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The Impact of Foster Care On Thousands of Ohio's Children

In the United States, there are approximately 443,000 children in foster care at any given time, with the system taking in more than 690,000 children per year. 

According to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, more than 20,000 children are projected to be in foster care by 2020 — a 60 percent increase in the last five years largely due to the recent recession and further exacerbated by the opioid crisis. 


While the number of children in foster care in Ohio has increased, resources and funding have not. Despite approximately $30 million in additional funding, Ohio still ranks dead last in per-capita state funding for children services. In addition, the number of available foster homes, support service programs, and caseworkers has not kept pace with the number of children who are in need —which has far-reaching repercussions, especially for those whom age out of the system without the necessary support they need for adulthood. 


What can the state do to help curb the increase of children in the foster care system? How can the lack of support services be addressed? Once they age out of the system, how can the state best support former foster care children?  


Rep. Juanita Brent
Ohio State Representative, 12th District

Sonia Emerson
Co-Chair, A Place 4 Me Youth Leadership Board

Debora Gault
Director of Foster Care, OhioGuidestone

Kevinee Gilmore
Founder, Hashtag Fostercare

Lauren Sheperd
City Club Youth Forum Council

Nicholas Caraballo
City Club Youth Forum Council

Kynnedy Smith
City Club Youth Forum Council

Natalia Garcia is a digital producer for the education team at Ideastream Public Media.