Friday, May 17, 2019

2019 Meeting with Director of Child Welfare Transformation


Link to more photos.

Today's meeting with Director of the Office of Foster Care Transformation Kristi Burre focused on three topics:

1. ) Establishing a statewide foster care Ombudsman Office, and the importance of including foster youth voice and input on the process of designing this resource.

2.) Normalcy training and safety requirements for group homes and residential placements.

3.) Appreciation for the statewide Fostering Pathways to Success Conference, and desire to include foster care youth and alumni voice in future conference planning.

Friday, April 19, 2019

2019 Ohio Medicaid Director Meeting


Link to more photos.

We were honored to meet with Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran on Friday, April 19, 2019.

Participants included:
  • Samantha Dillon, Vice President of the OHIO Youth Advisory Board
  • Sonja Nelson and Alex Romstedt of the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority
  • Katana Waters and Cloe Cooper of the CSCC Scholar Network
  • ACTION Ohio members: Jessica Camargo and Lisa Dickson
  • Alumni advocate Laquita Howell and her son Ralph 

Our discussion focused on:
  1. Barriers to Medicaid access for former foster youth, and proposed solutions to address this perennial problem
  2. The need for a support staff person for Scholar House III

We also suggested that the state of Ohio could create a review panel of medical professionals, including trauma-informed child psychiatrists, to address questions and concerns regarding foster care children and teens and whether the treatment and medications they are prescribed are clinically appropriate.

Friday, April 5, 2019

2019 Pathways conference


Link to more photos.

Quotes from youth evaluations of the OHIO YAB workshop:


Normalcy, especially in Group Homes and Residential Placements

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During the 2019 statewide conference for foster youth, the OHIO Youth Advisory Board led a morning workshop and facilitated an afternoon table.

 The OHIO YAB invited each and every youth participant to share the concerns that matter most to them, and to have a voice when it comes to OHIO YAB advocacy priorities in 2020

 The #1 issue that has come up, over and over again is: “Normalcy, especially in group homes and residential placements.”

Here are some direct quotes from what youth shared in writing during the 2019 Pathways conference: 
  •  Group homes should be used as a last resort 
  • They aren’t good for certain kids. 
  • I think group homes are not good because of the many limits of what you are allowed to do. 
  • I think residential placements are worse because they can be very unsafe. Need more cameras. 
  • I don’t like being in group homes. We don’t get freedom. Need more cameras in the rooms to keep us safe. 
  • Staff members aren’t trained on how to de-escalate conflict 
  • Without normalcy, group homes feel like jail because we have no freedom. 
  • When it comes to civil freedoms, it’s not normal to have to earn them 
  • Too many limits that make kids feel different 
  • Too many limits because of past experience 
  • Feeling normal is very hard 
  • Shouldn’t feel like a jail. 
  • Youth clients in residential should be able to have as much freedom as they can, instead of being locked in all day. 
  • Residents should be able to have as much normalcy as possible. 
  • Some group homes are way too hard on the kids. 
  • Need more normalcy and equality. 
  • Not allowed cell phones 
  • Equality: it’s not our fault for being in this situation. Please stop the dehumanization of foster youth. 
  • They should focus more on each individual. 
  • Too many limits. Also saying, “No,” because of what someone did before 
  • They should provide better preparation for adulthood. They don’t do it enough or go over it. 
  • Please listen to us more 
  • I feel they should support more of our thoughts and feelings 
  • Please give us normalcy and remember that we are people too 
  • Please support and understand our efforts to build a future 
  • Providing normalcy makes our time in foster care easier, when and if it happens 
  • Being able to see family: 1 month waiting period 
  • Having to earn visitation with family 
  • Having to earn trust to be able to see family on birthday 
  • It hurts going to school and not having the same freedoms. 
  • I think we should have the right to a phone. 
  • Wanted to go to church and they required photo IDs etc for us to go 
  • Feeling confined, voiceless, no one listening to concerns 
  • No favoritism. Staff should not bully youth. 
  • Need more cameras to keep us safe, due to bullying and abuse that happens (multiple youth listed and asked for this)