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Ohio Report On Child Abuse: Fix Foster Care, Boost Family Support

February 12, 2007


With last summer's death of a child in foster care still in the headlines, a new report calls for major reforms in Ohio's efforts to protect kids from abuse and neglect. The report calls for better licensing and other safeguards for foster parents. But Greg Kapcar with the Public Children Services Association of Ohio says it goes way beyond the foster care system.

"Fixing foster care is really only half the job. We really need to be bold as a state when it comes to investing in safe, permanent families for our children."

Foster care is a vital part of the child protection system, but the ideal is to get kids out of the foster care system and into a family, with parents, other relatives, or adoptive parents. And to protect kids, the report calls for public investments. Kapcar believes state and federal funds should be used not just for foster services and placement, but also to help birth parents and relatives provide a safe family environment.

"Be creative and aggressive about investing in mental health services, supportive services, to help children and families, to find permanent homes for kids in Ohio, and to keep families together."

Kapcar says the state can tackle other problems that families in the child welfare system often struggle with, including poverty, affordable housing, health care and food costs.

You can find the report online at www.pcsao.org.

Rob Ferrett/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - OH