Friday, March 22, 2019

Resources for Reunified Youth

Reunification is a term that refers to the process of when a child or teen is sent back to live with their biological family after spending time in foster care.
What happens to children and teens who experience foster care, and are sent back home?
What resources exist to help them succeed?

Top Five Local Resources for Reunified Youth:
*Hopefully, some of these resources might exist in other Ohio counties as well. 

  1. Franklin County Children’s Services has an Asset Building program for youth ages 14-17 years old who are reunified with their biological families. The young person needs to call the FCCS Intake Line at (614) 229-7000, and ask specifically for the “Asset Building Program.”
  2. Buckeye Ranch has a Same Day Assessment program for counseling. In the assessment they will talk with the young adult about what services would best support them, including in-home, or community based outreach. Teens can consent to their own treatment on a time-limited basis.

    (Directions for Youth offers outreach services to youth ages 5-18, but not sure if teens can consent to their own treatment).
  3. Achieve More and Prosper (AMP) is a free program for youth, ages 14 – 24 years old, who need help with financial issues, limited job options, low wages, unreliable transportation, and lack of support with a personal advocate and a range of services. Here’s a link to their online application.
  4. Huckleberry House provides a 24-hour Crisis Shelter for teens ages 12-17 who are homeless, who have run away and/or who are dealing with a crisis at home. Youth can go to a designated Safe Place site for immediate assistance and support. Safe Places include: Kroger, White Castle, the Fire Station, every Columbus Metropolitan Library branch and Worthington Public Library locations.
  5. The Franklin County Youth Advisory Board is a great local resource for peer support and advocacy opportunities. Link to sign up and get involved
It never hurts to reach out the young person’s school as well. Some schools provide bus passes and other academic support resources.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

2018 National Estimates of Homeless Youth

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Our foster care system is failing teens on a national level

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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Planning ahead for DC in 2019

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Broken Bridge Between Youth-Serving and Adult-Serving Systems

Lack of access to existing services by former foster youth is a national problem:

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Part of this is that there needs to be a better bridge between youth-serving and adult-serving systems:

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Employment and Education Outcomes for Ohio Foster Youth By Age 21

Ohio has a fractured safety net for transitional youth in general, and this is especially true for young people "aging out" of foster care.

1.) Ohio ranks dead last in the nation when it comes to state funding for child-protection services.

2.) Our child welfare services are county-administered, with 88 different children services agencies with varying levels of taxpayer support.

3.) It is important for young people with a foster care history to know about about available resources, and to have the skills to navigate (often complex or disjointed) systems to access them.

Click to enlarge this image

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Love this story from Angie, my college friend

Yesterday (her son) disobeyed, and he was put in a time-out and lost his screen time:

He took this piece of paper and he drew a very small circle and he said, "This is how much I love you."  Then, he took another piece of paper, and drew large circles to represent all the other people he “loved more” than me. 

I picked up the first piece of paper, with the tiny circle, and said, “I understand you are upset with me because of what’s happening but this is how much I love you even though I’m upset with what you did.”  I drew a very large circle covering the whole page.

His eyes widened, his tight shoulders released, and his face relaxed into a smile. He took a moment, and then drew an equally large circle and said, "This is how much I really love you - and I’m sorry I didn’t do what you asked - and I’m sorry I ate the cookies”.

I realize that even though he misbehaved, he inherently felt shame and he reacted in anger towards me instead of accepting what he had done. When I responded with reassurance that I still cared about him, he felt safe again and took responsibility and moved forward. 

Just thought I would share this moment, because when I drew my circle I didn’t expect the response from him that he gave, I just wanted him to know that his mistakes in childhood would never change my love, for him and that every one of us needs to accept what we do and take responsibility -- but that’s so much easier when you know you are supported and loved.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Benon Lutaaya: Collage Artist

Benon Lutaaya, Johannesburg, South Africa

Patrick Bremer: Collage Artist

Patrick Bremer, German collage artist

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