Children's services

A group of children services experts from around Ohio are putting together recommendations to improve the system. They say their mission must keep moving forward even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

A Montgomery County judge’s ruling Monday keeps hundreds of Montgomery County Children’s Services workers from returning to the picket line they began on Friday.

Judge Richard Skelton extended Friday’s temporary restraining order barring the Professional Guild of Ohio (PGO) union from continuing its strike. The county and the union must now return to the bargaining table.

Montgomery County Children’s Services workers walked out on strike for about two hours on Friday before a court ordered them back to work, effectively halting the strike for 72 hours.

Photo of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump
LYDIA TAYLOR / WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, March 15:

photo of Rep. Emilia Sykes
OHIO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Among the issues Governor Mike DeWine addressed in his state of the state address Tuesday were infant mortality and funding for children’s services. Both are concerns in Akron. WKSU spoke with Akron lawmaker Emilia Sykes.

Sykes liked the tone of the Governor’s address. She welcomed the attention he gave to issues affecting the city including a high infant mortality rate and an overburdened Children’s Services agency. It’s seen an increase in need because of the opiate epidemic. Sykes is hopeful when the Governor’s budget comes out, it will include specifics.

photo of opioid pills and bottles
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

On the same day that the federal government released stats showing Ohio has the second-highest opioid death rate in the nation, the state’s children services’ agencies are saying their system is straining under the pressure of the deadly crisis.

There are more than 15,500 kids in foster care on any given day in Ohio. And Angela Sausser with the Public Children Services Association of Ohio said that’s likely to go to more than 20,000 by 2020.