Gov. Mike DeWine discusses his proposal to increase funding for children services. [Andy Chow | Statehouse News Bureau]

Mike DeWine Proposes Dramatic Increase To Children Services Funding

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Children services officials are celebrating a proposal from Gov. Mike DeWine that nearly doubles the amount of state funding that goes towards their cause. They say this is the first indication in a long time that the state is taking issues like foster care seriously.

DeWine wants to pump $74 million into the family and children services fund, bringing the total annual amount to $151 million.

He says this money will help connect foster care kids with homes and bring at-risk children the resources that they need. DeWine says half of Ohio’s counties don’t have local levies, so an increase in state support can go a long way.

“I’ve talked to local children services directors from counties where they didn’t have a local level and I said well how do you guys get by? And they look at me and they say ‘we don’t,’” says DeWine.

DeWine is also proposing a funding boost for other programs such as coordinated care and counseling for at-risk children, and foster family recruitment.

DeWine’s budget comes out next week, and then lawmakers will decide on it.