Children Services of Scioto County Executive Director Lorra Fuller and Caseworker Lindsay Hall addressed the Portsmouth/Scioto County League of Women Voters at their September 16th meeting held at Oscar’s at the Holiday Inn in Portsmouth. They explained the needs of the over 140 children currently in their care.
“We are desperately in need of foster parents and donations,” said Fuller. “Ohio gets the least amount of state funding in the country. Even if you doubled what we get, it would still be the lowest,” she said. There is a levy from the county, but that doesn’t provide all of the funds needed to board the children. “Since 2011, we’ve lost five hundred thousand dollars in funding,” Fuller went on to say, “money that just dried up.”
When asked why the funding in Ohio is so low, Fuller expressed frustration. “Child welfare doesn’t seem to be a priority in Ohio,” she said, “and because we are county driven, the state may believe the county is providing what we need. There are people working with Governor Kasich now hoping to bring a greater awareness to the situation.”
Ms. Hall described the process of placing a child. “Children Services first tries to help the family so the child can remain in the home, which is less costly,” said Hall, “and if that is just not possible, and no relative can take the child, we place the child with a foster family.” Hall went on to explain, “We have strict guidelines for the foster homes, so we know the child will be safe, fed, and well cared for. We are also careful to make sure the per diem is spent on the needs of the child.”
The public can help by becoming foster parents or providing donations of money, food, and household supplies. “We need baby supplies, including diapers, sleepers and car seats, shelf stable food items such as peanut butter, tuna, and cereal, and cleaning supplies,” explained Hall. Some of the monetary donations go to funding events for recruiting foster parents. Gift cards are also welcome. There’s also a Foster Parent Organization that hosts a Christmas party, and gifts are always needed. Contact Children Services of Scioto County Executive Director Lorra Fuller at (740) 456-4164 for more information.
The purpose of the League of Women Voters is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government. The League of Women Voters does not promote any candidate, but does take positions on issues.