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E-News February 2016         View this email in your browser      Invite a friend to subscribe

Wendi Turner

The Director's Corner 

 
There’s no greater feeling, no greater satisfaction, than knowing you’re making a difference.
 
Thank you for joining me for this edition of OFCA E:News.   For those who are new to OFCA, please let me tell you who OFCA is.
In 1974 a group of foster parents started a grassroots effort to improve Ohio's child protection system. Quickly realizing that to impact change families must have a "voice", OFCA incorporated as a nonprofit agency in 1975 and began addressing policies and legislation affecting families.  As foster parents around the state joined, OFCA held its first resource family conference in 1976.  Understanding that children in out of home care have multiple caregivers, OFCA began educating, advocating and giving a voice to not only foster but also adoptive, kinship, respite and primary (birth) families touched by the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. 
 
So why OFCA? 
 
OFCA believes that children need families and families best serve when their voices are heard on rules, policies and practices that impact families and children in their care. 
 
OFCA is the only statewide agency in Ohio that looks at the kaleidoscope of child protection and juvenile justice through the lenses of “all” resource and primary families.  OFCA uniquely understands the dynamics of each family structure and recognizes that building a collaborative environment between family types and the child service systems is necessary to ensure success for children impacted by out of home care.  

Seeing issues from all sides allows OFCA to help Ohio avoid putting laws, rules and practices in place that negatively impact one group over another as well as reveal opportunities that may not have been apparent when families are looked at from only one view.
 
As an educator OFCA helps families understand current and proposed policies, understand children in their care, and understand how to utilize their individual and collective strengths to become more effective parents.   As an educator OFCA helps professionals understand the unique role, challenges and strengths of different family types and broadens their view enabling them to support families and children in ways that bring about real and sustainable change.
 
We hope you will join OFCA in our journey through the next 41 years as a member, supporter or friend. 

Wendi Turner, Executive Director 

Email: wendi@ofcaonline.org 
Office: 614-222-2712
Website: www.ofcaonline.org
OFCA's 40th Annual Resource Family Conference
"Family Gives us Roots and Wings"
 
Get ready for OFCA's 40th Resource Family Conference! 

June 10-11, 2016
Double Tree Hotel, Worthington OH
More Details Coming soon

Special room rate will be available until May 20th or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes.  Reserve your room HERE

NORMALCY AND THE REASONABLE AND PRUDENT PARENT STANDARD

Ohio's “Reasonable and prudent parent” standard was created to allow foster parents more discretion in allowing youth in out of home care freedom to engage in what would be considered typical childhood activities.

Each month OFCA will publish a scenario on Normalcy
SCENARIO 2

Your 11-year-old foster daughter, Tessa, has lived with you for 6 months. She has no behavioral problems in your home and does well in school. Tessa has been invited to spend the night at her friend’s house tonight.... READ - MORE HERE

Child Protection Services Mandatory Transition to Managed Care 
What it means for you 

Coming January 2017, an estimated 14,000 youth in the custody of child protective services and youth receiving adoption assistance will be switched to a Medicaid Managed care plan. 

The Custodial agency will choose the managed care provider for children in out of home care.  Adoptive parents will be able to choose the provider for children receiving adoption subsidies. Managed care providers are Buckeye, CareSource, Molina, Paramount and United Health. 

OFCA is working with OACCA, ODJFS, PCSAO and other public and private agencies to ensure a smooth transition for families affected by the change.  Stay tuned for more details. 


Welcome OFCA's  newest Agency memberS!  
Dedicated to helping families become successful


 


An OFCA Agency membership demonstrates your support for foster, kinship, adoptive, respite and primary families in your agency, recognizes their need to stay informed of changes in child protection and to be connected with other families. Become a member TODAY.  Click HERE to enroll 
Interview with En Vision Proven Success
CEO/Founder McQuetta Williams


This month's support group spotlight is on EnVision Proven Success.  EnVision is a nonprofit support agency created to help economically or socially disadvantaged women recovering from traumatic life events heal themselves by sharing their story.


OFCA Executive Director, Wendi Turner:  Please welcome McQuetta Williams, founder and CEO of EnVision Proven Success. I was very impressed with EnVision Proven Success magazine and what it represents.  What was your motivation to start EnVision?  
 
McQuetta: Thank you for having me.  EnVision Proven Success provides knowledge and resources that empower women to improve their quality of life.  The idea for EnVision came after I experienced an illness seven years ago that caused me to lose my sight.  Though my journey to regain a sense of self, I discovered that sharing my story not only helped me recover it helped others.

Wendi:  How would you describe EnVision Proven Success?


McQuetta:  EnVision Proven Success aim is to increase community awareness that diverse women are more than just statistics.  Can you imagine disadvantaged women never having a hope of living successful lives? We can, and became impassioned to create a ‘EnVision Proven Success’ forum to share the struggles, successes of women, and to strengthen the resources that help them realize their importance.

Wendi:  Tell me about the EnVision Proven for Success Magazine

McQuetta: We publish a professionally printed magazine to give the community more time to digest and revisit what is being said and give women who are not comfortable with public speaking a healing platform to share their story and move forward in a way they previously thought not possible Their candor allows readers to understand the challenges diverse women face, and how they overcome a life cycles of obstacles. 

Wendi:  Who are the women in EnVision Proven Success?

McQuetta: The women featured in EnVision Proven Success say "We don’t look like what we've been through.”  EnVision women are everyday people in Ohio.  It is the neighbor, friend, sister, or mother from recovery, re-entry, domestic violence, human trafficking, suicide, homeless, and disability.  At EnVision we understand the barriers women in vulnerable circumstances encounter and are committed to annually print how these empowered women achieve their goals and dream.  We believe that Success starts here, although, we fall down we do get back up and deserve a second chance to play a positive role in our community.

Wendi:  I heard EnVision offers financial literacy classes.  Please tell me more

McQuetta: In partnership with Columbus-area non-profit organizations that work closely with diverse women EnVision Proven Success provides, free of charge, workshops on financial literacy, life skills, health and wellness and other services, the magazine also serves as a comprehensive guide to countless social service, government and community supports aimed at restoring and empowering those they serve.  For a nominal fee we host conferences and events around Ohio.

Wendi:  How do folks get a magazine, attend a workshop or learn more

McQuetta: The Envision Proven Success magazine and workshops are free of charge.  We only ask for a small donation to help fund the workshops and shipping cost for mailing the magazine. 

Visit the Envision Proven Success website to order a magazine, sign up for a workshop, donate, or volunteehttp://www.envisionprovensuccess.com/
 
Upcoming Event:
First Year Milestone of Success "It's My Time"
April 2, 2016, 10-1pm
Oasis Community Center
2016 Minnesota Avenue, Columbus OH 

http://www.envisionprovensuccess.com/activities.html

A Word from Children Service Practice Notes

By Jordan Institute for Families

The unique role of Foster and Kinship Parents

Foster and kinship parents have a key role in supporting a child’s successful reunification with their primary family.

In the case of parental visitation, it is often left to foster and kinship parents to contend with the complex issues surrounding their feelings toward primary parents, dealing with visit-related upheaval in the child's emotions and behavior, and scheduling and logistical challenges.  Without adequate support and education foster and kinship parents may be uncomfortable with parent-child visits and in worst cases, undermine the success of visits.

On the other hand, Foster and kinship parents who understand the purpose and process of visitation and who see themselves as part of a team can become a positive ally in the reunification process. 

The importance of foster and kinship parents understanding their role can not be understated. Social workers are critical in helping foster and kinship parents to:

  • Understand the benefits of visitation to children 
  • See how their active participation in the visitation process may help children and their families 
  • Recognize that despite being challenging, children's negative behaviors or withdrawal following visits may indicate healthy attachment and distress over separation and are not necessarily indications that the visits are harmful for the child
  • Learn ways to manage the disruption of the household routine caused by the child's reactions to visits
Ways social workers can support foster and kinship parents are to:
  • Keep the family's schedule in mind when planning visit times and locations
  • Keep the family informed of any changes
  • Be clear with foster and kinship parents about the desire to support them.
  • Connect foster and kinship parents to one another through mentoring or support groups

Be an effective Advocate You can Make a Difference
 
     

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.



https://legiscan.com/OH/legislation

State Bill Status Summary/Title Last Action
OH HB50 Engross Ward's bill of rights/Guardianship Guide/foster care-extend eligibility
[Detail][Text][Discuss]
Passage of HB 50 and SB 240, is still promising, despite experiencing a number of set backs. 
READ MORE HERE
OH SB240 Intro Foster care and adoption assistance payments-eligibility-extend age
[Detail][Text][Discuss]
2015-11-17
To Senate Finance Committee
OH HB458 Intro Kinship caregiving-foster care payments/navigator program
[Detail][Text][Discuss]
This bill has two primary goals, reinstate needed navigators for families and offer a less burdensome pathway for those who would want to be foster providers and need a home foster care licensure. This would allow families who choose so to access those desperately needed IV E funds.

OHIO ADMINISTRATIVE CODE RULE REVIEW
Be a part of the process. Submit your comments today
  Rule Comments Open Until
Chapter 5101:2-5 Child Services Agency Licensing Rules
Revocation, denial of initial certification or denial of recertification of a foster home certificate.5101:2-5-26 3/26/2016
Occupancy limitations and accessibility.5101:2-5-32 3/26/2016
Children's rights.5101:2-5-35 3/26/2016
Payment of foster caregiver training stipends; reimbursement of training allowances to recommending agencies.5101:2-5-38 3/26/2016
Chapter 5101:2-7 Foster Care.
Alternative care arrangements.5101:2-7-08 3/26/2016

Please continue to visit the Ohio Rule Review website periodically to view and respond to new postings. 
Resources, Training & Articles
 
 CHILD WELFARE NEWS
Articles Opportunity

Birth Parent Research Participants Needed
The University of Texas at Austin and The Donaldson Adoption Institute are sponsoring a new research project to study the pregnancy options counseling that birth parents received prior to placing children for adoption. If you are a birth parent who placed a child for adoption from 1989-present, please consider participating! Read More...


Study on Transracial adoptions and identity development 
Receive a $30 Amazon gift card for a 60-90 minute interview - if you Identify as someone who is black or African American who was adopted into a white household as a child and are between the ages of 18-24 years old  - See attached FLYER to participate

Training/Workshops/Conferences

Save the Date!
Ohio Family Care Association 40th Annual Resource Family Conference
"Family gives us Roots and Wings" 
   June 10-11, 2016 Columbus, OH

12th ANNUAL WELLS CONFERENCE ON ADOPTION LAW

March 10, 2016  Columbus, Ohio 
Permanency for Youth in Foster Care:  What Does it looks like?  How do we get there?
Presented by: The Family and Youth Law Center, in collaboration with Capital University Law Review   -   - REGISTER HERE

The Children are Waiting Conference 
Presented by A Child's Hope Int'l

May 21, 2016  Liberty Township Ohio
This conference will bring together organizations, professionals in many disciplines and help for those interested in taking the first step towards adoption, foster care or orphan care. Guest attend at no cost
Click HERE for more information

OACCA 19th annual conference for child and family service providers
May 23-24, 2016. Dublin Ohio
Shaping Systems of Care 2016 for children and families
CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION
 
Ohio Resource Families United for Advocacy, Education and Support

           
Our mailing address is:
1151 Bethel Road, Suite 104B, Columbus, OH 43220
www.OFCAonline.org

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