(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today recommended a $74 million annual increase for Family and Children Services in the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services for the upcoming 2020-2021 budget biennium.
“For too long our state has been last in the nation for state support of foster care. As budgets are strained by an influx of children needing care because one or more of their parents has substance use disorder, our foster care system is at a critical juncture. Ohio’s children deserve better.” said Governor DeWine. “This budget is an investment in our children. Not only are we expanding proven programs, but we are providing the resources and flexibility to local children services agencies so they can focus more on caring for children.”
This recommendation, announced at a meeting of the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, includes $90 million a year in funding to counties for the State Child Protective Allocation, the allocation that funds public children services organizations.
The biennium budget recommendation adds state resources to support county-level initiatives including $25 million in each fiscal year for Family and Children First Councils to coordinate care for multi-system youth. These young people often have intensive needs because of their life experiences and require services from other state departments.
The budget also expands initiatives Governor DeWine launched when he was the Attorney General, including nearly $4.5 million to bring Ohio START, a program aimed at serving children whose parents have substance use disorder, to an additional 15 counties, and expand 30 Days to Family, a kinship locator service that helps place children entering foster care with a family member.
Additional details will be released when Governor DeWine submits his operating budget to the General Assembly for consideration on March 15, 2019. The new state fiscal year begins on July 1.