Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Ohio's First Youth Ombudsman

Ohio’s very first Youth Ombudsman, Jenny Stotts, was honored as one of Adoption Network Cleveland’s two 2022 Triad Advocates of the Year. She entered foster care as a baby, was adopted and her adoptive parents still serve as foster parents today. 

She and Assistant Youth Ombudsman Jeff Phillips would love our help in letting youth know about the Youth Ombudsman Office. Ohio foster care youth, alumni and allies first began advocating for a Youth Ombudsman Office in 2018. We met with legislators, gave testimony, and worked with CDF Ohio to build up a coalition.  Let’s continue to spread the word, and let youth know how to contact the office.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Focus on Teen Moms in Foster Care

As a statewide OHIO YAB Ambassador, Kelsie Brown has initiated and followed through on designing this three-part video project to reflect the experiences of Teen Moms in Foster Care. This project is a work of love, based on her lived experience and her desire to proactively share resources with others.

Kelsie's hope is that this video will inspire foster parents to take in teens, and provide viewers with empathy when it comes to the experiences of a teen mom in foster care. For additional resources, please visit: www.fosteractionohio.org/teen-moms/ 

Part 1: What It's Like to Be a Teen Mom in Foster Care

Part 2: What Teen Moms in Foster Care Need From Their Foster Parents

Part 3: Teen Moms in Foster Care Have Rights and Resources 

Monday, October 10, 2022

Jay and the Hamilton County Youth Advisory Board

Jay Brown is a former Hamilton County foster youth who is working behind the scenes to reignite and reinvigorate the Hamilton County Youth Advisory Board. 

Participation in a Youth Advisory Board:

  • Helps young people in and from foster care develop leadership, professional, organizational and public speaking skills

  • Provides them with peer support and opportunities to share their experiences in a strategic way to positively influences policies and practices that directly affect them
By being a part of the Hamilton County Youth Advisory Board, youth will become Resource Ambassadors to help other young people know where to turn when they need help and assistance. 

More than anything else, being a part of a Youth Advisory Board reminds young people of their strengths and capabilities. They are not victims of their experiences, but survivors and difference-makers who can help to smooth the path for young people who come after them.

Jay is currently seeking to identify staff members at public and private foster care agencies with whom she can communicate with about leadership opportunities for current and former foster youth (ages 14-24). She’s building up a directory of names, emails and phone numbers so that these staff members can let their youth know about YAB involvement and ongoing opportunities.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Youth Insights Regarding CST Juvenile Court-Related Recommendations

The OHIO YAB has a longstanding commitment to Youth Voice in Court, as exemplified by the photos below from the 2010 Judicial Teleconference, in partnership with the Ohio Supreme Court. 

Here is a summary of Ohio foster care youth and alumni input regarding the juvenile court-related recommendations included in the Children Services Transformation report.