Report: More Ohio children in foster care

Economic and drug problems in Seneca County and Ohio have led to more children in foster care.

According to a Public Children Services Association of Ohio report, 1,000 more Ohio children are expected to spend the holidays in foster care compared to figures from 2016.

The report states that by Christmas 2018, it could be 2,000 more than 2016 based on the trajectory of children entering custody.

Kathy Oliver, Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services director, said the county also has seen increasing figures.

She said in 2016, 15 children were in foster care, with 21 children in care this year.

According to PCSAO’s executive director, Angela Sausser, Ohio led the nation from 2002-2010 in safely reducing the number of children in out-of-home care, by 42 percent.

She states in the report that the national recession and the opioid crisis has led to more children coming into the foster care system.

Oliver agreed the opioid epidemic has been a major contributor to the issue.

“Many of these kids watched their parents overdose or die,” Sausser states in the report.

On July 1, 2013, 12,654 children were in agency custody statewide. Four years later, the number was 15,145. In October, the figure surpassed 15,500.

For more information on the report, visit www.pcsao.org/news/79.