Modeled after a successful program in the state of Kentucky, Ohio, this organization has just launched the START program. The Sobriety, Treatment AND Reducing Trauma program is funded with $3.5 million and will provide victim service to children who have been affected by parental drug abuse. Additionally, the program provides treatment for those parents. “Children with a parent or parents addicted to drugs tend to stay in foster care longer, and they enter foster care having experienced significant trauma. While mom and dad are high, these kids may go days without food or supervision,” stated the Ohio Attorney General.

With over 50% of children who are placed in foster care due to parental drug addiction, the positive effect on the foster care system and individual children is astronomical. In fact, this same type of program in Kentucky yielded quantifiable results:  “…resulted in about half as many children returning to foster care due to parental addiction. In addition, parents in the program logged twice the rate of full recovery.”

The full article about the implementation of the START program in Ohio may be read here.

This writer wants to know:  With proven programs like START, why isn’t our federal government funding each state to implement this program fully? Foster children are innocents who deserve all that we can give them. But if you’re looking at just finances, it makes sense too. Foster kids who age out of the system end up costing the government money, as the percentage of those who serve jail time is high. Let’s get with it, USA! Protect our children and help their parents!