In 2007, when Ohio’s first FCAA elections were held, we determined that our chapter would allow elected officers the authority to modify officer positions in order to maximize the strengths of each person who is elected. This allows Ohio FCAA officers to negotiate the breakdown of duties in a way that makes the most sense for our chapter.
Ohio chapter membership has grown, in numbers and in experience. We have been aided in our growth through the annual Alumni Leadership Institute training, and opportunities to advocate nationally provided by Casey, NACAC and Foster Care Alumni of America. We have been challenged to deepen our advocacy expertise by repeated challenges to the future of our state’s Independent Living funding.
In 2009, Ohio FCAA officers and active members decided that we needed a larger leadership team in order to maximize our effectiveness. New positions include: Adoption Liaison, Media Spokesperson, Legislative Liaison, and a position of leadership over the newly established Cincinnati Subchapter.
2009 Revised Officer Positions
1. Operations Chair, Gabriel Koshinsky: Provides the structural component of our chapter. Ensures chapter compliance to national policies and procedures. In charge of finance-related projects such as fund-raising, and annual projects such as the FCAA Family Reunion.
2. Communications Chair, Lisa Dickson: Lead spokesperson for the chapter in terms of outreach, workshop development and policy. Maintains chapter records and communications, such as membership roster, volunteer hours, chapter newsletters, and website content.
3. Youth Outreach, Denee Foster: Facilitates peer support for the alumni of tomorrow, including enlisting youth insight in order to influence the Ohio chapter’s priorities and strategies.
4. Adoption Liaison, Amanda Dunlap: In charge of resource development and advocacy efforts having to do with adoptees. Ongoing communication and collaboration with NACAC, American Adoption Congress and Adoption Network Cleveland regarding issues such as sibling visitation, adjustment to adoptive families, and birth certificate issues.
5.) Media Spokesperson, Adrian McLemore: Represents the Ohio chapter to the local media. Responsible to be prepared discuss current initiatives and provide accurate quotes.
6.) Legislative Liaison, Alex McFarland: Responsible to stay informed about foster care news and advocacy areas in Ohio, and help devise advocacy strategy. Schedule legislative visits when needed.
7.) Cincinnati Subchapter, Amy Roberts: Facilitates membership growth and leadership development of Cincinnati FCAA members, with support from FCAA members all over Ohio, particularly members of the FCAA-OH chapter leadership team.
Subject Matter Experts
Since our inception, the Ohio chapter has established a strong statewide and national reputation regarding providing high quality workshops.
We’ve had the honor of presenting at It’s My Life, Daniel Memorial, NILA, American Adoption Congress and the Colorado Summit on Youth and Families. We’ve even been invited to apply as certified child welfare trainers for OCWTP.
This has created the need to tap into chapter member expertise regarding workshop subject matter.
Therefore addition to our Adoption Liaison, who will focus on adoption-related issues including sibling visitation, we are inviting members throughout the state to provide their expertise as SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) on various training topics such as:
- Juvenile Justice
- Teen/Single Parenting
Several members in Cleveland are experimenting with different ways to share our messages – through Digital Storytelling!