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OCAPS Board Chair Testifies on State Budget

From Gongwer News Service, Inc., March 15, 2017

Sara Junk, chair of the Ohio Coalition for Adult Protective Services, said ODJFS needs to make more of an investment into adult protective services, as many counties cannot even support one dedicated worker to the program. Often adult protective services are combined with child protective services, creating a strain on both.

"Never in my years of being involved in APS work have the referrals been so high in number, the situations our elder face been so dangerous and intricate, and the need for more workers to help investigate and work to protect our elderly been so dire as now," she said.

She said the state should raise the per-county investment from the current $30,000 to at least $65,000. She suggested an increase of $10 million per year, which would include the county increase and additional funds for staff, outreach and education.

Elderly Ohioans, she said, are also victims of the opiate crisis, not just in terms of thefts and crime from addicts, but in that many are addicts themselves.

"Understand that as you look at the opiate addiction and what you fund, please try to consider the elderly that have become victims," she said.

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