Children Services safety

As the former director of social services at Summit County Children Services and a concerned citizen, I was pleased to see the May 14 headline "Bipartisan effort aims to improve foster care." I was dismayed, however, at state Rep. Tavia Galonski's statement concerning her time as a juvenile court magistrate two years ago. She stated that due to a shortage of foster homes, kids as young as age 12 that she otherwise would have pulled from their homes were staying put, as long as the child could maintain order.

Although the number of children in custody has increased dramatically in the past several years, the safety of children must always be paramount regardless of their age. Children Services strives to maintain children safely in their own homes or to develop a safety plan that does not require custody. When that is not possible, the agency approaches the juvenile court with a request for custody of any child determined to be at imminent risk of serious harm.

Children Services also works hard to place children with relatives and kin; currently around 40 percent of children in agency custody are placed in kinship homes.

Yes, the opiate crisis has stressed many systems including the juvenile court and Children Services. Mandated practice regarding the safety of children should not change in response to stress.

Sharon Geffken, Akron

 

Prescription drug costs

On April 10, the Beacon Journal published an article “CVS loses contract with Medicaid provider” that showed after more than a year’s scrutiny CVS charged as much as $200 million more for prescription drugs than it reimbursed pharmacists. I want to commend CareSource for firing CVS Caremark for its actions on this matter. It would have been easy, as has been done in other cases in the past, to give a slap on the wrist and gone on.

In reading this article a few things come to mind that I also question. The first thing is why something this large, concerning prescription costs, wasn’t front page news in the Beacon Journal instead of the last page of the Community section? Another thing is that there must be a way for CareSource to take action to recover the overcharges from CVS Caremark for this period. I also can’t help but wonder if these actions by CVS didn’t have an impact on the private pharmacies that have now closed their doors because they no longer could compete. Lastly, now that these actions by CVS have shown how they overcharged for these drugs, how many of our pharmaceutical insurance companies will take action and recommend to their customers that they buy their prescriptions from other pharmacies?

All of these seem to be questions, but the overlying fact is we as the public, citizens, or users of prescribed drugs have been asking how do we get our prescribed drugs costs down. This hit’s smack in the face offers a possible reason drug costs are so high. The article states that “CVS pharmacy benefit managers were paid $1.4 billion a year, with CVS keeping $114 million.” Think about the facts in this article. What do you think?

Lee Carino, New Franklin

 

Time for a change

If a powerful charismatic leader lacks a strong moral compass, his religious beliefs or preferences become irrelevant. He often has no true friends or opponents, just allies and enemies. Many good people on both sides, but that too is irrelevant. I can't help but wonder how GOP leaders would react if one of their Democratic colleagues began to publicly "Swift boat" John Kerry and followed that up with announcing the cell phone number of Lindsey Graham? Perhaps the time has truly come for a qualified woman to occupy the Oval Office.

Michael J. Walzer, Akron