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Thursday, June 22, 2017

2017 CFSR

Kudos to our Ohio youth representatives for doing an amazing job on Tuesday, as part of the Federal Review of ODJFS.

Link to more photos.

Insights they shared included the following: 

  1. Appreciation for the Bridges program and YAB funding
  2. Ongoing challenges related to the fact that Ohio child welfare does the same thing 88 different ways, depending on county
  3. Expressing the need for Normalcy: Ohio's training went out to foster parents first, but many public and private child welfare agencies still haven't changed their policies
  4. Sharing the challenge of being in the custody of one county but placed in another: Ohio needs a bigger pool of foster parents for teens and host homes for young adults
  5. Reminding us of the need to make sure youth are still receiving copies of the OHIO YAB Youth Rights Handbook on an ongoing basis
  6. Sharing the need for more consistent Life Skills preparation: not just sharing a class one time; letting youth practice new skills more than once
  7. Reminding the Feds that Permanency needs to be permanent, rather than  adoptions that break down or are unsafe -- if only everyone did adoptions the Dave Thomas way
  8. Reminder again of the need for safe placements: our young people deserve to be safe in bio, adoptive, foster, kin, group homes, residential -- and it needs to be suited to their needs and development
  9. Asking youth why they ran away - and not just returning them to that same placement
  10. Youth also talked about higher education supports, like the CSCC Scholar Program

2017 OFCA Conference

Ashley Marie Williams and Katana Waters did a wonderful job representing the voices of current and former foster youth during the 2017 Ohio Family Care Association (OFCA) Conference.

Link to additional photos.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

2017 Bare Necessities

Jermaine and Anita Ferguson of the Ferguson Foundation facilitate the Bare Necessities: 'An In-Kitchen Experience' program.

Through this program, once a month, foster care youth ages 14+ will receive hands-on cooking instructions, combined with additional life skills information, to prepare them for their future.

Many thanks to Clint Scott and PrimaryOne Health on Parsons Avenue for supporting the Columbus pilot, by sharing their insights, resources and access to their on-site kitchen.

Link to additional photos.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

2017 CSCC Scholars in DC

Proud of CSCC Scholars for representing Ohio foster youth in DC. 

The Columbus State Scholar Network (CSSN)
is available to current or former foster youth who are admitted and enrolled at Columbus State Community College. This program provides current and former foster youth with a network of support during their college journey, including a five-day conference, ongoing mentoring, monthly Lunch & Learn Workshops, peer-to-peer support and other campus resources.   

2017 Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program

Proud of Jermaine Ferguson and Heather Hill for representing Ohio!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Helping CSCC Scholars Prepare for Their Upcoming Trip to DC

Michael Outrich and Lisa Dickson of ACTION Ohio were honored to help prepare Columbus State Scholars for their upcoming trip to DC.

The Columbus State Scholar Network provides current and former foster youth with a network of support during their college journey, including:
  • A five-day conference
  • Ongoing mentoring
  • Monthly Lunch and Learn Workshops
  • Peer-to-peer support
  • Other campus resources
Students who actively participate as Scholars are eligible to receive scholarships (stipends) and other valuable incentives to help build student success.

Visit this link for more photos.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

2017 OSU College for the Day

ACTION Ohio was honored to partner with our allies to host our fourth OSU College for the Day for Ohio foster care youth.  Youth participants represented Franklin, Athens and Montgomery counties.

Many thanks to:
  • OSU CHEE (Center for Higher Education Enterprise)
  • OSU DICE (Diversity, Intercultural and Community Engagement)
  • Buckeyes for Adoption and Foster Care
  • Franklin County Children Services 
The day included:
  • A Higher Education Scavenger Hunt
  • Youth reporting out and sharing their goals for the future
  • A Residence Hall Tour
  • Youth sharing their talents (art, music and comedy)
  • An engaging and wonderful speaker, Dr. Micky Sharma
  • Hands-on networking 
  • Opportunity to play sports outside

Please visit this link for additional photos.