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    E-News April 2015                                   View this email in your browser

The Director's Corner


Every child has a right to a safe childhood free of Violence.  As we near the end of Child Abuse Prevention month one of the important aspect of April's designation are the doors it opened to conversations about keeping our children safe. While I may not have the answers that will keep all children safe. What I do have is a
willingness to help. Bad things do not have to happen before we step in.  Sometimes the writing is on the wall and we are given the opportunity to make a difference before a child is harmed. Sometimes that opportunity is through mandated reporting but many times it is through volunteering and supporting organizations and parent groups that promote healthy parenting and strong families.  It can be lending a helping hand to a family in need. A small gesture for you can be a lifeline to a family in need

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”  ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wendi Turner, Executive Director

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


OFCA's 2015 Annual Family Resource Conference
June 19 & 20, 2015
Embassy Suites Hotel, Dublin OH

 

OFCA, the voice of Ohio's Resource Families, is excited to host its annual conference.  The 2-day event is attended by over 150 families, child welfare workers, and leaders in Ohio's public and private child welfare agencies.


DOWNLOAD CONFERENCE BROCHURE 

The conference theme for 2015 is “THE CHANGING ROLES OF OHIO'S RESOURCE FAMILIES.” The theme reflects on the changing roles, challenges, and opportunities facing resource families, child welfare workers, and community organizers  in keeping children safe while building strong, supportive and successful families. For more details go to OFCAonline.org/conference 

                                          
Welcome OFCA's new Board President
Dot Erickson-Anderson 


Dot began her trek into child welfare and juvenile justice in 1970 as a kinship and then foster parent in Washington DC.
  Since coming to Columbus in 1972 she has severed as an adoptive, foster, kinship, and respite care giver along with working in several foster care agencies.  Dot joined OFCA in 1976 and became
a Board member soon thereafter.  She has served several roles in OFCA over the years and served as it’s first Executive Director from 1998 to 2004.  She rejoined the OFCA Board in 2009 and this year agreed to serve as the Board President for the first time in her history with OFCA.
http://coalitionofcare.org 

... Helping Foster, Adoptive and Primary Families
 

PRESENTING SAFE FAMILIES FOR CHILDREN... 


Primary families that need help from other families.
For some families who are caught in various levels of stress and crisis, what they really need is for someone to take care of their children for a few days, weeks or months. This short term hospitality helps the family step back from the brink of disaster (circumstances that often lead to abuse and neglect), and gives the birth parents an opportunity to recover from their crisis.
 
“Why do we wait until bad things happen to children before we step in to help?"

Safe Families For Children is a movement of hospitality and compassion, whereby safe, loving families voluntarily host children for short periods of time, to be a blessing to the primary parents as they work to recover from various levels of crisis or dysfunction.

Safe Families become approved after completing training, background checks, and a home assessment. The entire process is done at your own pace, but can be completed within a few weeks. 

The biggest change agent in the Safe Families movement is that both sets of families, the primary family and the safe family, work together in relationship for the best interests of the children AND for the preservation of the primary family. Transformation occurs in voluntary relationships with common goals, while avoiding coercion, animosity, and contrasting goals.

How can I help?
Compassionate families can become an approved Safe Family, or provide support to families who do.  Support opportunities are vast and varied, including basically anything that a family needs to thrive. Support can look like meals, home repairs, babysitting and lawn care, or like sharing a crib, a car seat, or providing diapers.

The Safe Families for Children movement has been a proven blessing with almost 10,000 child placements in 65 cities and 3 countries.  

Next Step?...  Click HERE for more information or call (513) 587-1945

“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it” -Hebrews 13:2
click HERE for the Safe Families Global  Movement


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COLUMBUS KICKBALL FOR A HOME

SUNDAY, MAY 17, 2015 | FRED BEEKMAN PARK

Join the team. Take the field. And have a ball while raising money and awareness to help children in foster care find permanent homes and loving families.

Relive the fun of your favorite childhood sport. It doesn't matter how old you are, how fit you are, or whether you've even played before. Kickball is for everybody. Just put together a team and get out there. Every kick, catch, and throw goes to help a child find a home. Because in this game, everybody wins.

Registration deadline is May 12, 2015.

Fred Beekman Park
2200 Carmack Rd.
Columbus, OH 43210

Event Webpage: www.columbus.kintera.org/kickball
Event Details:  Event Info .

Fund-raising is super easy! How to Raise $100, Fast, is a great tool to follow when you are asking for donations from your friends and family.  Click HERE 

If you would like to be a part of the day, but you do not want to play kickball, register HERE to volunteer.
Ideas in Shared Parenting
              By Dot Erickson-Anderson
Maintaining our Calm

In my world today:
 I see many families, children and adults, participating in the dis-ease of being busy.  The path leading to “human doers” and not “human beings.”
 
I am struck with how this practice filters into our lives as caregivers. Busyness:
Breeds crisis and emergencies that slip into our family life and moves us away from the sharing of our hearts and souls with each other,

Saps our ability to be present to form the kind of community in which we are interested in living.
 
In my world today:
I am surrounded by individuals who speak the language of mindfulness and meditation, striving to move these practices into their family’s life to slow down their being and find a center of meaning.
 
How does this filter into our lives as caregivers?  Calmness:
Allows us to understand our intentions and gain awareness of our emotions,
Allows us to figure our way out of a crisis or an emergency,

Gives us the energy to face the everyday challenge of living in the caregiving world.
 
Often I have felt like Jacob Braude’s observation — “Always behave like a duck keep calm and unruffled on the surface but paddle like the devil underneath.”  How much more healthy and accepting of our present circumstances we become when we practice the techniques of slowing down our breathing, our thinking, our responding and truly becoming the calmest person in the room.

PCSAO Releases 2015-2016 Factbook 

This annual publication offers a wealth of state and county data on Ohio's child welfare system, as well as a narrative analysis of data trends, andrecommendations on system improvement. 

Highlights of 2014 Data:

  • More children were reunified with parents or legal guardian: 4478 in 2009 compared to 7555 in 2013
  • Less children are being supported by Kinship Permanency incentive: 7961 in 2009 to 7162 in 2013
  • Less adoptions were finalized:  1496 finalized adoptions in 2009 to 1300 in 2013
  • The number of children waiting to be adopted decreased from 2797 in 2009 to 2519 in 2013
  • Median # of days for adoption finalization from permanent custody remain the same at 298 days in 2009 and 2013

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.

 

Step 1: Know the Issues –
  • Attend the local town hall meetings or other local conferences including coffees, teas and receptions. Visibility is the key reason for attendance.
  • Join or start a local support group that is concerned about the issues you care about
  • Read up on changing or pending legislation that impact laws and rules in Ohio.  A few sources are:
  • Ohio Rule Review - Ohio Rules in Clearence
  • Legiscan - Pending Child Centered bills in Ohio's 131st General Assembly
  • CONGRESS.GOV Pending Federal child welfare legislation 
Step 2: Know YOUR Legislators –
  • Find your House and Senate Representative by clicking here. Once on the website make sure to click "Both" under "Find my Legislators" and enter your zip code.
  • The local staff members will know when the Congressman or Senator will be in his/her home District and can schedule a local appointment time for you.
  • A few basic rules apply for all forms of communicating, whether via face-to-face meetings, phone calls, e-mails or letters: ·  Be brief · Focus on only one issue in each communication · Ask for something specific · If possible, leave informational pamplet or brochure · Keep a copy of your e-mail or letter for future reference · Follow up
Step 3: Advocate –
  • Call in your messages to your Congressman/Senator local staff members especially when you want to provide speedy input on a specified issue or concern.
  • Offer to serve on local committees and offer to be available to assist in providing information to your Congressman/Senator on a specific topic of interest or concern to you.
Step 4: Follow-up –
  • Always follow up with a thank you note to the staff and/or Congressman/Senator when there has been action on your behalf
Ultimately, effective advocacy is about establishing a relationship with your Congressman/Senator, or more likely, the staff person for the Congressman/Senator who handles the issues you care about
 

Be informed. Be involved

Resources, Training & Articles
 
April 2015 Rise Exclusive Article
 

Tyesha Anderson with her daughter

Everything Felt Like Nothing


I ran from my feelings and I didn't know how to stop.
 
By Tyesha Anderson
 
When you spend too much time as a kid in survival mode--feeling like you have no one to rely on and blocking out the pain whatever ways you can--sometimes you don't realize in time that you have to change.
 
>> Read more

OHIO CHILD WELFARE NEWS 

OH: The Leadership Council for Children's Services Announces Collaboration With The Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies
Market Place Navigator - April 20, 2015
Launched in 2013, the highly-acclaimed Leadership Council executive learning community is specifically designed to help identify, develop, and implement the market strategies and management best practices that improve the financial sustainability of health and human service organizations serving children. The Leadership Council is a partnership between the Child Welfare League of America and OPEN MINDS.
http://markets.financialcontent.com/stocks/news/read?GUID=29696924


OH: Editorial: Children Services seeks tax renewal
Canton Repository - April 20, 2015
Issue 18 on the May 5 ballot asks voters to maintain funding levels for another five years. That means no new taxes. But for those wondering, property owners pay $42.75 a year per $100,000 in home valuation. The levy -- the only issue on the ballot countywide -- generates $9.5 million annually and accounts for 40 percent of the agency's $24 million budget.
http://www.cantonrep.com/article/20150419/OPINION/150419277/1994/NEWS?rssfeed=true


OH: Butler County social workers ratify new contract
Journal-News - April 16, 2015
Butler County commissioners and the social workers union reached a tentative contract agreement after almost two years of negotiations and a three-week strike this past summer. Seventy-five percent of the 63 dues-paying union members cast their ballots to ratify the deal on Thursday.
http://www.journal-news.com/news/news/butler-county-social-worker-contract-votes-being-t/nkwXF/


OH: Expert: Not All Signs of Child Abuse Visible (Includes audio)
Public News Service - April 17, 2015
Child abuse is a public-health crisis impacting Ohio children at alarming rates, experts say. According to state data, child welfare agencies investigated 80,000 cases of suspected child abuse or neglect in 2014 and 12,000 were substantiated.
http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2015-04-17/childrens-issues/ohio-expert-not-all-signs-of-child-abuse-visible/a45790-1


NATIONAL CHILD WELFARE NEWS 

CA: Bills move forward to curb overuse of psychiatric medications in California foster care
SanJose Mercury News - April 21, 2015
Following powerful testimony by former foster youth, a package of reform bills designed to rein in the excessive use of psychiatric drugs in California's child welfare system met unanimous approval in the state Senate on Tuesday -- the first step in a series of legislative moves ahead.
http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_27961718/bills-move-forward-curb-overuse-psychiatric-medications-california?source=rss


MI: Lawmaker proposes homeschooled children registry
Associated Press - April 17, 2015
The legislation would create a registry of homeschooled children following the deaths of two Detroit children found in a freezer. State Rep. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, proposed the legislation Friday, saying it would require visits with children at least twice per year by someone like a licensed social worker or law enforcement officer. Also: Kids in freezer case prompts home-school registry idea: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2015/04/17/kids-freezer-case-prompts-home-school-registry-idea/25950081/
http://woodtv.com/2015/04/17/lawmaker-proposes-state-registry-of-homeschooled-children/


NC: State bills change standards for foster care 
Winston-Salem Journal - April 16, 2015
Legislation that would make significant changes to state laws on foster care gained more momentum Thursday with the unanimous approval of Senate Bill 423 in a Judiciary committee.
http://www.journalnow.com/news/state_region/state-bills-would-set-reasonable-and-prudent-standards-for-foster/article_7d5275f0-e454-11e4-89ea-d3ecdc23aab9.html
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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