Ohio offers new resource for relatives caring for children

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP/WSAZ) -- Just in time for National Grandparents Day, Ohio is offering a new resource for grandparents and other relatives who are taking care of children.

The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services has launched a new website to help kinship caregivers find state and local resources they may need.

The state Department of Job and Family Services says some 100,000 grandparents and other relatives in Ohio are voluntarily caring for children whose parents are unable to because of substance abuse or other problems.

“As the child grows, needs clothes, clothes, shoes, shoes, clothes, shoes, food, someplace to live,” Portsmouth caregiver Vickie Gilbert said. “If a grandparent is going to take care of a child, then give the grandparents help. It's hard for a grandparent to take care of a child on a fixed income.”

The site offers an interactive map to find services, view a calendar of events and training, and a contact form for one-on-one assistance.

ODJFS is developing a statewide Kinship and Adoption Navigator Program expected to launch in 2020 to provide more personalized help.