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January 29, 2019News » Opportunity for Every Ohio Kid Agenda

Ohio’s new Governor Mike DeWine works toward fulfilling the plans laid out in his Opportunity for Every Ohio Kid agenda.  During his first week in office Governor DeWine took several preliminary steps toward reaching those goals through a series of executive orders and the announcement of an advisory council to make budget recommendations on evidence-based home visiting.

  • Improve access and increase the quality of early childhood education services. High-quality early childhood education is proven to improve long-term outcomes for children. Yet, only 20% of centers are high-quality rated.
  • Increase home visiting services for at-risk, first time mothers to give them the tools they need to promote child development and school readiness.
  • Provide a mental health professional in every Ohio school. Suicide has become an epidemic in our country, and some children are experiencing trauma in their home lives making school their most safe haven.
  • Reform the foster care system in Ohio. Ohio already provides the lowest state-share for foster care in the nation, and the opioid epidemic has forced many more children into Ohio’s foster care system.  The administration will initiate a top-down review of the system in Ohio, increasing the state’s investment to create a minimum standard for care and by establishing an independent ombudsman with the authority to investigate and publish findings on complaints by foster caregivers, foster children and kin.
  • Implement age-appropriate drug prevention education in K-12 Mike DeWine has introduced a comprehensive 12-point action plant to combat the drug epidemic, and several pieces of his plan include prevention.
  • Create a Director of Children’s Initiatives that will report to the Governor and coordinate children’s programs across all state agencies.

 

Executive Orders

  •  He also signed an order creating the Children’s Initiative to address issues such as kindergarten readiness, infant mortality and education gaps. He previously named LeeAnne Cornyn as director.
  • He signed another order that boosts the profile of foster care within the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. More than 15,000 children were in foster care at any given time in 2018, a 25 percent increase over 2013 due in large part to the opioid addiction crisis. Each year, about 1,000 teens emancipate out of foster care without ever landing in a permanent home.
  • DeWine signaled that prevention efforts will be central to how he addresses the opioid crisis. He ordered the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to create a senior level post to focus on prevention education for K-12 students.
  • Mike DeWine signs an executive order to set up a panel of experts on how to improve and maximize Ohio’s home visit program for at-risk pregnant women, new moms and their babies. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine plans to at least triple funding for health care home visits for at-risk pregnant women and new moms in an effort to lower Ohio’s high infant mortality rate. The group will need to make recommendations by March 1st.
  • DeWine has also established an advisory group to set priorities for his RecoveryOhio initiative, seeking to combat the drug epidemic in the state via a partnership of law enforcement, community outreach, and education. The new panel will take steps to listen to all involved in the process and taking all factors into account, including recovery, safety, and homelessness. This panel is also expected to deliver its findings before the introduction of the budget in mid-March.

 

For additional information visit Voices for Ohio’s Children

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