A report released last week says that children services in Ohio “remains in severe crisis.”
The problem stems from the opioid epidemic. An increasingly large number of parents can no longer care for their kids.
The report was released by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio. It shows the number of children being removed from homes, and placed in the care of children services agencies, has increased by 28-percent statewide in five years.
The opioid epidemic has created what the association describes as a Tsunami effect on foster care, caseloads and on the chances of children finding permanent homes.
“I mean it’s definitely a significant crisis that we’re going through,” said Elizabeth Schmid of Mahoning County Children’s Services. “Just even over the past few days we’ve gotten calls about two parents who have died. So it’s weekly that we’re getting those traumatic phone calls that workers are having to tell kids that their parents have passed away or having to go through that whole situation with a child. Yeah, it’s definitely a crisis.”
The situation is also having an adverse effect on people who work at children service agencies across Ohio. One statistic in the statewide report shows that in 2016 and 2017, one out of every four case workers quit.