County’s foster families get a raise

LISBON – Columbiana County commissioners have increased the daily payments made to people who serve as temporary foster parents for youths from troubled homes.

The increase was recommended by Eileen Dray-Bardon, director of the county Department of Job and Family Services, who said foster parents currently receive $11 or $16 a day per child, depending on the age of the child. Commissioners agreed at their meeting this week to increase it to $20 per day across the board.

She noted it was last increased 22 years ago, and the federal government reimburses the JFS 54 cents for every $1 spent on foster care. “So we’re well able to afford this, and it’s past due,” she said.

There are 23 families that currently serve as temporary foster parents for up to two years before a decision is made on whether the child should be permanently placed with someone.

The daily fee currently paid parents is the 87th lowest among the 88 counties in Ohio, she said.

In other action, commissioners took care of routine business by renewing an agreement with the Ohio Development Services Agency for administration of the county’s housing revolving loan fund (RLF) program.

The county has received federal funding under a program that loans money for home purchases and/or repairs to income eligible residents, with the recipients required to live in the homes for at least 10 years. If they move before then and the loan remains unpaid, the remainder of what is owed must be paid into the RLF.

Money in the RLF is then used to help make more loans or serve as an advance on home purchases until the federal money is received. The RLF currently has a balance of $13,168.