An increasing number of children in Greater Cincinnati are being taken from their homes because their parents are drug users.
In Campbell County, Kentucky, 68 children were removed from their homes last year compared to 49 in 2008, a 39 percent increase in two years, The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s Barrett J. Brunsman reports. In the same period in Boone County, the number increased by 34 percent, from 38 to 51. In Kenton County, 346 children were taken last year compared to 286 in 2008, a 21 percent increase.
Ohio counties near Cincinnati showed larger increases and also showed that children are increasingly being removed because their parents are using heroin and other opiates. Kentucky does not track what substances parents use, and doesn’t keep statistics on the number of babies who are born addicted, but Anya Weber, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said drug or alcohol abuse by a parent or guardian is a factor in 80 percent of all cases of children who are removed.
Because of the increases, foster parents such as Mark and Denise Strimple (Enquirer photo by Carrie Cochran) are needed. “We always need more,” said Brian Gregg, a spokesman for the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services. “Not just us, the whole region. I can’t put a number on it. A lot of foster parents end up adopting children in their care, and that takes them out of the mix.” (Read more)