The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is creating a $1 million Emergency Response Fund to help agencies and caseworkers burdened by the ongoing opioid epidemic.
The department says the fund will enable it to provide more aid for children and family services agencies throughout the state.
A three-person team will offer intensive training and technical assistance in the short term. It will also help with long-term issues like recruiting and retaining caseworkers.
Child service agencies can also use the money for home study assessments for foster and adoptive parents.
State officials estimate more than 16,000 Ohio kids on average are in the custody of a child services agency. That’s a 30% increase since 2011.
A 2018 report from the Public Children Services Association of Ohio attributes that spike largely the opioid crisis.