Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is sponsoring a bill in the U.S. Senate to provide more financial help for children who become victims of the opioid crisis and the families who take those children in.
Brown says many children are entering the foster care system as more parents with a substance abuse disorder either enter treatment, go to prison, or pass away. The responsibility for those children can often fall on family members, often grandparents.
“Some of them retired, many of them close to retirement,” Brown says. “They didn’t figure in the financial responsibility here. There may be… it’s not like most of them are rich anyway, all the problems that happen when there is that injected into a family.”
Brown announced the "Family First Transition and Support Act" at the beginning of May. He says his proposal for federal funding in support services can help with things like childcare and transportation.
Similar measures are proposed in Ohio’s state budget as well.
There are nearly 16,000 kids in foster care in Ohio, and those numbers have increased 28 percent in the last five years.