COLUMBUS– Senator Charleta B. Tavares will introduce legislation to establish the Ohio Family Stability Commission which will focus on strengthening Ohio families and emphasizing the well-being of children. The Family Stability Commission will be a part of Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services and will seek solutions to problems caused by family instability such as high poverty rates, academic failure, poor health status, crime, and incarceration that has long plagued urban centers across Ohio.

“The primary goals of the commission will be to address the negative impacts attributed to single parent households such out-of-wedlock births, divorce, poverty and domestic violence,” stated Senator Tavares.

 In 2011, it was reported that 949,000 children in Ohio who resided in single-parent households and 937,000 children were below 150% of the poverty level. According to the Ohio Department of Health a total of 13,663 babies were born to teen mothers and 33,444 marriages that involved minor children ended in divorce in 2010. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office stated that in 2011 alone, 74,842 calls were made related to domestic violence which resulted in 44,302 arrests and 55 fatalities.

The state of Ohio spends over $15 billion annually on public assistance services that provide for the needs of single parent households. Many of the services performed by the Department of Job and Family Services focuses on treating the disparities of multigenerational single parenting and poverty as mere symptoms.

“The commission will be focused and time-limited to address the critical needs of our families. We cannot afford to wait while our children suffer and our families break down,” stated Senator Tavares.

Over the course of four years, the commission will be tasked with analyzing and identifying comprehensive initiatives that will lead to family stability. It will then compile a report and present its findings along with a series of recommendations to the Ohio General Assembly.

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