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

Wendi Turner

The Director's Corner 

 
Youth transitioning to adulthood often look to their parents for support and direction. It is expected and  given without question. For youth who have been in foster care the path is not always clear.  Many do not have a clear idea of who to turn to and often become over whelmed with their sudden level of responsibility. 
While the transition out of care can be complicated, it does not have to be.  It starts with both the youth and adults, which includes foster parents, biological parents, kin and other supportive adults, having a conversation and developing clear expectations about what the relationship will look like. 

This can be made easier when transitional supports are discussed early in the youth’s emancipation process and family and adults that are identified as support partners have a chance to work on strengthening their relationships in a healthy and safe way. 

This e-newsletter is dedicated to strengthening the family and support bonds for emancipated youth.
 
Wendi Turner, Executive Director 

Email: wendi@ofcaonline.org 
Office: 614-222-2712
Website: www.ofcaonline.org
The Developing  Life Long Supports...    The Permanency Pact
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines permanent as:  lasting or continuing for a very long time or forever: not temporary or changing

Developed by the National Advocacy Group FosterClub.com The Permanency Pact was created as a process  to help youth transitioning to adulthood connect with a supportive adult or family member to provide specific supports to a young person and establish a lifelong relationship

A Permanency Pact provides:
  • structure and a safety net for the youth
  • a defined and verbalized commitment by both parties to a long term supportive relationship
  • clarity regarding the expectations of the relationship

This free tool is designed as a process to encourage life-long, family connections between a young person from foster care and a supportive adult or family member.  Ideally this process should be facilitated by the youths emancipation worker or mentor and completed while the youth is in care, between the ages of 14-18.  

 Download the Permanency Pact here

Emancipated Foster Youth Returning to Birth Parents

Although foster youth should only emancipate from care if reunification or adoption is not possible by the time the youth must age out; some youth still return to the families from whom they were removed.  
 
  
 If youth return to their parents by their own choice, out of necessity or for any reason, it is important for the foster care system to recognize this option and consider alternatives that would support a youth pre-emancipation for the transition to reunification with their families. 

Read more Here

Courtesy of Transitional Age Youth San Francisco (TAYSF) formerly Honoring Emancipated Youth (HEY) 


 
Empowering youth in foster care to defy the gravity that accompanies loss, separation, abuse and neglect. 
Interview with Starfish Alliance President/CEO, Ann Bischoff

This months  support group spotlight is on Starfish Alliance.  Columbus-based Starfish Alliance was founded in 2002 to involve local community members in empowering foster youth and foster alumni to defy the gravity of devastating childhood experiences and avoid the risk of  homelessness, unemployment, unstable transportation, insufficient education, reliance on public assistance, and even human trafficking.
 
We refuse to accept the statistics, that youth in foster care are more likely to be homeless or unemployed later in life. We refuse to be cynics. We celebrate young people who beat the odds and offer a leg up for young people who need one.

Wendi Turner:   Ann, Starfish Alliance has been doing a lot of  great work around Ohio to help youth in foster care.  Can you share some of the work you have done in Ohio?  

Ann Bischoff:  Thank you for opportunity to let your readers know about Starfish Alliance.  Through Starfish Alliance, foster youth and alumni gain access to a personalized yet relational model of leg-up supports, including:

1) Community leader mentors who help foster youth and alumni connect with their community. A mentor and mentee meet regularly to set and report back on life, education, career and enrichment goals-- holding each other accountable for meeting goals.

2) Entrepreneur certification, which can be used as a framework for managing life in general and, if desired, to start a business. Certification includes Economic & Community Development Institute membership, which allows young people take additional entrepreneur classes at no charge.

3) Engaging seminars on community engagement, community service, leadership, financial literacy, health and fitness, experiencing their city, careers, and interpersonal know-how.

4) Referral and connection to essential resources, such as housing, transportation, employment, furniture and more, made available through community partners.


Wendi:  Can you tell me some of the ways folks can get involved in Starfish Alliance

Ann:  There are three ways you can get involved:

  1. Fill out a Starfish Alliance Mentoring interest form here: http://bit.ly/defygravityvolunteer

  2. Share this link with foster alumni: http://starfishalliance.org/join

  3. Share this video with constituents: http://bit.ly/defygravityvideo

Contact Starfish Alliance with questions or invite Starfish Alliance to share about mentoring opportunities: 614.908.0732 or annie@starfishalliance.org.

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A Word from the OFCA Board
              By Dot Erickson-Anderson, President
A Community of Families: 
 
 
OFCA presents a unique experience in looking at youth who are moving into adulthood.  Being a community of families, families working with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems in Ohio, we give energy to our role in being a neighbor to each other and the young adults in our worlds.


Being a neighbor is not a geographical term it is a moral concept.  Being OF a community is not just being located in a geographical space, it is a moral concept about collective responsibility.  We live in a community that includes adoptive, foster, kinship, primary, and respite families so we can see the different faces of the issues found in each type of family.  And we use our resources to support the children and young adults in these our extended families.
 
We encourage rich and full civil communication to put the words around what we don’t even know how to talk about, in order to bridge rather than deepen our differences. Vulnerabilities get exposed and in the hearing and acceptance of these differences a bridge is made. A bridge that supports the connection between us while we look beneath the surface and notice not only what is but what can be.
 
We dream of the day when an emancipated youth, means that our children have grown into adulthood with family still in focus, supporting them and continuing our life with them as they take on the next generation to care for as we have cared for them.
 
We invite you to join us in this community. It is a great and yeasty time to be a part of this larger whole.

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.




https://legiscan.com/OH/legislation

State Bill Status Summary/Title
OH HB50 Intro Ward's bill of rights/Guardianship Guide/foster care-extend eligibility
[Detail][Text][Discuss]
OH HB56 Engross Public employment-limit use of criminal records in hiring/employment
[Detail][Text][Discuss]
OH HB63 Intro Child placed with attorney-in-fact-notifiers of child abuse or neglect-file complaint if placement unsafe
[Detail][Text][Discuss]
OH HR71 Pass Recognizing CASA Day in Ohio, April 30, 2015.
[Detail][Text][Discuss]
OH HB317 Intro Parent/guardian-freeze protected consumer's credit-if identity theft
[Detail][Text][Discuss]
OH HB325 Intro Pregnant women-addicted-encourage to seek treatment
[Detail][Text][Discuss]
OH HCR12 Pass To declare Ohio's rate of infant mortality a public health crisis and urge comprehensive preterm birth risk screening for all pregnant women in Ohio.
[Detail][Text][Discuss]

OHIO ADMINISTRATIVE CODE RULE REVIEW

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

Foster Care Rules 
Chapter 5103: PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN  http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/5103

New -  Effective 10/1/2015:  All children who are AWOL from substitute care must be reported within 24 hours to both local law enforcement and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, with follow-up documentation when the child returns.

Adoption Rules 
Chapter 3107: ADOPTION  http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3107

Summaries  of recent Federal Child Welfare related legislative activity and developing legislative proposals.

 Summary of Child Welfare Financing Legislation Sept 2015
  Summary of Legislation on Child Welfare related issues Sept 2015
Resources, Training & Articles

In the News

Update on Ohio Behavioral Health Medicaid Re-Design

Governor Kasich's Administration recently released a revised timeline and action steps for the re-design of the behavioral health Medicaid program and move to managed care. 

Click on the timeline below to catch up with the re-design plans. 

Events

 

SAVE THE DATE! 

Bring Your Foster Youth and Alumni!


For the past eight years, Thanksgiving has been a time for Ohio foster care youth, alumni and allies/adult supporters to gather and share our voices, insights, talents and goals for the future.  We invite current foster youth age 14 and older and former foster youth age 18 and older to attend. Youth and alumni are welcome to bring guests; please include them in your RSVP.  Registration is free, but required. Register at
http://thanksgivingtogether.wikispaces.com.

Southwest Regional Thanksgiving
Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, from noon to 2:30 p.m.
Peoples Church, 220 William Howard Taft Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45219

Northeast Regional Thanksgiving
Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Saint Ignatius High School, 1911 W. 30th St., Cleveland, OH 44113

Southeast Regional Thanksgiving
Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Shively Dining Hall, Ohio University campus, Athens, OH 45701

Central Regional Thanksgiving
Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, from 1 to 4 p.m.
eSTEM Academy, 8579 Summit Rd.
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068

 CHILD WELFARE NEWS

Articles

Resources

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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