TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Ohio is dead last of all 50 states for state funding to public children services. Not only is Ohio in last place, but even if the funding was doubled, Ohio would still be last on the list.
Ohio State Senator for Toledo Edna Brown is making her voice heard in Columbus, and she says, changes have to be made.
"It is embarrassing, that the share of funding coming from the state level for public children services in Ohio is only five percent, when the national average is 40 percent," Sen. Brown said.
Lucas County Children Services Director, Robin Reese says, this is unbelievable, and right now, their case load is unmanageable.
With more money, she says it would help hire more staff, provide more support for kids, pay childcare costs.
"When children come to our door, we have no choice, we have to serve them, we are a child protection agency, we can't turn abused and neglected children away," Reese said.
Reese calls Ohio the epicenter of the opioid epidemic, and these children are the silent victims.
She says when people hear about this epidemic, people think about adults.
"Did you think that, what happened to those children, did those folks have children, and so, that's our way of getting the message out", says Reese.
Reese tells me it feels good to have Senator Brown advocating for them.
Lucas County Children Services just passed a levy in November to help them get by.
But Reese is afraid without more money from the state, they'll have to go back to taxpayers.
"I don't want to be in a position where I have to ask for additional money we have a levy coming up next year, I would like to ask for a renewal, I don't want to have to ask for an increase," Reese explained..
Reese says she hopes the Governor hears what Senator Brown is saying and makes serious changes in the budget. She urges anyone who wants something to be done to call a state representative.