More state support needed for children, seniors
Posted March 19, 2017 in Press Releases
Policy Matters calls for funding increases in 2018-2019 budget
All Ohio communities face new challenges with an aging population and increased children in the child protective system. More seniors need care today than ever before. The drug epidemic is destroying families and more children are being placed in protective custody.
But according to two Policy Matters Ohio Budget Bites, Governor Kasich's 2018-2019 budget continues to underfund children's services and senior services - when Ohio needs them most. Years of dwindling state support have left communities far short of resources needed to meet urgent and growing needs.
Ohio’s state support for children’s services is the lowest in the nation. State funding for children's services dropped by 15 percent since 2010 while the number of children in the system grew by more than 18 percent. Ohio's senior population will grow by 50 percent between 2000 and 2020, but over the same period, policymakers will halve the Senior Community Services Block Grant - the main source of funding for services such as home-delivered meals and transportation. At present, the state provides just $30,000 per county to protect vulnerable seniors from harm and abuse.
"In this budget, The General Assembly again falls far short of providing a fair share of funding for children's services and senior services," said Budget Bite author and Policy Matters Ohio Senior Project Director Wendy Patton. "We’ve fallen so far behind that by now, annual funding for children's services needs to be increased by $30 million, funding for the Senior Community Block Grant should be doubled, and Adult Protective Services funds need to be raised to $15 million a year."
Policy Matters Ohio is a nonprofit, nonpartisan state policy research institute with offices in Cleveland and Columbus.