Ohio has nearly 16,000 children in the custody of county children’s services agencies. Gov. Mike DeWine wants to increase the number of foster care families available to meet that need and has a plan to recruit more foster parents.
The state has a new foster care and adoption website that gives Ohioans information on requirements and responsibilities for would-be foster parents. Bret Crow with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says it is part of a larger public awareness campaign.
“That involves display ads, it involves social media hits, it involves keyword searches," Crow says.
The website will help coordinate recruitment and retention efforts at a statewide level, which before now have been handled piecemeal at the local level.
The number of kids in foster care has soared 28 percent in the last five years, in nearly all cases because of the opioid crisis.
One of DeWine’s first executive orders was to elevate foster care priorities within the job and family services agency.