Ohio’s Children Services agencies say they are becoming the destination for young people with all kinds of intensive or “high-acuity” needs. A new report found nearly one in four kids entered Children Services custody in 2021 due primarily to mental illness, developmental disability or as a diversion from the juvenile justice system. KelliJo Jeffries, director of Portage County Job and Family Services, said it added a layer of stress to an already strained workforce. She explained public agencies are required to secure timely and appropriate placements for young people, but there are just not enough viable options.
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