In response to Gov. Mike DeWine’s announcement he is proposing an additional $74 million to children’s services and the child protection system, the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) applauds the governor for proposing to nearly double the funding to these vital county services that protect children in Ohio’s counties.

One of the most difficult tasks facing counties is the administration of programs and services for children who are abused or neglected. Recently, Ohio has seen an increase in opiate use that has reached epidemic proportions, spanning communities of every size and demographic. Ohio is projected to have nearly 19,000 children in foster care by 2020. Placement costs have increased by 34 percent in the last five years and are expected to increase $44 million by 2020.

“Every child protection system throughout the state is overwhelmed by children left in the wake of the opiate epidemic, which will have long-term ramifications. More foster families need to be recruited and additional support must be given to both foster and kinship families,” said CCAO President Julie Ehemann. “We appreciate that the governor recognizes the state needs to help its county partners fund this crucial system that supports children across the state in times of need.”

The County Commissioners Association of Ohio advances effective county government for Ohio through legislative advocacy, education and training, technical assistance and research, quality enterprise service programs, and greater citizen awareness and understanding of county government.