Tuesday, April 28, 2020

'A sigh of relief:' Advocates applaud Ohio's governor for providing safety net for those aging out of foster care

Youth advocates are breathing a sigh of relief after Ohio's governor announced the state will cover the costs of those aging out of the foster care system.

Governor DeWine thanked OHIO Youth Advisory Board for coming up with this plan.

On April 25, 2020, 10TV news interviewed Talia Holmes, president of the FCCS Youth Advisory Board. She knows firsthand what it's like to be in foster care.

"You're always having to worry about making sure you're presenting yourself in the best way, so the person you're with wants to keep you," Holmes said. "[You want to make sure] you're not put into another situation that may not be as good as the one you may be leaving from."

Holmes said this is a step to ensure Ohio's most vulnerable are set up for success. "It's providing them that extra leverage to be able to make steps securely so that they are able to be successful in society," she said.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Thank you, Governor DeWine

Quotes from Governor DeWine's Press Conference on April 24, 2020:
 Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state will continue to cover the costs for youth in foster care who are turning 18 during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to DeWine, more than 200 people will “age out” of Ohio’s foster care system in the next three months.

“For many of these young people, their future looks uncertain because of COVID-19, whether their plan was to start a career or pursue higher education. This program will provide them with a safety net during these difficult times,” DeWine said.

This option is also available for those in the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ Bridges program, which is foster care to age 21. DeWine said those in Bridges can stay in the program to help them maintain their housing, jobs, and education.

“These changes will ensure that no child leaves care during this pandemic without a safe place to call home. I encourage county children services agencies, juvenile courts, and the foster youth themselves to take advantage of this new opportunity,” he said.

During his daily briefing, DeWine thanked Ohio’s Youth Advisory Board for coming up with this plan.

Message to Ohio Public Children Services Directors on April 24, 2020:

Dear Directors,

Here is some additional information regarding the announcement you heard from Governor DeWine today at the press conference regarding children aging out of foster care and Bridges.

Foster Care: To ensure adequate transition planning and delivery of needed services to foster children, increased flexibility has been instituted within the Multi-System Youth allocation. These funds can now be used to support the cost of extended placement and supports for any youth aging out from any placement setting through June 30, 2020. These funds can be used to pay for supports that were expended as of the March 22, 2020 Stay at Home order.

Please refer to Procedure Letter 349: Foster Youth Not Aging Out for additional information about utilizing these funds to support these youth.

Bridges: In addition, please note that Bridges funding has also been extended to support young adults who turned or will turn 21 through June 30, 2020. Again, these funds can be used to pay for supports that were expended as of the March 22, 2020 Stay at Home order.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Number of Foster Youth Emancipating Per County in 2019

Please note that:

  • This map doesn’t capture the number of young adults who are currently in extended foster care in Ohio (Bridges program) 
  • Nor does it capture every youth who was in foster care in Ohio at ages 16/older 
  • There is a cumulative effect when we think about the cohort of former foster youth between ages 18+ 
  • Foster care youth move from one county to another, and even out-of-state, after foster care
  • Every former foster youth, in every county and every state, matters

National Reach As High As You Can Day

Learned from a coworker that today is National "Reach As High As You Can" Day.

Given everything that is going on in our state, our nation and the world, this is very timely.


Monday, April 13, 2020

The challenge of trying to do the Senior Picture Challenge

Sending apologies to those who tagged me about this - but I can’t post a photo for the #SeniorPictureChallenge, because I never had a senior year in high school.

I started college at age 16 #StraightOutOfFosterCare, ended up homeless within a year, bounced back and made it through college and grad school. All is well today - it was just bumpy in the beginning and took a while to get there.

Here’s glimpse of 15 year old Lisa as a junior in high school getting ready to turn 16 in Dec., with no idea what she’s headed for, but wanting to move forward regardless.

Sending hugs and love to one and all - especially my brothers and sisters of the foster care system. One thing is true: We can and WILL move mountains together. #LetsKeepPushingForward

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Let's keep moving forward...

The end goal is for housing resources to support foster youth to be available in every state, and every city/county, in our nation.