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

Wendi Turner

The Director's Corner


Joining a support group may be what you need to deal with the circumstances in your life that can seem overwhelming.  I recently joined a support group to help cope with a family member suffering from the onset of a mental illness.  After the shock and journey out of denial about the impact the illness had on my family, I sought help in the form of a support group,  While opening up to people about something so personal was difficult being able to talk with others in the same situation helped me realize that I was not alone. 

While not everyone wants or needs support beyond that offered by family and friends, you may find it helpful to turn to others outside your immediate circle. A support group can help you cope better and feel less isolated as you make connections with others facing similar challenges.

My message this month is to say that if you are feeling overwhelmed and need support or if you have overcome your challenges and want to help someone else consider joining a support group.  The time you spend will be well worth your time.

Wendi Turner, Executve Director 


Email: wendi@ofcaonline.org 
Office: 614-222-2712
Website: www.ofcaonline.org

Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition

ASSESSING HELP FOR VICTIMS IN OHIO

Human trafficking is a crime in plain view, therefore, how could you tell if someone is a trafficked victim and may need help? Could you tell the difference?

There are many signs and symptoms that can help you determine a victim.

Here are a list of RED FLAGS as defined by the U.S. Federal Government on Trafficking Victimsfor your awareness:
  • Evidence of being controlled (ex: rarely alone, seems to be under constant surveillance, isolated from family & friends)
  •  
  • Bruises and/or fear of speaking for themselves
  • Evidence of inability to move or leave a job
  • Persistent fear, depression, anxiety or submissive or stupor-like behavior
  • Signs of trauma. Untreated illnesses & infections
  • No passport or other identifying documentation
  • Excessive work hours. Not free to take time off
  • Unpaid for work completed or paid very little
  • Lives with co-workers and/or employer. No privacy
  • Works in the sex trade industry or works off the books in low paying jobs.

Also, here are a list of questions that you can ask a victim to assess if he/she is in a trafficking situation.Click HERE (this download will be i n a "pdf" format). 

Remember, it is up to you to help make a difference in someone's life by getting involved. If you think someone is a victim of human trafficking in Ohio, please call the:

24 Hour Central Ohio Trafficking Hot-Line 614-285-4357 (285-HELP)

You may also contact Michelle and Kelli 
M-F, 8:30AM - 5:00PM:

Michelle: 614-437-2149
Kelli: 614-358-2614

3,000 reasons to support youth who age out of foster care

Guest Columnist, Mark Mecum, Executive Director of the Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies chair, Ohio Fostering Connections.

In Ohio, we show our most vulnerable children the proverbial door at age 18, putting them on a path to potentially tragic consequences. 

At this moment, there are 3,000 young Ohioans between the ages of 18-21 who are struggling to survive after aging out of foster care, with limited means and support. Three thousand young people who face obstacles to success, including unemployment and insufficient education. Three thousand young people more likely to experience homelessness, incarceration, or dependence on public assistance. Three thousand young people with an increased rate of substance abuse issues. Three thousand young people who are more likely to fall prey to human trafficking.

Three thousand reasons to make a change in our state now.

To read full article.. Click HERE

http://coalitionofcare.org 
Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition

The mission of CORRC (core-see) is to provide a collaborative community response to human trafficking in central Ohio through education, services, advocacy, and prosecution.


The Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition is the 21st of its kind to be established in the United States under the guidance of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assist victims of human trafficking; rescuing victims through increased public and law enforcement awareness and restoring lives through social service support.

Since its inception in July 2007, the coalition has grown to include over 90 members, comprised of both concerned citizens and those who represent social services, faith-based, medical and law enforcement organizations.  The Coalition's work is focused in five area committees:

Public Awareness
Social Services
Law Enforcement
Legislative Advocacy
Demand Reduction

Each committee meets monthly separate from the general body and works cooperatively towards the strategic goals identified by the Coalition as a whole.  This allows for members to choose the area they would most like to focus in and gives way to many volunteer opportunities.
Our mission is to provide a collaborative community response to human trafficking in central Ohio through education, services, advocacy, and prosecution.

For more iinformation or to attned a committee meeting go to: http://www.centralohiorescueandrestore.org/


To Report a Tip or Get Help, Call 614-285-4357 (HELP)
If you are not in Ohio, please call the National Hotline:
1-888-3737-888

The Road from Childhood to Successful Adulthood...
And Roadblocks Along the Way

Adolescence describes the period of transition from childhood to adulthood.  This is an important time for both physical and social-emotional growth.

These formative years set the stage for relationships, opportunities, and behaviors later in life. However, young people can face multiple challenges as they travel the road from youth to adulthood. Smart policy decisions can lessen the impact of these roadblocks and smooth the pathway for young adults.

 

In Ohio, there are approximately 1,584,118 individuals between the ages of 15 and 24.  In 2013

  • About 1 in 4 (about 360,000)  adolescents live in poverty 
  • 36 out of 1,000 females ages 15-19 give birth each year, compared to a rate of 29 out of 1,000 nationally. 
  • 10.7%  of youth between the ages of 12-17 had  a major depressive episode
  • 5.25% of youth experienced drug or alcohol dependence
  • 4636 youth age 10-20 were adjudicated for felonies im Ohio
  • 835 children aged out of foster care in 2013
The actions we take today to improve the stability of the (primary, foster, adoptive, or kinship) family has a direct  and dramatic effect on the future outcome of a childs life. 

For a PDF of this factsheet, click here.

Ideas in Shared Parenting
              By Dot Erickson-Anderson
Belonging
 
As we struggle with the changes coming at us in our roles connected to the child serving systems, a constant remains.  Life is about belonging.  We need to be in relationship with each other.  Health-wise we know that being isolated and not in relationship with others is worse than smoking, obesity, or high blood pressure on us.
 
Yet, how do we sustain belonging in caring for those who have experienced the trauma of having their relationships broken?  By virtue of being in placement, the children in our care have experienced the trauma of a broken relationship.  And when they leave our home, if we have not established the bonds with their primary family to continue in a role with their on-going development, they will experience another broken relationship trauma.
 
As the child becomes a part of our “heart-of-hearts” and not one held at a distance to protect us from the pain of their leaving from our home, we too experience this trauma of broken relationship.  These broken relationships push us to think closely about how we can become a member of that child’s extended family, a sister-friend for their mother, an ongoing co-parent for the family, an uncle-brother for their father, a foster grandparent for the children.  The examples are numerous. The need is great. The skill to accomplish this role is emerging.
 
 
Perhaps this month, we can think how agency policies and our own conditioned thinking keep us and our primary families away from each other in a nonproductive way.  Can this be healed or changed?

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.


On June 30, Governor Kasich signed the fiscal year 2016-17 state budget bill (House Bill 64). The two-year budget focuses on tax reform, education, health care and Ohio’s workforce. Advocates for Ohio’s Future’s (AOF) advocacy was focused on sections of the bill that would help Ohioans acquire and maintain good jobs, support Ohio’s workforce and keep Ohioans safe. AOF closely monitored a number of Ohio’s health and human services programs throughout the budget process, including an evaluation of Governor Kasich’s 44 line-item vetoes.

Click here to view the actual budget bill.

Here is a brief summary of how many of Ohio’s health and human services programs fared in the state budget:

  • Food and Nutrition: The Ohio Association of Foodbanks received $19.75 million per fiscal year to support Ohio’s 12 Feeding America foodbanks and their 3,300 member food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters. This funding represents a $5.25 million increase per fiscal year for Ohio’s food programs.
  • Medicaid: Ohio maintained its Medicaid expansion to adults with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Medicaid coverage was restored to pregnant women and women diagnosed with breast and cervical cancer with incomes between 138-200% FPL, but this coverage was not restored for Family Planning Services. AOF is disappointed that the Governor did not veto the “Healthy Ohio” plan, which mandates Medicaid recipients to pay co-pays and premiums.
  • Behavioral Health: The deadline to integrate behavioral health services into Managed Care was moved from January 1, 2017 to January 1, 2018 allowing the development of language that will provide oversight, accountability and timelines for the integration.
  • Person-Centered Work Programs: The intensive case management program was restored to the Governor’s original proposal, which will better prepare Ohioans to acquire and maintain good jobs so they can support themselves and their families. This program will help hard-to-serve people, especially young people, enter the workforce.
  • Housing: The Senate’s proposal to cut funding for the Ohio Housing Trust Fund’s (OHTF) in half was not sustained in the final budget bill. The OHTF has a proven history of success, leveraging public and private dollars at a rate of 9:1, and is vital to supporting programs that combat homelessness and providing affordable housing options.
  • Adult Protective Services: Unfortunately, APS did not receive the $20 million per fiscal year that they requested, and was instead allocated $30,000 per year, per county for the purpose of employing one APS worker. The lack of increase in funding jeopardizes the safety of older adults in all of Ohio’s 88 counties.
  • Children’s Protective Services: Since 2009, the child protection system has suffered a lost of $53.5 million in state dollars, and will now lose an additional $17 million over the next two years with the acceleration of the Tangible Personal Property Tax phase out. The silver lining is the creation of the Joint Legislative Committee on Multi-System Youth that is charged developing recommendations to meet the needs of children served in multiple systems.
  • Work Support Programs: AOF and coalition members advocated for a 10% refundable state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), but this request was not granted and the stateEITC remains nonrefundable. AOF also advocated for continuous and increased eligibility for child care over the next four years starting at 144% FPL in 2016. Unfortunately, child care eligibility was only increased by 5% from 125% to 130% FPL.
  • Direct Service Workforce: Without a sustainable wage for home health care workers, outcomes of care and the health of the general population will be negatively affected. In the final version of the budget bill, home health aide services received a 5% rate increase, which is half of the 10% increase the House had included. Direct care workers in the developmental disabilities community will receive a 6% wage increase in six months. AOFhad advocated for a sustainable wage for direct care workers across all Medicaid waivers and populations, both agency staff and independent providers.

BEST PRACTICES IN GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AND ADVOCACY

Seeking government funding? Interested in influencing regulatory decision? Want to voice your expertise on a policy issue? Navigating the local, state, and federal levels of government can be confusing terrain for nonprofits. Yet, strategic and visionary leadership can impact your mission, your constituents and the 'world'.

A veteran expert from The Center for Community Solutions will focus on advocacy, lobbying, and creating a successful advocacy plan. Betsie Norris of Adoption Network Cleveland will share her personal experience in creating landmark legislation with the State of Ohio.

Click here for Event Details 


OHIO ADMINISTRATIVE CODE RULE REVIEW
Update from the PCSAO Rules Review Committee…
 
A number of PCSAs, as well as PCSAO, submitted comments on Ohio Administrative Code rule 5101:2-42-68, “Necessity for Continued Substitute Care Placement: Court Reviews and Hearing Requirements.”

Among the questions raised and answered is clarification that children under age 16 who are currently placed in PPLA cannot be “grandfathered in”.   After the scheduled effective date of 9/15/2015, agencies will have to find another permanency option for youth under 16 in PPLA at their next permanency hearing.

This policy change stems from the federal act, “Prevent Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act which prohibits placement of children under age 16 in PPLA.

No rule is open for comment on the Ohio Rule Review website

 

Be informed. Be involved

Resources, Training & Articles

Upcoming Training

Trauma-Informed Care Training for Child Welfare PREP Providers

  • Attendence is FREE for all
  • Free CEU's for Social Workers, Counselors and MFT's 
  • Certificates for Foster Parent Ongoing Training
One-day, 6-hour training in 6 locations statewide; open only to facilitators, staff and foster parents of PREP Provider Agencies (biological parents of youth in placement may attend with agency approval). This training combines Think Trauma with Essential Elements from the National Child Trauma Stress Network (NCTSN) Child Welfare training. The training is not for clinicians. It is for front-line caregivers and staff.    
Upcoming dates and locations:
  • July 22, 23 and 24 - OCOSH Training Center, 13430 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington
  • Two additional dates will be added for Cincinnati/SW Ohio area later. Stay tuned

Click HERE for More Information 

SAVE THE DATE!  
FOSTERING PATHWAYS TO SUCCESS, SEPTEMBER 24
The conference will be held September 24 in Columbus. The conference is for transitioning and emancipated foster youth and supporters. Mark your calendar and stay tuned for more information. If questions, please contact Ohio Reach Coordinator William Murray at 614-224-5802. 

SAVE THE DATE!  
Ohio Grandparent Kinship Coalition
2015 Bi-Annual Conference  Sept. 19, 8:30am - 1:00pm
Franklin County Children Services
855 W. Mound Street, Columbus, OH 43223
Kinship Care Department, (614) 341‐6161, kinship@fccs.us
Click HERE for flyer 

SAVE THE DATE!  
Training on ICD-DSM Transition
August 5, Columbus
On August 5, OACCA will welcome back Lisette Wright to conduct a 3-part training aimed at preparing behavioral health providers for the ICD-DSM transition, which is scheduled to occur in October.  The training will also address creating a technology roadmap for your organization.  6.5 CEUs will be provided.   Click HERE to Register


OHIO CHILD WELFARE NEWS 
OH:  Co-Workers learn they are mother and daughter



OH: Babies born into addiction up 750 percent
Marion Star - July 12, 2015

Since 2004, the state has seen a 750 percent increase in the number of babies diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome; essentially withdrawal from the drugs their mother used. On average, there were five drug-dependent babies admitted to Ohio hospitals each day of 2013 with 87 percent of them on Medicaid, according to a recent report from the Ohio Department of Health.
To read full article.. click HERE

OH: Youth aging out of foster care could finally get the help they need from Ohio legislators: editorial 
Cleveland.com - July 08, 2015
House Bill 50, a sensible measure that would extend foster care up to age 21 and bring Ohio in line with 26 other states and the District of Columbia, died in committee last year. This year it has passed two committees and deserves passage by the Ohio House and Senate.

To read full article.. click HERE

NATIONAL CHILD WELFARE NEWS
Achieving Racial Equity: Child Welfare Policy Strategies to Improve Outcomes for Children of Color.
Martin, Megan. Connelly, Dana Dean.
Center for the Study of Social Policy. 2015

To download pdf article.. click HERE

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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