Kids who are caught in the heroin crossfire

Local kids caught in the heroin crossfire

They are the secondary victims, caught in the grip of the heroin epidemic -- kids -- whose parents are addicted.
Kids who need foster families.

The problem is so great in Portage County, that now, it's an all-out push to find foster families for them anywhere in Ohio.

It’s no fault of their own that they are being taken out of their homes and placed in foster care at a pace to triple last year’s numbers.

The people who advocate for them at Portage County Children’s Services say this is an epidemic with kids caught in the middle and now it's personal.

“We don't see an end coming. For the first time in my career, I have multiple kids in my custody that both parents are gone, that they have overdosed," says Tammy Devine, Portage County Children’s Services Administrator.

"In 30 years doing this, I've never seen anything like it," said Devine.

"We're getting phone calls by police saying come get the kids! come get the kids!. There's no time for our usual prevention to try to keep the kids at home with the parents. The parents are overdosing everywhere, in homes, in cars, in public places," says Devine.

Instead of 10 or so kids a month, Portage County is now in the next-to-impossible position of placing an average of 20-30 kids a month in foster care, Devine says, mostly because of the heroin epidemic.

Consider this. In all of 2016, Portage County removed a total of 163 kids from their homes for foster care.

Compare that to 111 kids already this year who need the solid foundation of a good home.

"Not only are parents using, their relatives are using and it's harder and harder for us to find a place for these kids," says Devine.

If you want to consider being a part of the solution, the good stuff that comes out of the bad, Devine is asking wherever you live, to consider being a foster parent to kids from Portage County.

Check out the Portage County Job and Family Services Facebook page.

 

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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