Children Services Agencies Say State Budget Lacks Sufficient Funding To Handle Greater Caseload
In the last seven years, the number of Ohio kids taken into custody by children services agencies rose by nearly 20 percent. Half of those cases involve parental drug use. Those agencies say Goveernor John Kasich's two-year state budget proposal doesn't do enough to help them. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.
Ohio’s Job and Family Services director says the budget proposes $138 million toward drug-abuse related child protection services. But Angela Sausser with the Public Children Services Association of Ohio says there was no additional money for children services agencies to deal with the opioid crisis.
“They won’t be able to hire additional workers. They may not be able to fill open positions. They may have to lay off staff. So we could find ourselves in even more of a crisis than we’re already in today.”
Children services agencies say since 2010, they’ve seen an 11% climb in the number of kids in foster care and a 17% jump in costs, and that local agencies are too financially strapped to absorb the increases without more state help.