Thursday, May 27, 2004

Commission backs custody policy



By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Hamilton County commissioners passed a policy Wednesday that says parents should not have to give up custody to get costly, intensive mental-health treatment for their children.

Left unanswered, however, is how such treatment might be paid for without the government taking custody.

"The first step is to say what our policy is," Commissioner Todd Portune said. "The next step is: How many potential cases are there, what is the cost of dealing with that and what are the limitations, if any?"

The problem was revealed in an Enquirer series that found up to 1,800 Ohio families statewide might have been forced to make such a choice.

However, an investigation of seven possible instances in Hamilton County found that custody was not surrendered solely to obtain treatment in any of them, County Job and Family Service Director Suzanne Burke told the commissioners Wednesday.

E-mail candrews@enquirer.com




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