E-News March 2015                                   View this email in your browser

The Director's Corner

Families and the children they care for are at the heart of everything OFCA does.  As we move forward in the year there are several process, programs and initiatives in the works that promise to cause a dramatic improvement in the success of children who have been involved in the child welfare system. Ohio House Bill 50—legislation is one of those ground breaking changes that OFCA stands firmly behind.
HB50 creates a new program to serve youth who age out of foster care, and those adopted after age 16, through their 21st birthdays. The bill, which has bipartisan support, is sponsored by Representatives Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) and Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City).

There are several ways OFCA strives to strengthen family support in the transition to adulthood:   
  1. Articulate to youth the value of having family involved in services
  2. Involve families in supporting their young adult children achieve their goals
  3. Navigate policies that affect families’ involvement in the transition years
  4. Inclusion of family members in all regulatory work done in child welfare in Ohio
  5. Call upon Family Support Organizations and Parent Advocates to support families in the transition years  
We hope you will join us in support of HB50
Wendi Turner, Executive Director

OFCA's 2015 Annual Family Resource Conference



This year's Annual Family Resource Conference promises to be one of the best to date. With the many changes and improvements in Ohio's Child Welfare system, this year’s theme "The Changing Roles of Ohio's Resource Families" promises to be both timely and relevant.  

Join us for education, training, and discussion on changes that affect families caring for our most vulnerable children and the premier of the Award Winning film "Tough Love”.   

From Emmy®-nominated filmmaker Stephanie Wang-Breal; Tough Love offers a rare look at the inner workings of the American child welfare system as it chronicles the lives of two parents as they navigate the red tape of America’s child welfare and fight to regain custody of their children.   

Save the date and stay tuned for more details... 

Support Group Roundup
                        ....for Ohio adoptive, foster and kinship families

                                                             (Call or email before attending)

Ezirim family

Wooster OH, Adoptive/Foster Care Support Group

4th Monday of Month

Meetings are held at: 
Parkview Christian Church,  
1912  Burbank Rd, Wooster, OH

RSVP to Rhonda Greer at (330) 621-1090
We regret that childcare is not provided
(Sponsored by Christian Children's Home of Ohio) 

                           Canton OH, Adoptive Dad's Support Group
                                       (Pathways Caring for Children)

"For dad's who have adopted children and may be experiencing challenges that are unique to adoptive dads"

1st Tuesday of Month  -- 6:30-8:30pm

Pathway Caring for Children
4895 Dressler Rd. NW, Suite A
Canton OH 44718
Food provided!  

To register or for more information please call Rachel at (330) 818-0448

                     Minerva OH, Minerva Area Kinship Support Group                                                  (Pathways Caring for Children)

"If you are experiencing challenges in caring for your relative's child,  Join us... "

3rd Tuesday of Month  -- 11:00am-1:00pm

Minerva United Methodist Church
204 N. Main St
Minerva OH 44657
                                       Lunch and childcare provided!  
To register or for more information please call Rachel at (330) 818-0448

North Canton OH, Mothers Breakfast Group
(Pathways Caring for Children)


Time for Adoptive and Kinship Moms for Connection and Support.. Enjoy Breakfast, Sharing & Praying with each other.  This Group has a spiritual basis

Blue Fig Bar and Grill, Banguet Room
6041 Whipple Ave
North Canton OH 44720
Moms will order and pay for their own breakfast  

For more information email Paula at or leave a message at (330) 818-0432


Cleveland OH, Adoptive Family and Teen Support Group
(Adoption Network Cleveland)

Parent group, teen group, and activities for children ages 2-12 run concurrently.  Potluck meal for families, free childcare, donations accepted

2nd Thursday of Month   -- 6:00-8:00pm
Potluck dinner served between 6-6:30pm. Arrive early if you want to join us for dinner.

Adoption Network Cleveland
4614 Prospect Avenue, Suite 550
Cleveland OH 44103
RSVP by Monday prior to the meeting
Ayanna Abi-Kyles Program Coordinator, Post Adoption (213) 482-2331


Ohio Fostering Connections is a coalition of Ohio foster youth advocates whose mission is to organize Ohio’s efforts to extend supports to foster youth through age 21.

You’re Invited: Advocacy Day at the Statehouse!


March 26 – Columbus, Ohio

You are cordially invited to attend the Ohio Fostering Connections Advocacy Day on Thursday, March 26, from 11:00am – 4:00pm at the Ohio Statehouse!  Click here to register.

By attending the event, you will:

  • royLearn about HB 50, legislation to extend supports to foster youth through age 21
  • Meet with your State Representative and Senator
  • Hear from fellow foster care advocates and the sponsor of HB 50
  • Enjoy a display of artwork from foster youth and alumni
  • Hear from OSU Buckeye and NFL football player, Roy Hall, the event emcee

The event is free, thanks in part to generous sponsors.

Ideas in Shared Parenting
              By Dot Erickson-Anderson
Human Connection
“What makes something better is the human connection.”
Brené Brown, a social research professor
It often appears that in child welfare we are asking the primary parent to ‘pull up their bootstraps’ and get on with life. Seldom do you see the professional (worker, counselor, judge) who has the time or skill to bond and make a long term and ongoing human connection with that parent.
In order for a family to sustain a change in their behavior, a positive real long-term human connection is imperative.
Many parents are stuck in a personhood that is based on shame. They believe that they are an “abuser,”  “alcoholic,” “liar,” “unworthy,” “ etc.”  This shame wears down the part of us that believes we can change.  We have given up hope for this healing.
Two research definitions are important to us.  Shame is based on “I am.”  Guilt is based on “I did something bad.”   The parent who is driven by guilt moves more easily into sustainable positive behaviors. Moving from shame to guilt is a long process and takes the ongoing human connection that caregivers can provide.
As a caregiver working with a primary parent, we move out of blaming the parent (our process to discharge our discomfort & pain over the action that brought the child into care) and move into a real on-going human connection with that parent (the process that works toward healing and real change in behavior). 

Your Voice Matters!

Take time to review Ohio Administrative Code Rules currently posted for pre-clearance.  Review and comment on all pending changes at

Rule Comments Open Until
Chapter 5101:2-42 Substitute Care.
Necessity for continued substitute care placement: court reviews and hearing requirements.5101:2-42-68 04/12/2015 


Federal Laws

Federal laws have a significant impact on how States fund and deliver child protection, child welfare, and adoption programs and services.  Go to CONGRESS.GOV to view child welfare legislation that has passed at least one chamber (either House or Senate) 

Be informed. Be involved


  • BILLS.429 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)
Family-Based Foster Care Services Act
Sponsor: Sen. Baldwin, Tammy [D-WI] (Introduced 02/10/2015)
Committees: Senate - Finance
Latest Action: 02/10/2015 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • BILLH.R.562 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)
Improving Education for Foster Youth Act
Sponsor: Rep. Grayson, Alan [D-FL-9] (Introduced 01/27/2015)
Committees: House - Education and the Workforce
Latest Action: 01/27/2015 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
  • BILLS.664 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)
Foster Care Tax Credit Act
Sponsor: Sen. Heitkamp, Heidi [D-ND] (Introduced 03/04/2015)
Committees: Senate - Finance
Latest Action: 03/04/2015 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • BILLH.R.1299 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)
Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2015
Sponsor: Rep. Kelly, Mike [R-PA-3] (Introduced 03/04/2015)
Committees: House - Ways and Means
Latest Action: 03/04/2015 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
  • BILLS.667 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)
A bill to ensure that organizations with religious or moral convictions are allowed to continue to provide services for children.
Sponsor: Sen. Enzi, Michael B. [R-WY] (Introduced 03/04/2015)
Committees: Senate - Finance
Latest Action: 03/04/2015 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • BILLS.656 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)
A bill to amend the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to enable State child protective services systems to improve the identification and assessment of child victims of sex trafficking, and...
Sponsor: Sen. Portman, Rob [R-OH] (Introduced 03/04/2015)
Committees: Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action: 03/04/2015 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
  • BILLS.381 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)
Bringing Missing Children Home Act of 2015
Sponsor: Sen. Portman, Rob [R-OH] (Introduced 02/05/2015)
Committees: Senate - Judiciary
Latest Action: 02/05/2015 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
  • BILLS.262 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)
Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act
Sponsor: Sen. Leahy, Patrick J. [D-VT] (Introduced 01/27/2015)
Committees: Senate - Judiciary
Latest Action: 01/27/2015 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
  • BILLH.R.1168 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)
Native American Children's Safety Act
Sponsor: Rep. Cramer, Kevin [R-ND-At Large] (Introduced 02/27/2015)
Committees: House - Natural Resources
Latest Action: 02/27/2015 Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.
Resources, Training & Articles

Child Welfare in the News
AR: Ban on 're-homing' clears House committee 
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette - March 17, 2015
The House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of House Bill 1676 on Tuesday after hearing from the bill's sponsor, state Rep. David Meeks, R-Conway.

AR: Hutchinson calls for review of state's child welfare programs 
Arkansas Online - March 17, 2015
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday that he has ordered an independent review of Arkansas' child welfare system, a move that comes after a state representative acknowledged re-homing two adopted children to a man who later sexually assaulted one of them.

MO: Child Abuse, Neglect Issues Brought Before House Panel 
Missourinet - March 17, 2015
State Representative Bill Lant filed the bill and said under current law the Division cannot investigate or provide services to families in many of these difficult situations.

TX: Judge visits mother to learn how CPS helps children
KFDM - March 17, 2015
Judge Randy Shelton, a family court judge in the 279th District Court, visited Riddick her home to get an insider's view of what it's like to deal with CPS.

US: Harris therapy controversial but DHS site recommends it
Arkansas Times - March 18, 2015
But Thomas and other proponents of what they call "Attachment Therapy" define a broader range of negative child behaviors as symptoms of "Attachment Disorder," a diagnosis that is not recognized by the DSM. Adding to the confusion, Thomas and others often use the terms "RAD" and "Attachment Disorder" interchangeably.

US: When orphan care goes bad: Russell Moore on why adoption is not for everyone 
Washington Post - March 17, 2015
Every few weeks or so, it seems, I hear of another family on the verge of "disruption," the term used to describe families relinquishing back to the system children they have adopted. As with divorce, in some of these situations, there is no alternative to the tragic outcome. But as with divorce, in other cases, many of the adoptions did not need the nuclear option.
Ohio Resource Families United for Advocacy, Education and Support

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