As our chapter moves forward into a new decade, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate our accomplishments in 2009 - and to invite each and every one of you to deepen your level of FCAA involvement during the year to come!
Our 2009 accomplishments include the following:
- Testifying before Ohio legislators, in the House, Senate and HB 1 conference committee, regarding the loss of state Independent Living Funds.
- Visiting various counties to build youth advisory boards.
- Co-hosting the youth track of the NACAC conference.
- Sharing foster care alumni insights nationally and locally, including the American Adoption Conference, DC visits hosted by Casey Family Programs and NACAC, the Ohio Summit on Children, and the 30th anniversary of Chafee funding.
- Hosting two FCAA reunions, one in Cincinnati during Foster Care Month, and one during Thanksgiving, attended by Ohio First Lady, Frances Strickland.
- Adrian McLemore and Cedric Riley were named 2009 FosterClub All-Stars.
- Doris Edelmann received the 2009 Brother Ray Fitz Award.
- Lisa Dickson received the FCAA Volunteer of the Year Award for Transformation
- The Ohio chapter was nominated for a national award based on our advocacy efforts.
- Continue to build a statewide network of foster care youth and alumni.
- Start planning our advocacy strategy re: Independent Living for the 2012-2013 Biennual Budget.
- Promote the needs of emancipating foster care youth to the Ohio faith community through our 2010 initiative, Project Safety Net.
- Finish and share our "When Helping You is Hurting Me" workshop, based on maintaining healthy boundaries in relationships with biological families and others, and while advocating for change.
- Invest our time and efforts in the Ohio Reach, HEMI and ASAP
- Partner with the Childrens Defense Fund on initiatives, including the Cradle to Prison Pipeline
- Support the Ohio Youth Advisory Board
- Partner with OACCA, YEP, Adoption Network Cleveland and OFCA
- Seek opportunities to engage youth in the OCWTP
How can YOU get involved? (if you aren't already)
- Look at the Foster Care Youth and Alumni Communities Map.
- This map is color-coded based upon existing foster care youth and alumni representation.
- Does your county have a youth advisory board? If not, would you like to be a part of building one?
- Would you like to reach out to other foster care alumni in your area?
- Have you connected with the leadership staff of the Ohio chapter, to share your passion for change, creative ideas and areas of expertise?