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State Lawmakers Work to Solve Problem with Youth Services Laws

photo of Deann Sanders

Youth services advocates say there’s a big problem in the state - parents who are desperate to get expensive or hard-to-get support for their children end up giving the kids over to the state to get them the help they need. A group of lawmakers say they want to fix that issue. 

The bipartisan group of Ohio Senators and Representatives put out a list of ways to cut down on the need for parents to release custody of their children by improving access to aid and streamlining services.

This is welcome news for parents like Deann Sanders of central Ohio, who had to relinquish custody of her son so he could receive mental health services.

“I don’t think any parent would ever want to have to give up custody of their child especially for an illness, there is no neglect, there isn’t a reason other than the funding source isn’t there, available otherwise,” he said.

The lawmakers said they can’t just straight-up change the law so parents can get aid without releasing custody because there are still children who may be victims of neglect or abuse.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.