Monday, October 20, 2008

Welcoming Brandi as adult supporter of the Ohio YAB

Staffing Changes Regarding the OHIO YAB:

Brandi Scales will be joining Arlene Jones as adult supporter of the Overcoming Hurdles in Ohio Youth Advisory Board. She brings a wealth of experience to this position, including her law degree, undergraduate degree in Political Science, and experience lobbying state legislators in Washington, D.C.

Brandi used to work in the Ohio Statehouse for Senator Ray Miller. She aspires to be a judge one day, specializing in family law and adoptions, in order to provide permanency for young people in foster care. As a social worker, Brandi has experience working with youth, and she is very excited about supporting and equipping statewide youth advisory board members

Kelly Knight will continue be involved with the O.H.I.O. YAB, although her role will change to focusing on special projects, such as working with youth to create the statewide foster care youth rights handbook.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Upcoming Conferences in 2008 and 2009

On Dec. 15, 2008, YEP will host their 2nd annual statewide Youth Housing Summit.

National conferences coming to Ohio in 2009:

April 23 – American Adoption Congress 30th annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio
Aug 12-15 – NACAC 35th annual conference in Columbus, Ohio
Nov 19 – American Association of Children’s Residential Centers in Cleveland, Ohio

Other national events to look forward to in 2009:
NILA Growing Pains conference
Casey It's My Life conference

Statewide events to look forward to in 2009:
Ohio’s 3rd annual statewide Independent Living Summit, hosted by OACCA
Ohio's 3rd annual Youth Housing Summit, hosted by YEP

Recent Ohio events involving and supporting youth

Ohio recently hosted five statewide events focusing on the needs and concerns of young people aging out of foster care.

1.) Spotlight on Homeless Youth: YEP hosted a statewide retreat for homeless youth on August 10, 2008. Because half of the youth in attendance have a history of foster care, Lisa Dickson was invited to lead a breakout session focusing on resources and opportunities.

2.) Success Is A Choice: Franklin County Children Services and PCSAO sponsored a statewide foster care youth rally on August 19, 2008, led by foster care alumni and motivational speaker Cedric Riley. 150 youth attended this event (pictured above), representing Athens, Hamilton, Franklin and Cuyahoga counties.

3.) PCSAO Conference: The Youth Track included representatives from the following organizations:

- FosterClub
- National Campaign to Prevent Youth and Unwed Pregnancy
- Foster Care Alumni of America

During this conference, the Ohio YAB was awarded Child Advocate of the Year!

4.) IL Summit: Ohio's second annual statewide Independent Living Summit was led by OACCA and supported by youth advocacy organizations throughout the state.

- Youth were able to share their insights with Ohio legislators and agency directors.
- The morning plenary session was led by the Institute of Human Services.
- YEP shared how to advocate for the needs of homeless youth and unite youth to create social change
- Information about valuable resources was provided, including Job Corps, WIA, ETV funds and Dress for Success.

Working Together: Next year, partnering agencies throughout the state of Ohio plan to work together to combine the PCSAO Youth Track with the OACCA IL Summit and create one fabulous two-day event!

5.) CASA conference: Three OHIO YAB members participated in the youth panel of the 14th annual Ohio CASA conference. Participants indicated that hearing from youth was one of the highlights of this event, and strongly recommended that young people return to share their voices and insights next year.

Ohio represented at National Independent Living Conference

During the 2008 NILA Conference:

1.) The Dayton V.I.S.I.O.N. Board hosted and led pre-conference activities:

2.) Lisa Dickson of Foster Care Alumni of America gave a keynote address, after which O.H.I.O. YAB President Adrian McLemore and members of the VISION Board shared “My Vision” T-shirts. Youth assisted Lisa with her youth and adult workshops as well!

3.) The second keynote of the conference was led by Michael Sanders: