Ohio’s foster care system leaves a lot to be desired. Kathey and Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here, we’re reporting that one thousand more Ohio children will be spending the holidays in foster care in 2017 compared with last year as the opioid crisis continues to wreak havoc and break up families in the state.
Ohio’s foster-care system is overly stuffed with a disturbing trend of abused and neglected children who only with to be adopted throughout the holidays.
According to the report by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, more than 15,500 children are in the custody of Ohio’s child-service agencies. The organization’s assistant director, Scott Britton, says that’s a 23 percent increase over 2016.
If the course remains, we’re looking at likely having 20,000 children in agency custody by the year 2020. This will explode the state’s children’s services agencies budget, and it will be the children themselves who suffer.
Across the state, more than 50% of the cases of children being removed from their parents in 2016 was due to parental drug use. Ohio has dedicated $30 million in new revenue for child services through 2019 however it’s still shadowed by the $175 million needed, if the trend persists.
It’s difficult for a child to navigate through this beleaguered foster-care system, dealing with issues that can range from simple to extreme. A better scenario is kinship care, where the child is housed with a close relative. However, that option is occasionally just as problematic with this increasing generational addiction to opioids.
Many close relatives are also addicted and even when family is found there is a great deal of stress on these grandparents or relative who are living on fixed budgets, or who are already taking care of their own children.
While the state has done good work in assisting to grow kinship care, a lot more needs to be done to overcome the general upsetting trend in the foster care system including growing funding for foster-care placement costs and the recruitment of additional foster and adoptive homes.
Our foster homes and departments can and must do better. On the Kathey and Rob Raskin Stop DHR site, you can report complaints and we encourage you to do so. They can save lives.