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Ohio Cuts Funding to Foster and Foster-Adoptive Families

cutsOhio Cutting Funds to Help Foster In the latest sad story of state budgets getting desperate, Ohio is planning cuts that will directly and negatively impact the well being of foster and adoptive families across the state.

After last year’s raise from the $250 per month to $300 a month–a raise twenty years coming–the stipend for families adopting foster children will be cut to $215 per month.

This is just one example of the negative repercussions of multiple funding cuts to social services in Ohio. These kinds of stipends are made available to assist families adopting foster children with various costly special needs.  Usually, the money doesn’t come close to covering the added expenses families take on when adopting these children, but it can help to offset those costs, which in turn, gives families who might otherwise not be able to afford to adopt the encouragement they need to give a child a forever home.

For example, one adoptive mom of six has a four-year old son whose sensory disorder puts him at high risk of hurting himself.  The special padded bed he needs will cost her $7000.  She is seeking state help to buy the bed, but this year’s cuts could make it all but impossible for her.

I know that times are tough and states need to be careful.  But given the tiny percentage of government money spent on the area of social services–particularly the specific funds for foster and foster-adopt families, I can’t help but feel our priorities are all wrong if we cut these programs.  In a tough economy, it’s these already vulnerable people on the margins who become even more vulnerable and will fall through the cracks at greater rates.  Keeping existing families in tact, and helping many children in the state’s care move onto to private family care–even if a little state help follows, would be a better long-term financial decision, not to mention a more humane one.

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