E-News November  2015         View this email in your browser      Invite a friend to subscribe

Wendi Turner

The Director's Corner 

Every child needs a family.  A  sense of belonging and stability that only a permanent family can give. This year, National Adoption Month focuses on the adoption of older youth currently in foster care—because “We Never Outgrow the Need for Family." 
OFCA urges everyone that reads this e-news be mindful of the extraordinary opportunity we each have to change a child's life for the better.  Whether it is through adoption or support of adoptive or other permanent family arrangements we can work together to achieve a brighter future for children.  
Enjoy the Month of November and have a Happy Thanksgiving ! 
Wendi Turner, Executive Director 

Office: 614-222-2712

According to the FY 2014  Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System Report (AFCARS), on September 20, 2014 nationally, there were 415,000 children and youth in foster care and 108,000 of these children/youth were waiting to be adopted. According to AdoptUSKids, 41% of the approximately 5,360 youth needing a family are between 15-18 years old.

“Every child deserves a family that will cherish them.  Yet older youth and teens often wait longer for an adoptive home.  No matter what their age, youth need the love and stability that a family can offer,” noted Rafael López, Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families.  Read More Here

Watch the film The Road to Adoption and Foster Care on the right and hear real children in foster care share their story. (Flash – 1:45 hr.).

 Target population is youth 12 and older who have been in care 17 months or longer.

In 2014, six Oho counties volunteered to participate in an exciting pilot project known as Youth-Centered Permanency Roundtables (PRTs), led by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) and Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO) with funding from Casey Family Programs.  

The PRT takes a comprehensive look at the child’s situation and seeking to bust barriers in order to attain legal permanency and increase permanent connections for the child. The 3 goals of each PRT are to: (1) expedite legal permanency for the child, (2) stimulate thinking and learning about ways to accelerate permanency, and (3) identify and address systemic barriers to timely permanency.
Read More Here  -- To Read Report  - Click Here.




Family engagement is recognized as a foundation for success across the human services and education fields. The Family Engagement Inventory,(FEI) is designed to assist professionals in child welfare, juvenile justice, behavioral health, early education, and education to learn how family engagement is defined and implemented across these fields of practice.

When developing FEI  literature from each discipline was reviewed to identify the desired outcomes of family engagement. Three primary benefits were common across all five disciplines (Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, Behavioral Health, Education, and Early Childhood Education):

1) build trust with families
2) promote family buy-in for participation in identified interventions
3) promote/improve well-being outcomes.

Read the full synthesis on the benefits of the Family Engagement Inventory, and visit the website to access outcomes by the five specific domains.

Ohio Adoption Planning Group (OAPG)

Formed in 1981, OAPG is a statewide consortium of public and private partners from over fifty adoption agencies as well as birth and adoptive parents. 

The group meets bi-monthly in Columbus Ohio to collaborate on issues concerning the permanency of Ohio’s children, youth and their families.

"Our mission is to provide a forum for discussion and recommendations to address the issues surrounding adoption and child welfare in Ohio".

Visit OAPG Facebook page for more inforamtion


Adoption Network Cleveland is a membership-based organization that supports anyone touched by adoption – adoptees, birthparents, adoptive parents, foster youth and alumni, foster parents and professionals.

“We believe that adoption is a lifelong journey, and we are here to support you every step of the way before, during and after adoption”.

Adoption Network Cleveland  offers four monthly open-discussion support meetings in northeast Ohio,  four meetings are also held monthly in other Ohio regions, and a virtual meeting is held monthly via webcam.

The meetings provide a safe place for anyone interested in better understanding adoption and/or share their feelings and experiences. To learn more about these and other resources, go to  See calendar for events dates, special panel discussions, and topic focused discussions. 

Coalition of Adoptive Families (COFAF)

 The Coalition of Adoptive Families (COFAF) was formed to strengthen family ties through increasing awareness around the unique experience of being an adoptive family.

COFAF achieves this goal through providing education and resources, along with the support of adoptive parents, primary caregivers, and adoptees.  See COFAF website for more information 
A Word from the OFCA Board
                    By Maureen Heffernan, LISW
National Adoption Month 
November is the month traditionally set aside to acknowledge and honor those touched by adoption, especially adoptive families and the children and youth who are currently waiting for their own adoptive family.  To make it official, click here to read the Presidential Proclamation for National Adoption Month 2015 and here for Ohio Governor Kasich’s Resolution on Adoption Recognition and Recruitment Month 2015. 
To mark the month, the federal Children’s Bureau makes many resources available on its Child Welfare Information Gateway website.  Visit the site now to look through the many National Adoption Month stories, tips, videos and informational articles that are available.  Here are some samples of what will find:
  • If you are just considering the idea of adoption, you may want to explore the resources for prospective adoptive parents.  This section of the website includes materials to help you think through the decision to adopt, learn from stories of current adoptive families and identify ways to find support and assistance after adopting.
  • For current adoptive families, there is another Child Welfare Information Gateway web section that provides information related to the experience of families who have already adopted. This section has information about parenting kids at different ages and stages after adoption, as well as many other helpful resources.
  • You can also learn about children and teens waiting for adoption in Ohio and nationally by following the links to the AdoptUSKids  website

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.

New!  Ohio Fostering Connections Bill Introduced In Senate

The Ohio Fostering Connections Act is one step closer to reality, thanks to a bill introduced yesterday by Sen. John Eklund (R - Munson Township).

Like House Bill 50, Senate Bill 240 will extend supports and services to foster youth through age 21, helping them prepare for college or a career, as well as providing a wide array of transitional housing programs including apartment programs, campus housing, and foster and host homes.  READ MORE HERE

State Bill Summary/Title
OH SB30 Ohio Family Stability Commission-  create
OH HB50 Ward's bill of rights/Guardianship Guide/foster care-extend eligibility
OH HB63 Child placed with attorney-in-fact-notifiers of child abuse or neglect-file complaint if placement unsafe
OH HB344 Adoption files/social and medical histories-maintenance/access
OH HB85 Child sexual abuse and its prevention-student instruction/in-service staff training
OH SB240 Foster care and adoption assistance payments-eligibility-extend age
OH HB268 Human trafficking-expungement and compelling prostitution-penalties
OH HB317 Parent/guardian-freeze protected consumer's credit-if identity theft
OH HB325 Pregnant women-addicted-encourage to seek treatment
OH HB363 Delinquent child-court appearance-remove restraints
OH HB261 Trauma centers-designate levels


No Rules Open For Comment  For more details visit: Ohio Rule Review website

NEW! Foster Care and Adoption Rule Alignment
Alignment addresses the long-term disconnect between the home assessment processes for foster care and adoption (“Adoption and Foster Care Rule Alignment”). The new rules and forms became effective Nov. 1, 2015

The new rules were presented during an Aug. 12, 2015 statewide training.  Click here to view the recorded training and access the session’s PowerPoint slides.   Anyone with questions should email OFC’s adoption policy developer, Tara Shook, at
Resources, Training & Articles



Medicaid to 26 for Former Foster Youth: An Update on the State Option and State Efforts to Ensure Coverage for All Young People Irrespective of Where They Aged Out of Care. - Houshyar, Shadi.2014

Revitalizing Recruitment: Practical Strategies for Finding and Keeping Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Homes. - New York State Office of Children and Family Services. 2015

Federal Expenditures on Children: What Budget Policy Means for Children’s Policy. - Hahn, Heather, Society for Research in Child Development.. 2015, Social Policy Report - 29(1)p. 1-26

Domestic Minor Human Trafficking.
Basinger, Kim. 2015
Ohio Resource Families United for Advocacy, Education and Support

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1151 Bethel Road, Suite 104B, Columbus, OH 43220

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