As Ohio prepares for DeWine to swear in, the foster care system is already asking for help.
Governor-elect Mike DeWine did a press conference on Tuesday to address key initiatives he wants his administration to tackle. Those include child services, especially foster care program.
“I made a commitment during the campaign that we would increase the amount of state money that goes to children services,” DeWine explained. “We are last in the amount of money that the state puts into local child welfare agencies.”
According to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, a 28 percent increase in children entering the program within the last 5 years. One big factor to this rise is the opiate crisis.
“Because of how significant that addiction is, it’s created significant trauma on our children,” Angela Sausser, Executive Director of the organization explained. “They are coming into our system with a lot of challenging needs and they may not be able to go to a foster family right away. They may need to go to a mental health facility to stabilize their behaviors before they can go to a foster family. So, that has impacted the cost in our system as well.”
Sausser says her organization plans to ask that at least $30 million be added to the budget for foster care needs. This will help pay staff salaries and room and board.