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    E-News June 2015                                   View this email in your browser

Image of Director, Wendi Turner

The Director's Corner


As we move forward in the year, it is my firm belief that to make a significant meaningful and impactful change in child and family welfare all parties must be at the table.  That includes the input of professional across a multitude of field’s as well as the collaboration and perspective of resource parents and youth directly and indirectly affected by the change.

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen"      Winston Churchill


Wendi Turner, Executive Director

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

Thank you for attending OFCA's 2015 Annual Family Resource Conference!

 

OFCA's 2015 Annual Family Conference was a great success!  Here is what attendees had to say.  "The best aspects of this event were..."
  • The teaching is great because of the instructor’s breakdown in explaining details about each different types of topics.
  • Regina Kupecky– loved her! She was very insightful a real gem.
  • I enjoy all my trainings; they help me to look at things differently.
  • Interaction with other foster parents.
  • The movie “Tough Love” and follow-up discussion. The presentation by Karen Ezirim and sons.
  • Tough Love – video, Panel with a judge
  • Great topics. Movie “Tough Love” impactful. Well organized. Love the combination of foster parents/workers at same conference.
  • Ease of registration, location, affordable CEUs.
  • Great topics that many could have benefited from.  Even us workers! 
  • Everything.  Thank you so much.
OFCA looks forward to helping resource parents (adoptive, kinship, foster, primary and respite) and staff stay up to date on changes that affect families in Ohio.   See you at the next training session and conference! 

2015 Judicial Symposium on Addiction & Child Welfare

As counties across Ohio came together to find ways to better address the role of addiction in child welfare cases OFCA brought the voice of the family to the table.   Click HERE for article in Chillicothe Gazette
"Before change can be seen externally, change must be done internally"
The Starts Within Organization (S.W.O.) was formed in 2011 as a non-profit organization that combats the alarming recidivism rate that hinders the growth of communities across the nation. S.W.O. was co-founded by Carlos Christian.

At the age of 13, Carlos got involved into the drug trade which led to a 10-year prison sentence. He was incarcerated at The Marion Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio from ages 19 to 29.
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During Carlos’ prison sentence he realized that he had more examples of individuals being released from prison and returning than he had examples of individuals being released from prison and going on to lead positive lives in the community. It is because of his determination to help currently incarcerated men build the same solid foundation pre and post release as he did that S.W.O. was formed. The organization is founded on the principal that individuals must Start Within themselves and Start Within their current situations. The organization takes a holistic approach to reentry providing programming for incarcerated men, their significant other, and their children.

S.W.O PROGRAMS
 
THE WALKING LOGO PROJECT
The Walking Logo Reentry program is designed for men currently incarcerated with 18-24 months remaining on their stated prison term. With the objective being to significantly reduce the recidivism rate..
 
Upon successful completion of the pre-release curriculum and release from the institution participants will receive clothing vouchers, housing and transportation assistance, employment referrals, and continued peer mentoring for an additional 12 months.
 
OFCA would like to applaud the 2013-2014 Marion Correctional Institution Walking Logo graduating class.  Eleven individuals who were released are productive members of society and are involved in their children’s life.  The 2nd Marion Correctional class is on track to graduate in 10 weeks.  Way to go S.W.O! 

The 2015-2016 class will be based at Pickaway Correctional Facility. 


The Man Inside 101 - Mentoring Program
“If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm."  This ancient African proverb is one that the Starts Within Organization embodies at its core. We believe that before change can be seen externally, change must be done internally, and that most of the personal issues we face are due to the enemy that has come to reside within us.

Although The Man Inside 101 was originally geared towards mentoring individuals on a one-on-one basis inside a correctional facility, it has turned out to be just as effective in group settings.

OFCA would like to commend Carlos for the one on one mentoring he is doing with a young man that is incarcerated and a young man currently involved in children’s service.  While the work is not easy the rewards are too great to let go.  OFCA wishes you much success as you move forward.
 
The Gazelle Project
The Gazelle Project is a women’s empowerment group designed to bring people with personal development knowledge and experience together with people who are lacking that information

6:30-8:00 p.m.• Free to everyone • Childcare courtesy of the Phoenix Project
Vineyard Columbus 6000 Cooper Road Westerville, Ohio 43081
To register please call 614-804-1201 Or email us at startswithin@yahoo.com

THE PHOENIX PROJECT
The Phoenix Project is designed to provide programming for children who have been negatively affected by incarceration. There is a high cost of parental incarceration for children. There are however; some contributing factors towards positive progression for children during parental incarceration. One of those ways is by providing a quality social group where they can develop new peer relationships and be exposed to positive non-parental adult mentors.

6:30-8:00 p.m. • Free to everyone • Food provided • Tutoring part of the monthly curriculum - Vineyard Columbus, 6000 Cooper Road Westerville, Ohio 43081.  To register please call 614-804-1201 Or email us at startswithin@yahoo.com

For more information go to http://www.startswithin.com/


THE ROLE OF STRUCTURAL AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS IN PREDICTING EARLY EXIT FROM EXTENDED FOSTER CARE 
Campbell, Patricia A.  (2015) 
Older youth in the foster care system typically age out of state custody upon turning 18. Many of these teens are ill equipped to live on their own and lack the skills and support to be get good jobs, pursue higher education, and be successful and fully engaged members of their communities.

Study results suggest teens who experience multiple placement moves, have a history of arrest, or rank high on resilience are among the most likely to exit care early, while teens with high educational aspirations are much more likely to stay in care longer. These findings emphasize the need for increased focus on specific groups of older youth in foster care, and the need for coherent data and communications systems in the child welfare system.  
>> Read full text here
https://repository.library.georgetown.edu/handle/10822/760999

Ideas in Shared Parenting
              By Dot Erickson-Anderson
Mistakes
By Dot Erickson-Anderson
 
A statement that recently challenged me also reminded me - “Life is full of mistakes that we learn from.”  Life is indeed a constant process of trespass, forgiveness, and redemption. What fear must come to a family or a child who is confronted with a need to change behavior if they have not seen acceptance and forgiveness from the people who make decisions about their lives.
 
Our child welfare system, historically, has not given empathy to parents who make mistakes – whether they are primary or resource parents.  The behavior that we exhibit when the caseworker comes by may not be the day-to-day interactions of our family.  We are fearful that we cannot meet the expected standard. 
 
I believe that when I allow others to see my mistakes and they give forgiveness, I can truly grow. This “requirement” of perfection in our work as caregivers is a challenge that we must talk about together. How do we view the mistakes of our primary families and offer our forgiveness?  How does the “system” view the mistakes of caregivers and offer its forgiveness?  This will be an interesting discussion.
 

Be an effective Advocate 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.

ODJFS RULES IN CLEARANCE
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  06/26/2015 07/10/2015 7790 Amendment to Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Rule 5101:2-44-13.1  
 
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Legislation Introduced 

S.1637 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

Protecting Adoption and Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Act of 2015

A bill to promote permanent families for children, privacy and safety for unwed mothers, responsible fatherhood, and security for adoptive parents by establishing a National Responsible Father Registry and encouraging States to enter into agreements to contribute the information contained in the State's Responsible Father Registry to the National Responsible Father Registry, and for other purposes.
 

H.R.2688 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

To block any action from being taken to finalize or give effect to a certain proposed rule governing the Federal child support enforcement program.

The Department of Health and Human Services may not take any action to finalize, implement, enforce, or otherwise give effect to the proposed rule entitled "Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization in Child Support Enforcement Programs" or any proposal set forth in the proposed rule.
 

S.1439 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

Foster Youth Independence Act of 2015

This bill amends part E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance) of title IV of the Social Security Act to allow the chief executive officer of a state to certify that the state will provide assistance and services under the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program to youths who have aged out of foster care and have not attained age 23 if:

  • the state has elected to extend the eligibility for foster care up to age 21, or
  • the responsible state agency uses state or other funds not provided under the Program to provide assistance and services comparable to those such youths would receive if the state had made such an election

H.R.2449 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

Every Child Deserves a Family Act

Prohibits adoption or foster care placement service entities that receive federal assistance (or that contract with entities receiving such assistance) from using the sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of a prospective adoptive or foster parent, or from using the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child, to: (1) deny a person the opportunity to become an adoptive or foster parent; (2) delay or deny the placement of a child for adoption or into foster care; or (3) require different or additional screenings or procedures for adoptive or foster placement decisions, including whether to seek the termination of birth parent rights or to make a child legally available for adoptive placement.

Allows individuals aggrieved by a violation of this Act to bring an action seeking relief in federal court.

Directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to publish guidance on legal compliance and to assist entities with casework practices, recruitment efforts, and cultural competency training.

Allows HHS to withhold payments under part B (Child and Family Services) or part E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance) of title IV of the Social Security Act to states that fail to comply with this Act.

H.R.2068 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

To ensure the safety and well-being of adopted children.

Amends part B (Child and Family Services) of title IV of the Social Security Act (SSAct) to make it a purpose of the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Child Welfare Services Program to promote efforts to prevent children from entering the foster care system through the provision of pre- and post-adoptive support services.

Extends adoption promotion and support services to those designed to support adoptions from other countries as well as domestic adoptions. Specifies related pre- and post-adoptive support services.

Amends the Public Health Service Act to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, to award grants or cooperative agreements to eligible entities to develop and implement state-sponsored statewide or tribal post-adoption mental health service programs for all adopted children.

Amends SSAct title IV part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) to direct the Secretary, as part of the child support and paternity data collection system, to promulgate final regulations requiring the states to collect and report information regarding children adopted within the United States or from other countries who enter into state custody as a result of the disruption of a placement for adoption or the dissolution of an adoption.

Amends the PROTECT Our Children Act of 2008 to expand the definition of child exploitation to include the offer to engage or engaging in the transfer of permanent custody or control of a minor in contravention of a required legal procedure.

H.R.1868 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

Rehab and Ahmed Amer Foster Care Improvement Act of 2015

Amends part E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance) of title IV of the Social Security Act to revise requirements that states must follow to contact the adult relatives of a child removed from the custody of his or her parents.

Requires the state, within 90 days after making a placement decision, to provide notice of the decision and the reasons for it to each parent of the child, each relative who has expressed an interest in caring for the child, the guardian, and other specified parties.

Requires the state to establish procedures to: (1) allow a person who receives such a notice to request documentation of the reasons for the decision involved, (2) allow the attorney for the child to petition the court involved to review the decision, and (3) require the court to commence such a review on the record after receiving such a petition.

Click HERE to See all legislation Introduced

 

Be informed. Be involved

Resources, Training & Articles
 
'We Want to Be Heard, Not Fixed'
Child welfare needs to focus on supporting people, not fixing problems. 
                                        >> Read more

OHIO CHILD WELFARE NEWS 
                                     
OH: Picketers seek child placement with family members
Coshocton Tribune - June 11, 2015

About a dozen people picketed the Court Square perimeter Thursday morning, calling for local officials to keep displaced children with kin, rather than placing them in foster care. Adults and children carried signs saying: "Kinship care before strangers," "Our family loves us and we want them," and "Lineage isn't for sale."
http://www.coshoctontribune.com/story/news/local/2015/06/11/picketers-seek-child-placement-family-members/71094528/


OH: Grants aim to bring Ohio youth out of the shadows
Ohio - May 31, 2015

The Mobile Urgent Crisis Response Treatment Unit is just one of more than a dozen funded through Ohio's Strong Families, Safe Communities grant.  Officials believe the grant, along with Medicaid expansion, is responsible for an 11 percent increase in the number of Ohio youth who received publicly funded mental health treatment in 2014.  http://www.thenews-messenger.com/story/news/local/2015/05/31/grants-aim-bring-ohio-youth-shadows/28261717/  


AROUND THE USA CHILD WELFARE NEWS

WI:  "Tough Love" Documentary Gives Insight Into Birth Parents' Struggles

The Chronicle of Social Change - June 16, 2015

The documentary's subjects, Hasna "Hannah" Siddique and Patrick Brown, are seen struggling to get their children back from the foster care system, and much of the action is shot in Seattle's Family Treatment Court, a realm where audio and visual recording privileges must be given by the court's presiding judge.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/news/tough-love-documentary-gives-insight-into-birth-parents-struggles/10461

CA: Rethinking Foster Parent Recruitment & Retention
The Chronicle of Social Change – May 21, 2015


It seems that the past decade and a half has been a blur of major public policy and service delivery paradigm shifts, and these are changes for the better.  One of the most profound changes can be summed up in these words: Foster Care as we have known it for decades is on its way out.
https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/opinion/rethinking-foster-parent-recruitment-retention/10215

US: Supreme Court Rules Teachers Can Testify in Some Child Abuse Cases (Includes video)
WSIL 3 ABC - June 22, 2015

Now, a new U.S. Supreme Court decision could allow a teacher or someone not "charged with uncovering or prosecuting criminal behavior" to give factual testimony, so the victim wouldn't have to.

http://www.wsiltv.com/news/three-states/Supreme-Court-Rules-Teachers-Can-Testify-in-Some-Child-Abuse-Cases-309139761.html
 
Ohio Resource Families United for Advocacy, Education and Support

           
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