forced relinquishment | WOSU Radio

forced relinquishment

graduating students
Google Creative Commons

With just over a week to go before the state’s two year budget must be signed into law, the Ohio Senate will vote on its version Thursday. The vote will occur after some last-minute changes to that spending plan, including new high school graduation requirements and moving Ohio's 2020 presidential primary election back one week.

The Ohio Senate’s budget plan adds more money to the fund that helps children who are dealing with severe mental and developmental issues while shifting policy to help parents maintain custody of their children in the process.

Mark Butler's son Andrew needed to be placed in a residential mental health treatment center, but insurance wouldn't pay.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

Parents who have surrendered custody of their children to youth services are telling Ohio Senators about their heart-wrenching decisions. Because of limited resources and lack of insurance coverage, these families can no longer afford treatment for a range of mental health and developmental issues.

Julie Callahan shows a picture of her family, including her son Jackson, who is non-verbal autistic. She says relinquishing custody was the last option left.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

In Ohio, parents of children with severe mental health issues sometimes face an excruciating decision: To get their child costly care, they must sign over custody to the state. Now those parents are fighting for change, and a chunk of Gov. Mike Dewine’s budget.