Children services officials are celebrating a proposal from Gov. Mike DeWine that nearly doubles the amount of state funding that goes towards their cause. They say this is the first indication in a long time that the state is taking issues like foster care seriously.
DeWine wants to pump $74 million into the family and children services fund, bringing the total annual amount to $151 million.
He says this money will help connect foster care kids with homes and bring at-risk children the resources that they need. DeWine says half of Ohio’s counties don’t have local levies, so an increase in state support can go a long way.
“I’ve talked to local children services directors from counties where they didn’t have a local level and I said, 'Well, how do you guys get by?' And they look at me and they say, ‘We don’t,'” DeWine says.
DeWine is also proposing a funding boost for other programs such as coordinated care and counseling for at-risk children, and foster family recruitment.
DeWine’s budget comes out next week, and then lawmakers will decide on it.