YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – As part of the new Ohio budget, county children service agencies are getting a $118 million per year boost.
That includes a boost for Mahoning County Children Services.
A day after the state approved the funding increase, Rep. Don Manning followed a Mahoning County caseworker as she visited with Children Services’ clients.
“This is something that transcends party lines. It’s not a Republican thing. It’s not a Democrat thing,” he said. “I think everyone wants to see us in the best place possible, and our youth are a big piece of that puzzle.”
Manning said preventing childhood traumas keeps kids out of trouble when they get older.
Mahoning Children Services Director Randy Muth says the extra money is desperately needed.
“Since the 1970s, Ohio has ranked 50th in the nation in state dollars devoted to child welfare. Last year, you could have doubled what Ohio contributed to the child welfare system and we would have still been in 50th,” Muth said.
The extra money from the state could mean a boost in parent education and prevention services.
Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Green said that could go a long way toward keeping kids safe.
“Law enforcement and Children Services can’t be everywhere, so any time we can better educate people of the signs of abuse, the things to look for, and if you’re worried about saying something, don’t be,” he said.
The counties will find out how much money they’ll get from the state increase in the coming weeks.