More funding needed to train foster parents in opiate era


NILES — Shannon Harnichar of the non-profit treatment foster-care agency Homes For Kids told two state representatives and one state senator from Trumbull County Monday the need is great for funding to train foster parents so they can take care of children whose parents are addicted to opiates.

"We used to see ... a lot of teenagers. Now you are seeing 4,5,6, 7-year-olds coming to us in sibling groups that have suffered so much trauma,' she said.

They have intense mental health needs. They are delayed in school. They have health issues due to neglect, and our foster parents are struggling to meet these needs, so we need to look at training our foster parents differently and giving them additional supports," she said.

Harnichar was one of several officials with local agencies that work with children who addressed state representatives Michael O'Brien and Glenn Holmes and state Sen. Sean O'Brien at a Homes For Kids meeting room here.

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