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Ohio’s Opioid Epidemic and Need For Foster Parents

“There is a growing chasm between the number of available foster families and the increasing number of children who enter the child welfare system because one or both of their parents are drug addicts…Today I want to issue a call to Ohioans who may be interested in being a foster parent. I ask them to make that leap and open their home to a kid or kids who could use a stable, loving home.”

–Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine

On August 24th 2017, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine held a press conference to talk about the growing need for foster families in Ohio and new initiatives aimed at attracting individuals to become licensed foster parents.  Ohio has been one of the hardest hit by the recent Opioid epidemic; having the nation’s highest rate of deadly heroin overdoses and the child welfare system is feeling it. According to Franklin County Children Services, there are 3,000 more children in the child welfare system than there were seven years ago when the opioid crisis began. Currently in Ohio there are more than 15,000 kids in the child welfare system, but only 7,200 foster families taking them in.  Families are needed for all age children and they are needed now!

New initiatives have been put into place in hopes more Ohioans will open their homes. These include:

1.)A new foster home recruitment website . This website includes information on the requirements for becoming foster parents and a directory of private foster care agencies in Ohio where individuals can become licensed.

2.)A 1 million dollar grant that was awarded to the Waiting Children Fund to implement kinship family and foster family recruitment in ten Ohio counties.

3.)Required BCII background checks being expedited to a 24 hour turnaround time for foster parent applicants.

 

Are you able to meet Ohio’s growing need and take a child or children into your home? If you are interested in becoming a foster parent you can contact us at: kbanks@umchohio.org or 614-559-2800.

Want to learn more? Listen to the press conference in full here.