Friday, November 2, 2012

Two New Transitional Youth Coordinators

From ODJFS First Friday publication:
Welcome to OFC’s new Transitional Youth Coordinators

One of the Ohio Youth Advisory Board’s “Top Five Asks of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS)” was for state staff to advocate for uniformity when it comes to youth who emancipate from care in Ohio. To help meet this request, the Bureau of Child and Adult Protection has appointed two new transitional youth coordinators: Susan Halter and Laurie Valentine (pictured below).

Susan has been with ODJFS for the past five years as a technical assistance specialist. Prior to that, she worked at Montgomery County Children Services for 14 years as a caseworker. Susan has 20 years of experience working with youth in various capacities through community service and mentoring.

Laurie has been with ODJFS for the past four years as a business analyst with the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) project, providing technical assistance to counties and private agencies. Before that, she worked on independent living and case planning projects at Pickaway County Job and Family Services for five years. Laurie has worked with youth in child welfare settings, public schools and the private sector for the past 21 years.

As a team, Susan and Laurie will work with public children services agencies (PCSAs) and private child placing agencies to identify the array of independent living services provided to youth in each county. They will work to create uniformity in these services and to improve the housing, employment and educational outcomes for youth who emancipate from agency custody.

To ensure regular communication with local agencies and our other partners, Susan and Laurie will host quarterly meetings for county independent living coordinators beginning in January 2013. At these meetings, they will share best practice ideas and provide technical assistance to county caseworkers and their supervisors. First Friday also will include regular news and updates regarding transitional living. To learn more, email or

An Introductory Transitional Living Videoconference is planned for 2-3 p.m. on Thursday, November 29, 2012. The conference will provide a brief overview of transitional living expectations and barriers. It also will explain the role of the new transitional youth coordinators.