Lucas County Children has released its annual report for the year 2018.
The report reveals that the steady upward trend of child abuse reports over the past five years finally abated in 2018, as the number of referrals and the number of alleged child victims on those reports each declined six percent. However, the number of substantiated abuse victims jumped 16 percent. The number of calls involving suspected abuse or neglect that were confirmed rose five percent from the previous year, because the referrals we investigated involved more serious situations.
The number of children entering foster care declined 20 percent, compared to 2017. That is the lowest point in four years, despite the continuing opioid epidemic. That is a direct reflection of the agency's efforts to keep more children in a family setting, when appropriate family members were available. However, substance abuse remained the most often-cited reason for LCCS to open a case with a family; heroin and opiates remained the most likely substance to be abused.
LCCS' 2018 budget was $46.7 million, up approximately $1.2 million over 2017.