child services

Cuyahoga County’s Department of Child and Family Services is planning listening sessions and other changes at the agency in the wake of a four-year-old Euclid girl’s death earlier this year.

The announcement comes after the March death of Aniya Day-Garrett. The girl’s mother and mother’s boyfriend have been charged with aggravated murder in the case.

A county spokeswoman says DCFS had been called to the home in the past. Protesters gathered outside the department’s headquarters after the death. 

Ohio’s foster care system has seen a significant increase in the number of children in protective custody.  It’s one of the ripple effects of the opioid crisis.  Last year, for example, a one-year-old was revived with Narcan after overdosing on an unknown opioid in Akron.  The child and the child's 9-year-old sibling were removed from the home and placed in the custody of Summit County Children's Services.  

The local governments suing drug companies over the opioid crisis say addiction has cost them—not just in damage to people’s lives, but in dollars and cents.

It’s hard to come up with a price tag, though. Numerous different agencies handle prevention, treatment and response to overdoses. The federal government, state of Ohio, foundations and local communities are all paying for the epidemic.

While the crisis hasn’t broken local budgets in the Mahoning Valley, it has burdened them, agency officials say.

Stopping Opioids At The County Jail

Ross County Family Services case work Lori Myers
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

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.

A new government report says the number of children in the U.S. foster care system has increased for the fourth year in a row, due largely to an uptick in substance abuse by parents.

The report, issued annually by the Administration for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services, shows that 437,500 children were in foster care by the end of fiscal year 2016. A year earlier the number was 427,400.

Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

Among the many ballot measures and tax levies approved around Ohio, one in Vinton County could provide some relief from the opioid crisis.

Gabe Rosenberg

Jennifer Mills drives down a long open road, flanked by fields of yellow grass, clouds overhanging.

As a child services caseworker, Mills says on most days she will drive from one end of Ross County to the other, filing paperwork at the local courthouse and to check in on her clients. Most are parents struggling to keep their kids, and kids adjusting to living without their parents. 

Opioid Crisis and Children Services

Jan 18, 2017
frankieleon / Flickr

As the opioid crisis has spread across Ohio, children are often overlooked when parents become addicted. Child and family services in the state are having trouble keeping up with the needs of these children. Today we'll discuss how the needs of children with addicted parents are being handled, and what more can be done.

Guests: