Senate Passes Blessing Bill Alleviating Foster Care Staffing Issues
March 4, 2022Louis W. Blessing, III News
COLUMBUS—State Senator Louis W. Blessing III (R-Colerain Township) this week announced the passage of Senate Bill 239 by the Ohio Senate, which would expand and align the training and education requirements for public and private foster care agencies to alleviate workforce challenges. "Adoption and foster care agencies in Ohio and across the nation, stressed by the pandemic, are struggling to find employees to carry out services," Blessing said. "This bill aims to alleviate some of the workforce woes that hinder the ability to get Ohio's children into safe homes." Currently, only social workers, counselors, therapists, students of certain behavioral science programs, and employees of public children services agencies can perform a home assessment for a foster child. The bill would expand who is eligible to perform assessments to those with bachelor's degrees in various human service fields. Senate Bill 239 would also standardize the hiring requirements for public and private foster care agencies by removing the licensure requirement for employees of private agencies and requiring the same education as public agencies. Senate Bill 239 will now be sent to the Ohio House for consideration. To watch Senator Blessing speak on the bill during session, click here.