The Ohio House has unanimously passed a bill to offer some flexibility in state training requirements for people who want to become foster parents. This comes as the system struggles with more kids than ever and not enough foster homes.
There are 16,000 kids in foster care and 7,500 licensed foster homes. The number of kids has grown 13 percent over two years, while the number of foster homes has grown 4 percent. Angela Sausser with the Public Children Services Association of Ohio said this bill will speed up the process of becoming a foster parent by loosening the very structured requirements.
“[It will] make the training less cumbersome, make it more flexible, and allow the state to adjust it as needed," Sausser said.
Sausser said Ohio has one of the nation’s highest levels of required training hours, and it can take up to nine months to become a licensed foster parent. Sausser’s group has estimated Ohio could have 20,000 kids in foster care by next year.