Capri Cafaro hosts discussion on children services bill - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Capri Cafaro hosts discussion on children services bill

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WARREN, Ohio -

Senator Capri Cafaro is working to pass legislation that will help to keep better track of children with open cases of neglect or abuse. 

Cafaro hosted a roundtable discussion Tuesday at Kent State University's Trumbull Campus to talk with leaders in related fields about the measure. 

Trumbull County Mental Health and Addiction Services and Trumbull County Children Services were among the agencies represented at the meeting. 
Cafaro says the drug epidemic is playing a role in the number of cases Ohio is seeing.

"There's no question that when you have a pervasive issues of addiction, you end up with situations of child abuse and neglect," Cafaro said.

Senate Bill 234 would aim to help children services become aware of the whereabouts of children with open cases or cases closed due to loss of contact. When children move with their families from one county to another in Ohio, it's not always the case that the children services agencies know to keep tabs on their cases. 

One concept of the bill is to try to find a way to allow school districts to have limited access to the countywide database that's used by Ohio's children services agencies. Districts would then be able to upload information related to newly enrolled students into that system.

Cafaro says the legislation would use this existing resource to help stop children from falling through the cracks.

Senate Bill 234 is currently in the Ohio Senate's education committee. Cafaro hopes to have at least two hearings this year and get the legislation to the floor for a vote before she leaves office.

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