Sunday, July 25, 2021


Supporters of the U.S. Postal Service are pressing to affirm its commitment to six-day-a-week delivery for letters and packages, and Congress looks to tackle "forever chemicals."


A bipartisan infrastructure bill could be released today; Speaker Pelosi taps another Republican for the January 6th panel; and a "Selma-style" march for voting rights heads for Austin, Texas.

Foster Care in Ohio: "It Made Me Who I Am Today"


Thursday, May 9, 2019   

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jerica Estle-Grooms had a drastically different childhood than most children in Ohio. And as a young adult, the former foster child now is speaking out about the needs of children in foster care.

Estle-Grooms says she entered her first foster home at the age of 12, after losing both her parents to drug overdoses.

"So many kids out there witness abuse and neglect, and having foster homes gets kids them away from that and allows kids to be independent," she states.

After emancipating from care at age 18, Estle-Grooms worked full-time to put herself through college. She says she was fortunate to have been taken in by a friend's family, which still supports and encourages her today, as do her caseworkers.

"I've been through foster care and I've lived it day in, day out,” she states. “It made me who I am today. But I honestly, couldn't have done it without the support of Children's Services."

Estle-Grooms recently shared her story with an Ohio House committee, and spoke to the need to better support the foster-care system.

Lawmakers must have been listening, as $60 million for child protection was added in the House version of the budget. It doubles the current allocation for county children's services.

In Ohio, 3,500 more children are in the custody of county agencies than five years ago. Jill Wright, director of Adams County Children Services, explains this is partly the result of the opioid-abuse crisis.

"I've worked here 27 years,” she relates. “The number of children entering in to foster care is tremendous. The kids are having more complex trauma. We're dealing with children with mental-health issues, child abuse and neglect issues, unruly delinquent issues."

Wright says finding and paying for placements for children with such extensive needs is difficult. She adds that burgeoning caseloads are straining staff, whose work includes home visits with the children in their care.

"A lot of our children are placed in other counties, so that's a full day of travel,” she points out. “Then you have to make contact with the biological family – mother, father, anybody else involved with the child.

“That's just not one home visit. That could be five or six to try to get this family back together."

The Ohio House is expected to vote on the budget in the next couple of weeks, and it then heads to the Senate for consideration.

get more stories like this via email

While most electricity in Utah is generated by gas or coal-powered plants, one regional utility is considering the nuclear option. (brianguest/Adobe Stock)


SALT LAKE CITY -- In the push toward carbon-free energy production, some cities in Utah and nearby states are considering a new type of nuclear …

Health and Wellness

TAMPA, Fla. -- Move United's USA Wheelchair Football League is expanding from four cities to nine, including Tampa, to give athletes with …


CRAIG, Colo. -- What would it look like if one in four households in the country was solar-powered? A new report from the "30 Million Solar Homes" …

According to the American Heart Association, one in five cardiac arrests occurs in public, such as on a job site. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

DES MOINES, Iowa -- People across the Midwest, including Iowans, have dealt with a series of heat waves this summer. Health experts say hotter …

Social Issues

NEW YORK -- Over 10,000 New York and New Jersey front-line airport workers will get health insurance as part of new contract negotiations that come at…

More than 400 laws have been introduced this year that would restrict voting rights across the country. (Lakshmiprasad/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

INDIANAPOLIS -- Voting-rights advocates applaud this week's federal appeals-court decision to prevent Indiana from purging some voters from the rolls …


BOSTON -- A new survey finds widespread public support up and down the East Coast for protecting right whales from getting tangled up in fishing gear…


CARSON CITY, Nev. - A bill just introduced in the U.S, Senate would help thousands of species stay off the Endangered Species List - including …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021