COLUMBUS (WCMH) — On Monday, the Children Services Transformation Advisory Council met in virtual workgroups and is one step closer to a final recommendation on Ohio’s foster care system.
“There are families and children suffering and it’s going to take everybody to step in and do their part,” said Teri DeVoe, a foster and adoptive parent.
The council was created by Gov. Mike DeWine almost a year ago. The members of the council include judges, foster parents, and caseworkers and were tasked with reviewing the state’s child services system. This came when Ohio’s foster care system had been overrun due to the opioid epidemic. Today, more than 15,000 children are in the state’s care.
“I think it’s important that we all see the perspective from everybody’s focus and not just our own section of the world,” said DeVoe.
The advisory council covered the judicial system on Monday by trying to find ways to make it more accessible to the children and their families if they end up there. At the same time, the members said they hope to find ways to fix the system and prevent people from going into it.
“We have to do a better job to ensure that we have the right services and resources available to parents further upstream so that they don’t fall deeper into whatever their challenges or barriers are,” said Kristi Burre, director of the Office of Child Welfare Transformation.
The advisory council will hold one final meeting in October and believes its recommendations to the state will be done by November.