Ohio House Passes Boyd-sponsored Bill To Invest $5 Million In Kinship Care
HB 126 connects families to resources and keeps kids out of foster care
June 27, 2018
[ Janine R. Boyd Home | Janine R. Boyd Press ]

The Ohio House of Representatives today unanimously passed House Bill (HB) 126, sponsored by state Reps. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) and Jeff Rezabek (R-Dayton). HB 126 would create a statewide system of kinship navigators that will help keep families together and provide needed assistance for Ohio’s most vulnerable populations.

“In this climate of addiction crisis, it is necessary to create a system where all kinship caregivers in Ohio have equitable access to vital services, as they step up to care for these children who are facing some of the most traumatic, unpredictable and stressful moments of their lives,” said Rep. Janine Boyd. “We can do and must do better for our most vulnerable populations.”   

Kinship caregivers are family members other than a parent who are taking care of a child. More often than not, the parents of these children are facing incarceration, addiction and substance abuse, and even death.

Navigators will assist kinship caregivers who are seeking information regarding, or assistance obtaining, services and benefits available at the state and local levels that address the needs of those caregivers residing in each county. Kinship navigators will connect families to resources like publicly funded childcare, respite care, training for special needs children, legal services, as well as access to a toll-free number for additional assistance needed to keep kids with their families and out of foster care.

Under HB 126, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services will have one year to create a system of navigator regions. There may be as few as five and up to 12 navigator regions. In order to have balanced regions, the Department of Jobs and Family Services will adhere to a few criteria: population, estimated number of kinship caregiver, available expertise and anything else that creates an equitable and effective regional system of kinship navigators.

The House appropriated $5 million to start this program, and it is anticipated that the state will be able to apply for recently available federal Title IV E funds, which would match Ohio’s investment.

HB 126 will now go to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

Featured Posts

State Lawmakers Announce Ohio Black Maternal Health Caucus


State Reps. Janine R. Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) and Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) today announced the creation of Ohio’s first ever Black Maternal Health Caucus, a group of state lawmakers dedicated to improve black maternal health outcomes across the state.


Rep. Boyd Rejects GOP Rush To Pass Near-total Abortion Ban In Ohio


State Rep. Janine R. Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights), Ranking Member of the House Health Committee, sent a letter Wednesday to the committee chairman demanding more hearings on Senate Bill (SB) 23, the six-week abortion ban, which was rushed through committee this week during the busiest part of the state budget season. Boyd also seeks explanations of last-minute changes in the latest version of the bill. She issued the following statement: 


Rep. Boyd To Lead House Democrats On Health Committee


State Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) Friday was named Ranking Member of the House Health Committee, the highest-ranking Democrat on the panel.


Boyd Announces Aisha's Law To Protect Domestic Violence Victims


State Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) held a press conference at the Ohio Statehouse today to announce Aisha’s Law, a bill to change how law enforcement agencies respond to domestic violence cases. The bill is named for Aisha Fraser, a former Shaker Heights sixth-grade teacher who was brutally murdered by her ex-husband, former state Rep. Lance Mason, in Nov. 2018 following years of domestic abuse.