Kudos to our Ohio youth representatives for doing an amazing job on Tuesday, as part of the Federal Review of ODJFS.
Link to more photos.
Insights they shared included the following:
- Appreciation for the Bridges program and YAB funding
- Ongoing challenges related to the fact that Ohio child welfare does the same thing 88 different ways, depending on county
- Expressing the need for Normalcy: Ohio's training went out to foster parents first, but many public and private child welfare agencies still haven't changed their policies
- Sharing the challenge of being in the custody of one county but placed in another: Ohio needs a bigger pool of foster parents for teens and host homes for young adults
- Reminding us of the need to make sure youth are still receiving copies of the OHIO YAB Youth Rights Handbook on an ongoing basis
- Sharing the need for more consistent Life Skills preparation: not just sharing a class one time; letting youth practice new skills more than once
- Reminding the Feds that Permanency needs to be permanent, rather than adoptions that break down or are unsafe -- if only everyone did adoptions the Dave Thomas way
- Reminder again of the need for safe placements: our young people deserve to be safe in bio, adoptive, foster, kin, group homes, residential -- and it needs to be suited to their needs and development
- Asking youth why they ran away - and not just returning them to that same placement
- Youth also talked about higher education supports, like the CSCC Scholar Program