Warren County has agreed to pay $100,000 and allow the adoptive families of 82 children with special needs a chance to get more financial aid as part of a class-action settlement from a 2018 lawsuit that accused the county of lying to families and underpaying them.
“In my mind, I knew I was doing the right thing,” Callahan said of her decision to turn to Franklin County Children Services last fall. “In my heart, it was the worst.”
Senator Sherrod Brown is pushing legislation to help families who are raising children due to the addiction crisis. According to Lucas County Children Services, nearly half of the kids in its custody are being taken care of by relatives. "We're trying to get the federal government and state government to step in to help these families not to raise the children but to help these families," said Brown.
Thanks to its clear mission and ties to The Wendy's Co., the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has always had a national presence. Now, however, it's gone from talk to action. "We moved from an awareness organization, although we still do that, to an organization that directly works to get these children out of foster care and into adoptive homes," says President and CEO Rita Soronen.
A legislative proposal would allow Ohio parents to avoid an often heart-breaking decision: giving up custody of troubled children so they can receive desperately needed and expensive services.
A legislative proposal would allow Ohio parents to avoid an often heart-breaking decision: giving up custody of troubled children so they can receive desperately needed and expensive services. The amendment to Ohio's two-year budget is aimed at so-called "multisystem youths," those needing help from service agencies that cover disabilities, child welfare and mental health.
State and local officials have long said that no parent should have to make such a heart-wrenching choice. But the past few years of attempts to set aside funds that can be tapped to prevent custody relinquishment haven’t produced much in the way of additional support for families.
Each day that passes, more and more children from our community are being placed in foster care. Many of them come from families that are living in poverty and battling opiate addiction. These factors have compounded in recent years, leading to record numbers of children entering Ohio’s foster care system.
Leslie Ridenbaugh grew up knowing the importance of children services as her mother, Mindy Fehrman, was executive director of Coshocton County Job and Family Services. The Ridenbaughs would encourage anyone to consider being a foster or adoptive family, but to know it's not easy and very emotional.
The initiative is overseen by the Ohio Department of Youth Services. Wayne County is one of 14 counties in Ohio and one of almost 300 active JDAI sites in 39 states and the District of Columbia.