Columbus –Today, State Senator Edna Brown (D-Toledo) called for the state budget to include sufficient funding for Ohio’s children services, whose funds currently fall far behind national averages.

“It is embarrassing that the share of state funding for public children services in Ohio is only 5 percent when the national average is 40 percent,” said Senator Brown. “In fact, we’re so far behind that even doubling the current funding wouldn’t take us out of last place among all the states. Our kids deserve better than this.”

In terms of funding for public child protective services, Ohio sits in last place among the 50 states. Current state funding for child welfare is only $45 million. Ohio could double that amount and still rank last. These numbers stand in stark contrast to existing tax breaks and the overall budget: the state gives roughly $9 billion in tax breaks with a total budget of about $67 billion. Since 2005, Ohio Republican budgets have cut a total of 30 percent from state income taxes. That totals $3 billion less for the budget per year. 

In addition, Ohio has seen the most deaths in the nation from heroin and opiate overdoses. Half of Ohio children who are removed from their homes—and then served by children services—are removed because of drugs in the home. For more information, please consult the following report from the Public Children Services Association of Ohio:

“Since 2008, state funding for children services has dropped over 20 percent,” Senator Brown added. “Children services helps our most vulnerable who are hurt everyday by the out-of-control opiate epidemic. They need our support now more than ever.”

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