to the needs of children and child welfare workers tasked with ensuring their safety, Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said.

Dec. 10 – New specialized dockets, intervention programs aim to help children – The Star Beacon
At the state level, the 2018-19 biennial budget includes a $60 million increase to the State Child Protection Allocation — the first funding increase for Ohio child protective agencies in a decade, according to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio. ‘Family connection’.

Nov. 29 – Opioid crisis leaving children in its wake; foster and adoptive parents needed – Akron Beacon Journal
Summit County is looking for a few good parents. The county is experiencing a shortage of foster and adoptive parents and is starting a campaign to attract more. The effort includes a video that features three sets of parents who have adopted or are fostering children in their homes with the hope of eventually adopting them.

Nov. 19 – Opioid epidemic heightens need to bolster kinship care support in Ohio: J.D. Vance (Opinion) –
The Annie E. Casey Foundation reported in 2012 that 2.7 million children in the United States are raised by relatives who aren’t their parents, which is approximately 3.6 percent of kids in the country.

Nov. 19 – County’s opioid struggle draws attention from national, UK publications – Star Beacon
In the last several months, two outside media outlets have profiled Ohio’s struggle with opioid addiction — work that ultimately led them to Ashtabula County, to hear from those on the front lines of the fight.

Nov. 17 – Orman Hall: Generations will battle fallout from current opiate addiction epidemic – Chillicothe Gazette
CHILLICOTHE – A state expert on opiate addiction indicated the children of today’s children will likely still be battling the fallout of the current epidemic.

Nov. 13 – Our view: Work not done in addiction battle – Newark Advocate
Licking County voters made a tremendous statement on Tuesday: we will not be deadbeat parents.

Nov. 10 – County retains firms in opioid lawsuit – Tribune Chronicle
Trumbull County on Thursday joined several other communities and made the first move toward suing pain pill manufacturers and distributors to pay for the results of a population addicted to opioids by hiring a team of attorneys.

Nov. 8 – Human Services levy’s big win shows ‘a willingness to help others’ – Dayton Daily News
The eight-year renewal levy will help fund safety-net programs for children in crisis, the developmentally disabled, the frail elderly and indigent – as well as those struggling with opioid addiction.

Nov. 8 – Voters across Ohio spring for new money in drug battle – Columbus Dispatch
As Ohio’s drug crisis overwhelms county-run child protection services, voters on Tuesday approved 12 of 13 levies for abused and neglected kids.

Nov. 5 – Opioid Crisis creates shortage of foster, adoptive families (Includes video) – Cleveland 19
Maureen Centa of Caring for Kids, a private organization that finds placements for children who are in county custody, says the need for foster and adoptive parents is overwhelming. “About two years ago, we would see about 20 referrals a week come across our desk for kids needing homes. Now it’s 20 a day. Every day. Every day we have at least 20 kids from all over Ohio that need to find homes,” Centa said.

Nov. 5 – Voters tapped as Ohio opioid crisis stretches foster care – Associated Press
Children service leaders say these kids also have more problems because of trauma they’ve experienced living in chaotic, drug-filled households. Children also are staying in foster care longer because it takes additional time for opioid addicts to kick the habit.

Nov. 2 – Children services levy increase would help record number of kids in foster careWBNS
They are the orphans of the opiate epidemic. Children from families devastated by addiction. And their numbers are climbing at rates communities can’t match. Now in Licking County, voters are being asked to help.

Nov. 2 – Opiate crisis, public safety, jobs top priorities –
Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro outlined her administration’s efforts to address three key areas in the county — economic development, public safety and the continuing opiate crisis — at the State of Summit County address Oct. 25 at the John S. Knight Center.

Nov. 2 – Kids left behind by opioid epidemic find hope at grief campWBNS Columbus (CBS)
When it comes to drug addiction, the toll it can take on a family can last a lifetime.

Nov. 2 – Children Services lawsuit sues major drug companies over opioids – Mansfield News Journal
MANSFIELD – Richland County Children Services has filed a lawsuit accusing several major prescription drug companies of intentionally misleading the public about the dangers of opioids to sell more painkillers as they raked in “blockbuster profits.”

Nov. 1 – When heroin hits home: Ohio is last for funding child welfare (Commentary) – WKRC
The heroin crisis means more children than ever are being removed from their homes. In Hamilton County, it’s already topped 3,000 this year. The Ohio legislature approved an extra $30 million this year to address the heroin crisis, but the Buckeye State remains dead-last in the nation for funding child welfare and would stay in last place even if funding is doubled.

Oct. 26 – Summit County declares state of emergency for opiate crisis (Includes video) – WKYC-TV
In the State of the Country address Wednesday afternoon, Executive Ilene Shapiro announced she signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in an effort to combat heroin and opiate epidemic in the area.

Oct. 23 – We can never have too much for drug fight – Toledo Blade
In the fight against the raging opioid epidemic in Ohio, every professional on the front lines will say he is underarmed.

Oct. 22 – Mahoning County Children Services desperately in need of foster parents (Includes video) – WKBN
“With the opiate epidemic, we are seeing an increase in children who are coming into care because of addiction issues with family members – we’re seeing more drug-exposed babies. So, there is a definite and great need, and right now we only have 41 licensed foster families for Mahoning County and we need about 30 to 35 more,” said Jennifer Kollar, Children Services’ public information officer.

Oct. 19 – Have an idea to fight opioids? State offering money for technology proposals – Columbus Dispatch
Perhaps someone out there has an idea that could help end the “dark journey” traveled by Jacqueline Lewis and her heroin-addicted adult son.

Oct. 17 – Lucas County Children Services unveils new partnership with DART UnitWNWO NBC 24
It’s the first of it’s kind in Ohio, a partnership directly geared toward helping addicted parents and their kids.

Oct. 16 – Ohio State gets $3 million to combat drug-related child abuse (requires free registration) – Columbus Dispatch
Freisthler, a professor and associate dean at Ohio State University’s College of Social Work, led a team that recently won a $3 million federal grant – one of the largest in the college’s history – to address drug-related child-abuse and neglect cases by working with central Ohio’s Fairfield and Pickaway counties.

Oct. 16 – Drug crisis fuels big need for more Champaign County foster parents – Springfield News Sun
The number of children in foster care in Champaign County has nearly doubled in the past two years, causing a shortage in local foster families, according to the Champaign County Department of Job and Family Services.

Oct. 15 – Montgomery County voters face $55M human services levy – Dayton Daily News
A levy that helps fund safety-net programs for children in crisis, the developmentally disabled, the frail elderly and indigent – as well as those whose lives were upended by opioids and other crises – comes before Montgomery County voters Nov. 7.

Oct. 12 – Adapting a Program to Protect Children Caught in the Middle of the Opioid Epidemic (commentary) – Route Fifty
Children are the silent victims of America’s opioid abuse epidemic, often suffering neglect, abuse or trauma as one or both of their parents sink into the pit of addiction. Ohio START-standing for Sobriety, Treatment and Reducing Trauma-is being launched this month by the office of state Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Oct. 12 – Opioid Crisis aiding in the exhaustion of funds at Children Services Board (includes video) – The News Center
As the number of families affected by the Opioid Epidemic rises in the Mid-Ohio Valley, more and more children are placed into foster care

Oct. 10 – Opioid epidemic drives increased need for foster homes – Norwalk Reflector
“Strong efforts (are) made by JFS to place children in care with relatives or family members with the intent to unify them with their parents once (the) home is safe. Some parents receive and complete substance abuse treatment and fight for children to return home while others find it too difficult to battle their addiction to gain custody of their children,” Nolan said.

Oct. 8 – Director’s letter details restrictions – Sandusky Register
The opioid epidemic has put a heavy burden in counties all across Ohio, causing an unprecedented number of children to be ruled wards of the state.

Oct. 8 – Cost of opioid epidemic soars, hitting taxpayers harder than ever –
“It would be nice to say that we’re near a plateau, but I don’t think so,’‘ said Scott Britton, the deputy director of the Public Children’s Services Association of Ohio. “We just keep seeing the numbers going up and up.’‘

Oct. 7 – Collateral Damage: Opioid crisis affecting foster care system in Ohio – Lima News
One of the unintended consequences of the opioid crisis is the children of addicts who have to be placed in the foster care system.

Oct. 6 – Supreme Court to Administer $1 Million, Eight-State Opioid Initiative – The Hannah Report
The Ohio Supreme Court will administer a “first-of-its-kind,” $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance benefiting eight regional states in the battle against the opioid epidemic.

Oct. 5 – Opiate epidemic impact on Wayne County Children Services is two-fold – Daily Record
The increase in need for foster families has been spurred by the opioid crisis, but the need for caseworkers is also on the rise.

Oct. 3 – Eight-State Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative Receives $1 Million – USAgNet
A first-of-its-kind regional judicial effort by states to combat the opioid epidemic is receiving a $1 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative (RJOI) was formed a year ago to explore ways that state leaders within a region devastated by opioid abuse could work more effectively and collaboratively across disciplines to confront this problem.

Oct. 2 – Kinship Caregivers Support Young Victims of Ohio’s Opioid Crisis Ohio Supreme Court unanimously rules for the Andersons in the Maddy caseWCSM Radio (includes audio)
On Monday, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of Brian and Kelly Anderson of Celina in the case of “Maddy” a child who was the center of a custody dispute between the Andersons and Allen County Children’s Services. Kelly Anderson reacts to the court’s ruling.

Sept. 26 – Ohio START connects family peer mentors to families impacted by parental drug abuse – Ohio University
Ohio START (Sobriety, Treatment, and Reducing Trauma) connects county Public Children Services Agencies (PCSAs), behavioral health providers and juvenile/family courts to provide specialized services, such as intensive trauma counseling for children and drug treatment for parents.

Sept. 25 – Kinship Caregivers Support Young Victims of Ohio’s Opioid Crisis (Includes audio) – Public News Service
September is both Kinship Care Month and Recovery Month, which this year is a timely coincidence in light of the high numbers of children in the child welfare system due to the opioid epidemic.

Sept. 19 – Judge blocks Licking County effort to due opioid distributors – The Newark Advocate
Licking County planned to file a lawsuit against three pharmaceutical wholesale distributors of opioids, but Common Pleas Court Judge Tom Marcelain refused Tuesday to approve the use of outside counsel.

Sept. 18 – Fentanyl blamed as overdoses, deaths race ahead of 2016 pace in Hamilton County, Cincinnati (Includes video) –
In the next seven days of the heroin epidemic, at least 180 people in Greater Cincinnati will overdose and 18 will die. Babies will be born to addicted mothers. Parents will go to jail. Children will end up in foster care. This is normal now.

Sept. 16 – Fighting opioid crisis in Ohio (Opinion) – Salem News
We have an escalating crisis in our foster care system. Our child welfare agencies are bursting at the seams with kids who need to be placed with loving foster care families because one or both of their parents are addicted to drugs. At least 50 percent of kids and 70 percent of infants placed in Ohio’s foster care system have parents with opioid addictions.

Sept. 13 – Local mother battles drug addiction to regain custody of kidsWKBN 27
Families are being broken apart by the drug epidemic, and the Mahoning County Juvenile Court has been running a program for years which can help.

Sept. 13 – Foster care spike linked to substance abuse –
SCCS Executive Director Julie Barnes says that half the children now coming into the foster care system come from families in which at least one parent is struggling with substance abuse, and of those children, one in four comes from a family in which opioids are the primary substance.

Sept. 12 – The opioid crisis is sending a record number of kids into foster care (Includes video) – Circa
The goal of the court system and the foster care system is to ultimately return foster children to their birth parents. But according to Jessica Parks of the Necco Foster Care Agency, the reality is that because of the growing heroin epidemic, it doesn’t happen that way as often anymore.

Sept. 10 – Seven days of heroin: This is what an epidemic looks like (includes video) –
The Enquirer sent more than 60 reporters, photographers and videographers into their communities to chronicle an ordinary week in this extraordinary time.

Sept. 7 – Officials unveil first-of-its-kind program to reduce opioid deaths – Fox 19
Naloxone distribution in Hamilton County will be increased by more than 400% in an effort to prevent deaths. “It’s not just the number of people who are dying every day, it’s the babies who are being born every day addicted, it’s the number of children who are in foster care because one or both parents are drug addicts,” said DeWine.

Sept. 7 – State budget prioritizes opioid epidemic – Highland County Press
Regarding treatment options, we invested $32 million in treatment and detox programs to assist those currently addicted. In order to provide for the loved ones of these individuals, especially children, we set aside $30 million for Child Protective Services and for kinship care. ADAMHS boards received $14 million and funding for drug court programs was expanded by $6 million

Sept. 7 – Foster care spike linked to substance abuse –
The region’s drug problems are having an effect on the littlest and most vulnerable residents – children. According to Summit County Children Services (SCCS) officials, the opioid crisis locally is presenting additional challenges to the tax-levy supported agency. “We forget there’s children left behind in the wake of this epidemic,” said Ann Ream, director of community relations for SCCS.

Sept. 6 – Addiction discussion hits real issues, real emotion – The Newark Advocate
For Trish Perry, the United Way event on addiction and mental health challenges Wednesday at the Licking County Library was not some theoretical discussion, but real life with real emotion.

Sept. 5 – By AG Mike DeWine – The Register-Herald
Too many children in our state who are displaced by their parents’ opioid addiction “need a safe place to be.” They’re caught in the child welfare crisis that’s driven largely by Ohio’s opiate epidemic.

Sept. 5 – Raising Hope: A family’s fight to do what’s best for a growing toddler amid heroin crisisWCPO
In just one year, the number of kids in foster care grew by 10 percent to more than 15,000 children in 2016. Of those taken into custody under the age of one, 70 percent had parents who used opioids, according to the Public Children Protective Services Association of Ohio, a Columbus-based nonprofit.

Sept. 4 – Ohio in foster care crisis due to opioid epidemic – The News-Herald
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is urging Ohioans to consider becoming foster parents. DeWine expressed the need for foster families has dramatically increased because of the opioid epidemic, according to an Aug. 24 news release from his office.

Sept. 3 – Hamilton’s foster care facility ready to become county resource network – Journal-News
Attorney General Mike DeWine recently urged more Ohioans to become foster parents as the opioid epidemic continues to strain county child welfare agencies. That plea struck a chord with two local residents who have been working to improve the state of foster care in Butler and Hamilton county.

Aug. 31 – I-Team: Local hospitals detect hundreds of opiate-dependent newborns each yearWCPO
Hopkins and her daughter were tested as part of a universal drug screening program for newborns. Nearly a dozen hospitals use the program. Since 2013, the program has identified hundreds of opiate-dependent babies.

Aug. 31 – Ohio records 4050 drug deaths, up 33 percent from 2015 – The Columbus Dispatch
Angela Sausser, executive director of the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, said the crisis is fueling the numbers of children without homes. “As Ohio continues to be devastated by rapidly increasing numbers of opioid overdose deaths, the children services system is experiencing similar climbs in the foster care population.

August 30 – Drugs wiping out parents, leaving kids nowhere to go – GateHouse Ohio Media
As the drug epidemic worsens in Ohio, there are sometimes more kids to place than places to put them. That’s why the Fairfield County Job and Family Services office has at times housed children in offices overnight and on weekends when they couldn’t immediately be placed with foster parents.

August 27 – “ (external)Opioid crisis places heavy strain on foster system – Athens NEWS
I’ve got a placement.” Terrie Brown got up from her dining-room table and walked just out of earshot from the college representative sitting with her eldest son and husband. It was after 6 p.m. on a warm April evening in Belpre, Ohio.

August 25 – Ohio needs more foster parents to take care of kids affected by the opioid crisis – The
In Ohio, half of all children in the foster care system are there because one or both of their parents are addicted to drugs, and the state doesn’t have enough foster parents to take care of them all.

August 25 – Stivers says more money needed for opioid fight, won’t back off Medicaid cuts – Columbus Dispatch
More resources are needed for children ravaged by Ohio’s opioid epidemic, dozens of people in charge of programs to help youth told U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers on Thursday.

August 24 – Children focus of Stivers’ opiate roundtable – Lancaster Eagle-Gazette
In Fairfield County, 80 percent of the children in Job and Family Services’ protection are there because of a parent’s opiate abuse.

August 24 – AG Announces Grant For Foster Care For Kids Affected By Opioid Crisis – News Radio 1370 WSPD & 92.9-FM
The Ohio Attorney General’s office is kicking in a combined million dollars in grant money for foster care in ten Ohio counties hardest hit by opioid addiction.

August 24 – Opioid crisis leaves thousands of kids trapped in foster care (Includes video) – Cleveland 19 News
The number of kids placed in foster care continues to increase as the opioid crisis worsens in Ohio, but there aren’t enough foster care families to meet the need.

August 24 – Foster home shortage considered emergency for kids affected by opioids (Includes video) –
With more and more parents battling addiction in Ohio, the number of kids being placed into the child welfare system has increased dramatically. Now, Attorney General Mike DeWine is calling the need for foster families an emergency.

August 24 – Lawmakers looking to improve help for kids caught in middle of drug crisis – Fox 28
The opioid epidemic has killed thousands of people and torn families apart. School officials and people working in social programs met with elected officials Thursday to figure out how to help the children hurt by the crisis.

August 24 – Drugs wiping out Ohio parents, leaving kids nowhere to go – Columbus Dispatch
As the drug epidemic worsens in Ohio, there are sometimes more kids to place than places to put them.

August 23 – Lucas County Children Services urging people to become foster parents (Includes video)
There is an urgent need of foster parents in Ohio and in Lucas County. Hundreds of kids are pouring into children’s services due to the opioid epidemic. Ohio’s Attorney General planned a news conference for Thursday to encourage Ohioans to become a foster parents.

August 22 – Dedicating Resources to Ohio’s Opioid Crisis – Register-Herald
In the final budget bill signed by the governor, the state legislature allocated $180 million in new money to address the opiate crisis through a multifaceted approach. The four areas of focus that make up the HOPES (Heroin, Opioids, Prevention, Education and Safety) Agenda include prevention, treatment, mental health, and workforce development.

August 17 – Teen overdose deaths spike in region – Dayton Daily News
Teen deaths from drug overdoses are spiking after years of decline, national data shows, and adding to the concern is how quickly some people are escalating into hard drugs at such a young age.

August 16 – AG rep discusses opioid crisis with Children Services caseworkers – Youngstown Vindicator
Mahoning County Children Services may not seem like a front line in the battle against the opioid epidemic, but a representative of the state Attorney General’s heroin unit addressed caseworkers at the agency Tuesday.

August 15 – Mahoning Co. Children Services gets support from Ohio Attorney
The opioid crisis is affecting families across Ohio and on Tuesday, the Attorney General extended a helping hand to those who see firsthand how children are being impacted.

August 14 – More grandparents taking over child-rearing duties – The Findlay Courier
When Sheri Kenney’s daughter went to prison for a drug offense, her daughter’s 4-year-old boy went into foster care. Kenney thought her grandson would be better off in foster care than he would be with her.

August 8 – CBS News shines spotlight on Ohio’s children of addicted
CBS News sent a camera to Ohio to talk with a family raising the children of … said Jill Wright, executive director, Adams County Children’s Services.

August 8 – Opioid Crisis Impeding Reunification for Ohio Families (Includes audio) – Public News Service
When a child is removed from their home, the ultimate goal is to get them back with their families. But reunification is becoming increasingly difficult as an influx of kids enter care due to the opioid epidemic.

August 7 – Fairfield County JFS feels opioid impacts, requests additional levy – Lancaster Eagle Gazette
Children impacted by the local drug problem are driving up costs for Fairfield County Job & Family Services, causing the agency to ask taxpayers for more funding a year early.

August 3 – Area businesses try to get ahead of Ohio marijuana issue – Springfield News-Sun
Government agencies have begun preparing their policies as well. The Montgomery County commissioners employ 1,767 people in about two dozen agencies.

August 1 – Opioid epidemic drives Licking County Children Services to seek levy vote – Columbus Dispatch
Ohio’s drug epidemic is a key factor in a decision by the Licking County commissioners to place a levy on the November ballot to help cover rising costs for services to children.

July 31 – State Ensured That Allegations and Referrals of Abuse and Neglect of Children Eligible for Title IV-E Foster Care Payments Were Recorded and Investigated in Accordance With State Requirements as Required by Federal Law (Press release) – Ohio Office of the Inspector General
Congress, specifically The United States Senate Committee on Finance, outlined concerns about the safety and well-being of foster care children in an April 2015 letter addressed to State governors …

July 31 – Opioid crisis: Four hard-hit southern Ohio counties sue drug distributors – Columbus Dispatch
Four southern Ohio counties hit hard by the opioid epidemic are the latest to demand that Cardinal Health and two other drug distributors reimburse them for treating addicts, housing addicted prisoners and taking care of their children.

July 28 – Child Services seeks levy renewal amid increasing need for services – Vindicator
Randall Muth, Mahoning County Children Services executive director, said the opioid crisis is leading to an increased demand for all services the agency offers. “Children are the invisible victims of this crisis,” he said. The growing need comes as a five-year, 0.5-mill levy that raises about $2 million annually for Children Services is set to expire at the end of this year.

July 25 – County plans $6.5M move, expansion for youth drug treatment center – Dayton Daily News
A $6.5 million expansion and relocation of a Montgomery County in-patient treatment center to a nearby building should allow more youth – and particularly a greater number of girls – to get drug treatment closer to home, according to county officials.

July 22 – Family drug program gets approval from Supreme Court – The Star Beacon
The county’s upcoming family drug court has the green light from the Ohio Supreme Court.
The tentative start date is Aug. 18, said Andrew Misiak, Juvenile Court administrator and the new specialized docket program’s coordinator, and officials are prepping a few families to take part in a trial run.

July 13 – Opiate crisis creates grave need for foster care (Includes video) – WFMJ
There is a growing need for foster care in the Valley, and one of the main reasons is the opiate crisis. Trumbull County Children Services is at the Trumbull County Fair this week, hoping to reach more families willing to foster child.

July 12 – Muskingum Co. woman finds hope, recovers from drug addictionWHIZ
In a time where the opioid epidemic is sweeping the nation, hitting Ohio the hardest, there was a glimmer of hope for one …

July 11 – Dayton Children’s Hospital is treating two children a week for opiate overdoses – Dayton Daily News
Dayton Children’s Hospital is treating as many as two children a week for opioid overdoses due to accidental exposure since the beginning of 2017. “It seems like every week we are having the same conversation about kids who have symptoms of opiate exposure,” said Kelly Liker, a pediatric physician at Dayton Children’s.

July 11 – Case workers find themselves having to tell more children their parent died from an overdose – News 5 Cleveland
Adelle Polasky is now dealing with a gut wrenching issue as a caseworker for Lorain County Children Services. Polasky was called to …

July 10 – More than 1,000 Lucas Co. children in foster care due to opioid epidemicWTOL-TV
New numbers released on Monday, show a 31 percent jump in the number of children in the area’s foster care system. The big jump is due to the growing problem of heroin addiction.

July 8 – Drugs, alcohol fuel rising Children Services workload – Chronicle Telegram
The opioid epidemic not only strains police, firefighters and the coroner’s office, but also parents, families and the agencies designed to protect society’s most vulnerable members — children. Related articles from the same edition: Mom, in recovery, tries to break cycle, Couple now grateful to Children Services, and From ‘depths of hell’ to sobriety

July 7 – Dayton Children’s Hospital is treating two children a week for opiate overdoses – Dayton Daily News
Dayton Children’s Hospital is treating as many as two children a week for opioid overdoses due to accidental exposure since the beginning of 2017.

July 5 – Children Services caseworkers receive Narcan training in Trumbull CountyWFMJ
First, it was Emergency Medical Technicians, then police officers who received special training to administer the opiate overdose reversal drug Narcan. Now, caseworkers at Trumbull County Children Services are learning how to give the drug that has proven over and over again to save lives.

July 5 – Locals fear Medicaid cuts would hurt opioid fight – Tribune Chronicle/Associated Press
Republicans in the Ohio House and Senate argue the state’s budget includes nearly $180 million in funding to combat the opioid crisis, “on top of the nearly $1 billion already spent by the state annually on drug abuse and addiction.” “Included is $60 million in funding for child protective services and programs to support children in drug-affected families …”

July 3 – Governor Slams ‘Anemic’ Funding To Treat Opioid Addiction (Press release) – Executive Intelligence Review
The opioid epidemic continues to ravage the American population. On July 1, The Washington Post reported alarming details on how the U.S. foster care and social services system is completely overwhelmed by the number of babies born to drug-addicted mothers, without the resources to provide adequate foster care and other forms of assistance.

July 5 – Meet the children of Ohio’s opioid nightmare – Mother Jones
The spiraling opioid epidemic has disrupted so many families that all the foster homes in Ashtabula County are full.

July 3 – Lives lost: Stark family pulls together after two daughters overdose – Canton Repository
According to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO), an estimated 2,939 grandparents in Stark County are raising their …

June 21 – Statehouse battle looming over addiction crisis; Medicaid freeze panned – The Columbus Dispatch
Deciding how to tackle Ohio’s massive opioid addiction problem is about to become a major fight inside the Statehouse, as the House and Senate clash over differences in the new two-year state budget.

June 14 – Children of addicts tax Portage County agencies’ resources – Record-Courier
As the opioid and heroin epidemic sweeps across Ohio, local agencies like Portage County Job and Family Services are seeing a dramatic influx in “secondhand victims” — the children of addicts.

June 12 – Three Ohio toddlers suffer opioid overdoses in one week – Dayton Daily News
Three Ohio toddlers have suffered opiate overdoses in the last week, adding more tragedy to the state’s growing opioid epidemic. An Akron 1-year-old overdosed on pills and was revived at a nearby hospital on Tuesday, according to the Akron Beacon-Journal.

June 10 – Opiate crisis increasing trauma for kids – Youngstown Vindicator
Because of the opiate crisis, children statewide are staying in foster care 19 percent longer than they did in 2010.Also, 62 percent more relatives were caring for children in 2016 than in 2010 across Ohio, according to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio.

June 9 – Trumbull kids placed with relatives up 33% due to opiate crisis –
Because of the opiate crisis, children statewide are staying in foster care 19 percent longer than they did in 2010. Also, 62 percent more relatives were caring for children in 2016 than in 2010 across Ohio.

June 8 – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine tells Congress about Ohio’s opioid problems (videos) –
Declining economic opportunities and increased access to addictive painkillers have combined to ignite an opioid crisis that kills more than eight Ohioans every day, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine told a congressional committee Thursday.

June 5 – Lawsuit reveals jaw-dropping stats about the opioid crisis – Vice News
The state of Ohio is suing five drug companies that manufacture prescription painkillers, alleging that they created a “human tragedy of epic proportion” by pushing misleading claims about the addictiveness of their products. 70 percent of infants placed in Ohio’s foster care system are children of parents with opioid addictions.

June 2 – 1-year-old Ohio boy hospitalized after opioid overdose – The Marion Star
Police say a 1-year-old Ohio boy had to be revived with Narcan after he overdosed on opioids. Police say the boy’s 9-year-old brother called 911 Thursday evening after he noticed the infant had stopped breathing.

May 28 – Drug crisis traumatizing children in Clark County, state – Springfield News-Sun
The deepening drug crisis in Clark County and Ohio threatens to leave thousands of traumatized children in its wake, local and state experts said. The Family and Children Services division of the Clark County Department of Job and Family Services has investigated at least 33 cases this year of children who were in danger because of an adult overdose.

May 19 – Opioid crisis straining children’s services in Ohio, Butler County – Hamilton Journal News
The opioid epidemic is overwhelming children’s services providers in both Butler County and Ohio as the public health crisis deepens throughout the state.

May 17 – Schiavoni Announces Legislation to Use Rainy Day Funds to Fight Opioid Epidemic – The Hannah Report
The state would dedicate 10 percent of its Rainy Day Fund to strengthen local governments and provide treatment infrastructure for groups working against the statewide opioid epidemic under new legislation announced Wednesday by Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman).

May 15 – More than 2,000 Cuyahoga children in foster care, highest since 2011, thanks to opioid crisis –
Half the Ohio children taken into protective custody in 2015 were removed from their homes because of a parental drug addiction, according to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio.

May 9 – Drug abuse sending more children into state custody – Dayton Daily News
The twin ravages of the Great Recession and a persistent opioid epidemic have led to an 11 percent increase in the number of children in state custody on any given day since 2010, costing the state millions more and leaving caseworkers overwhelmed, according to a new study released today.

May 8 – Opioid Crisis Sparks Urgent Need for Ohio Foster FamiliesWCSM
There are an estimated 1,400 more children in Ohio foster care compared to six years ago, and about 7,000 are in protective custody because their parents were using drugs, including opioids.

May 8 – Opioid Crisis Sparks Urgent Need for Ohio Foster Families – Public News Service
During this National Foster Care Month, there’s an urgent call for Ohioans to open their homes to care for children in need.

May 7 – Portage Children Services overwhelmed by opioids – Ravenna Record Courier
As the opioid and heroin epidemic sweeps across Ohio, local agencies like Portage County Job and Family Services are seeing a dramatic influx in …

May 3 – Juvenile Court project seeks to reunite children, parents – Wooster Daily Record
As a way to deal with the far-reaching drug and opiate epidemic, Wiles and her staff are establishing a Family Dependency Treatment Project. Wayne County Children Services workers are evaluating their cases to determine who might be potential candidates for the project, which is expected to be launched later this year.

May 2 – Miami Valley foster care feeling the effects of heroin epidemicWDTN
The heroin epidemic continues to grip the Miami Valley and that’s led to a boom in the amount of children entering the foster care system.

April 26 – How the state would use additional $171 million to fight drugs – The Columbus Dispatch
House Republicans want to double down on fighting Ohio’s opioid epidemic, pumping $170.6 million over the next two years into drug prevention and treatment.

April 17 – Report: More than 10K Ohio kids removed last year from parents abusing drugsWLWT Cincinnati
According the the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, 78 of the state’s 88 counties hand-counted the number of minors removed from the …

April 13 – Ohio in Crisis – The [Ohio University] Post
Special issue

April 10 – Drug abuse sends Licking foster care costs soaring – Newark Advocate
Licking County officials see no end to escalating foster care costs and no help coming from the state, creating a budget deficit that could approach $1 million by year’s end.

April 9 – Drugs driving children services caseload increase – Ashtabula Star-Beacon
The Ashtabula County Children Services Board received 2,660 reports of suspected child abuse or neglect in 2016. That number has been climbing steadily over the past decade, up from 1,736 reported cases in 2006.

April 7 – Heroin crisis leading to more kids in foster careWCMH
The Public Children Services Association Of Ohio said there are thousands of children needing foster homes in Ohio. State officials say the number of foster kids is on the rise due to the heroin problem.

April 7 – Children born to addiction face many challenges – Steubenville Herald-Star
Children born addicted to drugs face a childhood of challenges, said Cara Walter, a clinician at the mother-baby unit at Magee-Women’s Hospital.

April 6 – Children are ‘invisible victims’ in heroin battle – Fox 28
An 18 month old girl is recovering at Nationwide Children’s Hospital after Portsmouth police said they believe she suffered a heroin overdose.

April 6 – Children are “invisible victims” in heroin battle – Fox28 News
Across Ohio children of parents addicted to opiates are flooding into the state’s child protection system. Angela Sausser, Executive Director of the Children Services Association Ohio called them “invisible victims.”

April 6 – Ohio’s opioid epidemic addressed – The News Record
Ohio lawmakers get serious about tackling Ohio’s opiate epidemic by passing a law limiting opiate prescriptions by doctors, dentists and other licensed health professionals.

April 5 – Ohio START to help families – Fairborn Daily Herald
Children traumatized as a result of their parents’ drug abuse are often the invisible victims of the opioid epidemic. They may have gone days without food or adequate supervision. They may have been abused. And they may have witnessed a parent inject drugs, overdose, or even die.

April 4 – State of the State 2017: Kasich allocates $20 million for opioid crisisWCPO
Gov. John Kasich asked the Ohio Third Frontier Commission to invest $20 million dollars to come up with new ways to combat the state’s opioid epidemic at Tuesday night’s State of the State address.

April 3 – Need for foster families grows as Ohio’s heroin epidemic continues –
Those who have heard and read about heroin overdoses in Ohio may not have considered what happens to the children left behind when someone dies from a heroin-related problem.

April 1 – Program to help kids hurt by parents’ drug abuse – Star Beacon
According to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, 50 percent of the children placed in foster care in 2015 were there as a consequence of parental drug use. In the years since the opioid crisis erupted in Ohio, the number of children taken into agency custody has jumped 11 percent and their stays in foster care have lengthened by 19 percent.
Also: Need for foster families grows as Ohio’s heroin epidemic continues (Includes video).

March 31 – New rule limits narcotic painkiller prescriptions to seven days – The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio doctors, dentists and some nurses will be unable to prescribe more than seven days of narcotic pain killers — five days for minors — under rule changes announced today by Gov. John Kasich.

Mar. 31 – Kasich cracks down on opioid prescriptions with strict limit – Daily Caller
Ohio is being hit particularly hard by the national opioid epidemic, which claimed a record 33,000 lives in the U.S. in 2015. The opioid death rate in the state spiked 13 percent between 2014 and 2015, among the largest increases in the country. Heroin deaths increased by nearly 20 percent over the same period, claiming 1,444 lives.

Mar. 31 – Taking its toll: Drug abuse affects local families – The Marion Star
The heroin epidemic continues to take a devastating toll on families in Ohio. Unfortunately, in Marion County, as in other communities, children are sometimes forgotten in the midst of the crisis, unintended victims of neglect and abuse by parents or other family members addicted to illicit drugs.

Mar. 31 – Taking its toll: Drug abuse affects local families – The Marion Star
The heroin epidemic continues to take a devastating toll on families in Ohio. Unfortunately, in Marion County, as in other communities, children are sometimes forgotten in the midst of the crisis, unintended victims of neglect and abuse by parents or other family members addicted to illicit drugs.

Mar. 31 – Letter: State must attack opioid crisis – The Columbus Dispatch
The drug epidemic is an existential threat to our state. Opioid abuse has infiltrated our communities and has driven them to extreme lengths to combat this problem. Shockingly, several Ohio communities have been forced to rent mobile units to assist their local morgues with overpopulation issues.

Mar. 29 – Grandparents, caretaker relatives of opioid orphans pushing for more support from the state – The Columbus Dispatch
A group of Lorain County grandparents and other relatives forced to take over custody of children affected by the heroin epidemic in Ohio are pushing for increased support from the state.

Mar. 29 – Local woman organizes fifth march against child abuse – Newark Advocate
For a fifth year, Renee Steele has organized a local Million March Against Child Abuse event to help raise awareness about this issue, which she said is very personal to her.

Mar. 27 – Across Ohio, children are calling 911 to report overdoses – Dayton Daily News
The Dayton girl’s call is the latest episode of children begging Ohio dispatchers for help following an apparent overdose — a tragic, reoccurring phenomenon as the heroin and opioid crisis grips the state and the nation. In March alone, children in Centerville, Cincinnati and Cleveland dialed similar calls — at times with fatal news for authorities.

Mar. 27 – More Ohio newborns suffer from mother’s addiction – The Columbus Dispatch
The number of Ohio babies who come into the world sick and craving drugs continues to soar.
New state reports show that the rate of neonatal abstinence syndrome — the medical term for withdrawal symptoms suffered by newborns — jumped to 159 per 10,000 live births in 2015.

Mar. 27 – New pilot program – Postsmouth Daily Times
Several southern and central Ohio counties stand to benefit from a new $3.5 million pilot program established by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. The program is designed to serve families harmed by parental opioid abuse in more than a dozen southern Ohio counties, including Pike, Jackson, Athens, Clermont, Clinton, Fairfield, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Perry, Pickaway, Hocking, Ross and Vinton.

Mar. 24 – Ohio launches $3.5M program to help children of opioid addict – Becker’s Hospital Review
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the launch of a pilot program to help families damaged by parental opioid abuse on Wednesday. The START program — Sobriety, Treatment, and Reducing Trauma — will provide families dealing with parental opioid abuse access to services like intensive trauma counseling for children and drug treatment for parents.

Mar. 24 – Rx to better help children harmed by opioid scourg – Youngstown Vindicator
Good news and bad news flowed directly out of Columbus this week about the war on opiate abuse and its destructive and anguishing impact on children and families.

Mar. 23 – Some of the youngest opioid victims are curious toddlers – The Associated Press
Curious toddlers find the drugs in a mother’s purse or accidentally dropped on the floor. Sometimes a parent fails to secure the child-resistant cap on a bottle of painkillers.

Mar. 23 – Perry County taking part in START ProgramWHIZ
Perry, Fairfield and Athens counties are among fourteen Ohio counties targeted for a new $3.6m program launched by Ohio’s Attorney General. Mike DeWine announced the START program Wednesday.

Mar. 23 – Drug addiction drives spike in Ohio foster care – The Newark Advocate
In the fight against opioid addiction in Ohio, children are the “innocent, invisible victims.” So said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Wednesday when he announced a pilot program that will help children abused or neglected due to their parents’ drug use.

Mar. 23 – Children Services Director speaks out on new opioid treatment initiative – Gallipolis Daily Tribune
Gallia County Children Services Director Russ Moore was asked to represent 14 southern Ohio counties as Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Office unveiled a new test program Wednesday in Columbus seeking to help children who are harmed through their parents’ addiction to opioid substances.

Mar. 22 – 14 Ohio counties to receive $3.6M for child services programs strained by opioid epidemic –
Fourteen southern Ohio counties will receive $3.6 million to boost child welfare programs strained by the state’s opioid epidemic. The pilot program will cover trauma counseling, additional home visits and other victim services to families hurt by Ohio’s drug crisis over the next two and a half years. The program is primarily paid for with a $3.5 million grant from the state Victims of Crime Act fund.

Mar. 22 – Ohio attorney general program to help children of addicts – Huntington Herald Dispatch
Children hurt by their parents’ addictions to painkillers and heroin will get help under a pilot program announced Wednesday targeting 14 southern Ohio counties hit hard by the state’s opiate epidemic.
Mar. 22 – Kids of Ohio addicts focus of DeWine’s pilot program – Lancaster Eagle-Gazette
In the fight against opioid addiction in Ohio, children are the “innocent, invisible victims.”
So said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Wednesday when he announced a pilot program that will help children abused or neglected due to their parents’ drug use.

Mar. 22 – State money will help children victimized by drug crisis – The Columbus Dispatch
Public child-welfare agencies in more than a dozen southern Ohio counties overwhelmed by the state’s drug crisis are set to try a new intervention program that combines treatment for parents and specialized victim services for their children.

Mar. 22 – Franklin County hosts Opiate Crisis Summit to help tackle epidemic –
Shocking stats were read off at the Franklin County Opiate Crisis Summit on Wednesday. Two people die every day due to the opiate epidemic according to the Franklin County Coroner’s Office, and Ohio was listed 4th in the nation for highest deadly overdoses.

Mar. 22 – Pilot program helps families harmed by parental opioid abuse – Norwalk Reflector
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today the creation of a new pilot program that will serve families harmed by parental opioid abuse in more than a dozen southern Ohio counties.

Mar. 22 – Hamilton County commissioner requests almost $1.5 million to fight heroin epidemicWCPO
Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus testified this week before the Ohio House of Representatives Finance Committee, asking for the state to invest nearly $1.5 million to fight the county’s heroin epidemic.

Mar. 22 – Franklin County hosts Opiate Crisis Summit to help tackle epidemic –
Shocking stats were read off at the Franklin County Opiate Crisis Summit on Wednesday. Two people die every day due to the opiate epidemic according to the Franklin County Coroner’s Office, and Ohio was listed 4th in the nation for highest deadly overdoses.

Mar. 22 – Ohio attorney general program to help children of addicts – The Herald
Children hurt by their parents’ addictions to painkillers and heroin will get help under a pilot program announced Wednesday targeting 14 southern Ohio counties hit hard by the state’s opiate epidemic.

Mar. 21 – Panel discussion focuses on addiction and the family – Youngstown Vindicator
Paul Armitage, pastor of youth ministries at North-Mar Church, preceded Monday’s panel discussion on addiction and the family with a prayer in which he called drug addiction a “God-sized problem.”

Mar. 21 – Ohio County Records 82 Overdoses Over 2-Week Period –
Some Ohio can’t seem to catch a break. Trumbull County, in northeast Ohio, recorded 82 drug overdoses in just the first 15 days of March. Ten people died.

Mar. 21 – I Went to a Town Hall Meeting in a County Ravaged by Opioids. What I Saw Broke My Heart – Mother Jones
Two weeks ago, Brian Reed read on Facebook that there had been another overdose in his hometown of Warren, Ohio—this one in a supermarket parking lot. Police warned residents of the Rust Belt town to avoid the area. “Prayers to the family,” Reed wrote in the comments section of the article.

Mar. 20 – Opioid drugs claim children’s lives – Dayton Daily News
The opioid epidemic ravaging Ohio’s adult population has also claimed hundreds of thousands of children and adolescents as victims, based on a new study that found poison centers across the country receive an average of 32 calls a day about youths who have ingested prescription opioid drugs.

Mar. 15 – Ohio state children services funding ranks last in the
Ohio is dead last of all 50 states for state funding to public children services. Not only is Ohio in last place, but even if the funding was doubled, Ohio would still be last on the list.

Mar.14 – Heroin’s young victims: More children in foster care due to heroin epidemic (Includes video) – WKRC
More children are being removed from their homes in Ohio than ever before. There’s new evidence that Ohio’s heroin epidemic has a lot to do with it. Some people on the front line of child welfare want to know why the state isn’t putting more resources into helping those children.

Mar. 11 – State Tackles Opioid Epidemic – Community Common
Ohio is tackling the problem in a variety of ways that include tracking prescription pill purchases through a statewide database, advising doctors on proper dosage limits, initiating a youth drug prevention program, providing access to medication-assisted treatment and behavioral health treatment to participants in drug courts and other specialized dockets, and seeking solutions on a regional level.

Feb. 28 – Increase state child welfare spending, advocates urge –
Ohio’s county children services agencies need more state funding as they struggle to provide care for children of opioid-addicted parents, child welfare advocates say.

Feb. 28 – State custody emergencies triple in county; drug use linked – Star Beacon
Last year, Juvenile Court Judge Albert Camplese held three times as many emergency hearings in that court than in 2015 — many involving temporary child custody or placement motions on behalf of the county Children Services Board.

Feb. 22 – More foster parents, funding needed to battle heroin epidemicWCPO
For Fawn and Steve Kippenberg, it took losing their four children to the foster care system to open the couple’s eyes to the addiction they were battling.

Feb. 21 – Heroin epidemic having an impact on foster care system in Ohio –
The fallout from the heroin epidemic in Ohio is hurting more and more children. Attorney General Mike Dewine said it’s so bad, the foster care system is being overwhelmed.

Feb. 20 – State custody emergencies triple in county; drug use linked – The Star Beacon
Last year, Juvenile Court Judge Albert Camplese held three times as many emergency hearings in that court than in 2015 — many involving temporary child custody or placement motions on behalf of the county Children Services Board.

Feb. 15 – Heroin abuse causes heavy strain on foster care system (Includes video) – WLWT
Experts from child care agencies are seeing a heavier strain placed on Cincinnati-area foster care systems lately. There is mounting evidence that heroin abuse is causing much of that strain.

Feb. 15 – Greater Cincinnati heroin epidemic leaves scores of ‘silent victims’ in its wakeWCPO
In just a few weeks, Crystal Cook will achieve her most important goal: She will reclaim her children. Her six kids have been living with her mother for almost three years as Cook has struggled to beat her addiction to heroin.

Feb. 15 – The child service workers picking up the pieces of Ohio’s opioid crisisWOSU Radio
Jennifer Mills drives down a long open road, flanked by fields of yellow grass, clouds overhanging. As a child services caseworker, Mills says on most days she will drive from one end of Ross County to the other, filing paperwork at the local courthouse and to check in on her clients.

Feb. 13 – Groups speak out for silent victims of Ohio’s opioid Crisis – Public News Service
Ohio has still not escaped the clutches of the opioid epidemic and some groups say its youngest victims often are forgotten. According to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO), nearly half of children taken into the care of social service agencies in 2015 had parents struggling with addiction, and about 1 in 4 had parents abusing opioids or heroin.

Feb. 10 – Children services agencies say no additional funding in budget for kids hurt by opioid crisisWOSU Radio
In the last seven years, the number of children taken into custody by children services agencies in Ohio soared by nearly 20%, and half of those cases involve parental drug use. And the agencies charged with caring for those kids say Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget doesn’t do enough to help them.

Feb. 9 – Ohio’s children services agencies point to opioid epidemic, Say Kasich’s Budget Falls ShortWKSU
In the last seven years, the number of children taken into custody by children services agencies in Ohio soared by nearly 20 percent, and half of those cases involve parental drug use. And the agencies charged with caring for those kids say Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget doesn’t do enough to help them.

Feb. 8 – As Ohio’s opioid epidemic increases, proposed state budget keeps child protective services last in funding – News-Herald
In Gov. John Kasich’s proposed 2018-19 budget the funding would remain flat, which would leave the seventh most populous state 50th in the nation in state-level funding for child protective services.

Feb. 8 – Dem, GOP lawmakers want budget to do more to handle drug epidemic – The Columbus Dispatch
Lawmakers in both parties pressed Gov. John Kasich’s Medicaid and health directors today about why the budget does not do more to deal with the state’s drug epidemic.

Feb. 1 – It’s due to opiate epidemic – The Times-Gazette
There are currently 103 children in the Highland County foster care system, and 27 children in permanent custody of Highland County Children’s Services awaiting adoption – record-high numbers, according to Job and Family Services Director Katie Adams, who attributes the problem almost entirely to Highland County’s drug problem.

Jan. 23 – How Children Become Involved in the Ohio Opiate CrisisWKSU News
Ohio leads the nation in opiate overdose deaths, with an average of eight people dying each day last year. And thousands more are addicted, and in many cases, those addicts have families.

Jan. 19 – Children Services Agencies Say Kids, Social Workers Are Suffering In Opioid Epidemic – The Statehouse News Bureau
Ohio leads the nation in opiate overdose deaths, with an average of eight people dying each day last year. And thousands more are addicted, and in many cases, those addicts have families. On this week’s “The State of Ohio,” two children services directors share stories from the front lines of this crisis.

Jan. 18 – Opioid Crisis and Children ServicesWOSU Radio
As the opioid crisis has spread across Ohio, children are often overlooked when parents become addicted.

Jan. 15 – Heroin babies are massing on America’s horizon – Phillip Morris, The Plain Dealer
The New York Times published a story last March about a historic church in Massachusetts that reluctantly closed its bathrooms to the public after several heroin addicts overdosed in the building’s restrooms.

Jan. 13 – Stark numbers show heroin’s local grip – Dayton Daily News
An average of seven Montgomery County residents a day were treated for drug overdoses by emergency departments in 2016, and one person alone made eight trips to the ER. Eleven people were treated twice in the same day for overdoses.

Jan. 10, 2017 – How the opiate epidemic is taking a toll on Summit County Children Services –
Thanks in part to the heroin epidemic, Summit County Children Services last year saw a nearly 50-percent jump in new custody cases.

Dec. 18, 2016 – Children Services sees rise in drug-related foster cases – Athens Messenger
As Athens County and the rest of Ohio work to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic plaguing the state, children are not immune to its lasting effects.

Dec. 13 – Heroin not only reason behind big increase in child abuse cases – Cincinnati Enquirer
Magistrate Brenda Anthony is on after-hours phone duty this month in Hamilton County Juvenile Court. And she’s holding her breath.

Dec. 12 – Athens Children Services Sees Rise in Drug-Related Foster CasesWOUB
As Athens County and the rest of the state of Ohio work to combat the … Hill says Athens County Children Services is getting younger children in care …

Nov. 16 – Drug addicted parents: Caring for their suffering
While many children who become the victims of their drug addicted parents will end up in foster care, many are placed with other family members.

Nov. 10 – Growing opioid epidemic results in more grandparents raising their children’s childrenNKYTribune
An increasing number of grandparents are raising their grandchildren, largely because many of the children’s parents are addicted to heroin or prescription drugs, both increasing problems in rural areas.

Nov. 9 – A drug baby – Cleveland Jewish News
My patient is a “drug baby.” His mother is addicted to opiates, and today’s visit is part of the MOMS Project, an innovative program that cares for drug-addicted moms and their babies throughout pregnancy and beyond.

Nov. 7 – Mental health and substance use services: meeting kids where they are – Public News Service
Research indicates mental-health conditions can make kids more prone to use alcohol or drugs. As schools around Ohio work to educate students about the dangers of substance use, one district is also providing mental health services to kids.

Nov. 4 – Children, the innocent victims of the opioid epidemic in NW OhioWTVG
The number of children in foster care as a direct result of the opioid and heroin epidemic continues to grow. This is a problem that is overloading children’s services throughout all of Northwest Ohio.

Nov. 4 – Opiate crisis leads to spike in Trumbull County adoptionsWKBN
Tim Schaffner, executive director of Trumbull County Children Services, said the heroin and prescription drug epidemic are behind many kids landing in the foster care system. “We’re in such a crisis with the opiates.”

Nov. 3 – Heroin epidemic increasing need for foster, adoptive parents – West Side Leader
With November being celebrated as National Adoption Month, Summit County Children Services (SCCS) is focusing on the increasing need for foster parents and those willing to adopt.

Nov. 2 – Cincinnati conference highlights drug abuse epidemic’s effects on kids –
The country’s addictions epidemic has created a generation of children affected by their parents’ problems, a doctor who works with infants born addicted to heroin told a gathering of experts struggling with the issue Tuesday.

Oct. 30 – Butler Co. organization seeing spike in heroin-related child neglect cases (Includes video) – Fox 19
Advocates in Butler County said they’re dealing with a huge spike in child abuse and neglect cases related to drugs. Now, they’re desperately working to help the children. “I’ve had children 3, 4, 5 and 6 that can tell me how to use drugs,” CASA Volunteer Coordinator Sarah Owens said.

Oct. 27 – Heroin hitting kids: how the epidemic is changing child welfare (Includes video) – WRGT
The state calls them silent victims. More and more kids and being taken from drug-addicted families, and there’s a record number of kids in Ohio state custody right now. Foster families are virtually impossible to find.

Oct. 27 – Local woman building recovery center for drug-addicted newborns (Includes video) – WRGT
Resources for this unbelievable problem are almost non-existent. Brigid’s Path, an opiate recovery and rehab center, was created out of necessity.

Oct. 25 – Funding for Child Protective Services is lowest in the nation – News 5 Cleveland
Ohio has some of the lowest funding for child protective services in the United States. Funding dropped off during the recession and never bounced back. The repercussions of this state’s heroin epidemic are being seen in courtrooms, “Those of us that have this docket are finding that we’re being overwhelmed and it is getting harder and harder to get the cases in in a timely fashion,” said Nancy McMillen, a Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Magistrate.

Oct. 24 – AG: Heroin epidemic unlike any other – Fairborn Daily Herald
“This opiate epidemic is unlike any drug epidemic I’ve ever seen,” he said Friday before speaking at a faith leaders conference at Cedarville University. “It goes across every demographic. From teenagers to 60- and 70-year-olds. Income doesn’t matter. Race doesn’t matter. Sex doesn’t matter. We’re losing eight to 10 people a day in Ohio.” The cost of foster care in Ohio is even on the rise because of the increase in orphaned children.

Oct. 23 – Rural counties struggle to help kids amid drug crisis – Columbus Dispatch
Ohio’s county-run system of child-protective services has long been a tale of haves and have-nots, with property-rich counties such as Franklin able to generate millions of dollars in tax revenue to support a broad array of services. Small, rural counties such as Gallia, where property values are relatively low, poverty rates high and levies a tough sell, struggle under the local-funding model.

Oct. 17 – Report: Scioto County leads Ohio in drug-addicted births – Columbus Dispatch
A recent report from the Children’s Defense Fund has found that Scioto County in southern Ohio has the highest birth rate of drug-addicted babies in the state.

Oct. 13 – Number of children in foster care in Athens County expected to continue to rise this year – The Post
In 2015, Athens County Children Services had 146 children in their custody – a 7 percent increase from 2014. 2015 Annual Report.

Oct. 13 – Ohio leads first-of-Its-kind regional task force against raging foe: The opioid epidemic – Akron Legal News
The crisis arrived swiftly and with overpowering potency, leaving the patient stunned, uncertain how to escape the drug-induced fog. The patient is America and the problem is the opioid epidemic that claims hundreds of new victims everyday.

Oct. 12 – Community forum brings hundreds to discuss heroin in central Ohio – Columbus Dispatch
Her body craved the addictive, deadly drug so much that it controlled her every move… No matter how many times Vanessa Perkins promised herself that she would stop shooting heroin, she continued to do anything — including sell her body for money — to get it.

Sept. 20 – Heroin epidemic leaves growing number of kids without parents – 33 WYTV
Trumbull County Children Services says the number of kids in need of someone to take care of them is rapidly growing as the heroin epidemic worsens.

Sept. 20 – Heroin epidemic forcing more kids into foster care, state funding falling short –
Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO) are calling children of addicts the “invisible victims” of the epidemic. According to PCSAO, there …

Sept. 20 – More Ohio kids in foster care amid opioid epidemic – Associated Press
Child welfare advocates in Ohio say children have become the “invisible victims” of the opioid crisis, as more kids are put into foster care and funding for children services agencies falls short.

Sept. 19 – Parents’ heroin addictions put too many kids in foster care – Columbus Dispatch
The family homestead is remote, its long, dirt-and-gravel driveway cutting deep into the Appalachian countryside. Suzanne Valle hangs a sign on the mailbox because first-time visitors often miss the turn.

Sept. 13 – Ohio police defend their decision to show parents passed out in car from heroin overdose – Inquisitr
The Ohio city that shared graphic photos of a couple passed out in their car from a heroin overdose while the four-year-old child sits in the back seat are defending their position to show the disturbing photos following a small but vocal backlash.

Aug. 31 – Drug cases often leave kids in foster care – Mansfield News Journal
Jason Kline doesn’t feel too far removed from the parents and the children he works with as a foster care specialist at Richland County Children Services.

June 28 – Counties struggle to find funds for child welfare services during heroin epidemic – 10TV
According to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO), 13,579 children are currently in the custody of the state. It’s a nine percent …

June 2 – Legislation would provide babies addicted to opioids with more resourcesWKBN
Legislation that would better fund care for babies born addicted to drugs could be making its way to Ohio. Last week, Senator Sherrod Brown, alongside representatives from West Virginia and Maine, announced the Caring Recovery for Infants and Babies (CRIB) Act.

June 2016 – Eight-part Series on Opioid Crisis –
The series features insights from key officials on the front lines trying to mitigate the scourge for their ideas on how best to stop, contain or moderate it.