Opioid Epidemic Strains Ohio’s Foster Care System

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A dozen children died across Ohio between 2014 and 2018 from abuse or neglect after children who had been removed from their homes were returned to their parents or caregivers. The deaths have renewed criticism of the state’s patchwork system of child welfare agencies that educators, foster parents and elected officials say operate with little oversight or accountability and prioritize family reunification above all else. Some of the deaths reflect the devastating consequences of an opioid epidemic that has reshaped everything from how children are raised to how they are being taught in school.

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