On the same day that the federal government released stats showing Ohio has the second-highest opioid death rate in the nation, the state’s children services’ agencies are saying their system is straining under the pressure of the deadly crisis.
There are more than 15,500 kids in foster care on any given day in Ohio. And Angela Sausser with the Public Children Services Association of Ohio said that’s likely to go to more than 20,000 by 2020. “Based on our projections and where we’re going to be with children and foster care in just the next three years, there’s no way our counties can continue to primarily fund children services on their own,” Sausser said.
Sausser said even if the state doubled what it spends on children services – which now is around 10 percent of overall costs - it would still be last in the nation for funding these agencies. There are a thousand more children in foster care now than there were this time last year.