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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Paving the Way for A New Day for Young Adults in Ohio's Mental Health System

In Ohio, we are working to bridge the gap between the juvenile and adult mental health systems.

This initiative, "Paving the Way for A New Day, Young Adults in Ohio's Mental Health System" is based on the premise that: “Transitional youth are the ones in need of the most help because they are at the point in their life where they can either drown in poverty and depression or get the help they need to turn their life around to become productive members of society…”

The Ohio chapter of Foster Care Alumni of America strongly supports this initiative, because we know that transition from juvenile systems, such as foster care, mental health, to adult systems of support can be challenging.

Ironically and sadly, the easiest system-transition is from the juvenile justice system to adult prisons, a.k.a. the Cradle to Prison Pipeline.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Upcoming 2008 and 2009 conferences

On Dec. 15, 2008, one of the breakout sessions at Ohio's second annual statewide Youth Housing Summit, hosted by YEP, will focus solely on the needs of young people aging out of foster care.

National conferences coming to Ohio in 2009:

April 23 – American Adoption Congress 30th annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio
Aug 12-15 – NACAC 35th annual conference in Columbus, Ohio
Nov 19 – American Association of Children’s Residential Centers in Cleveland, Ohio

The Ohio chapter of Foster Care Alumni of America has submitted workshop proposals for all three conferences. We are confirmed to lead a workshop on "The Importance of Maintaining Sibling Connections" at the AAC conference in April.

Other national events to look forward to in 2009:
NILA Growing Pains conference
Casey It's My Life conference

Statewide events to look forward to in 2009:
Ohio’s 3rd annual statewide Independent Living Summit, hosted by OACCA
Ohio's 3rd annual Youth Housing Summit, hosted by YEP

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving Foster Care Alumni Reunion in Ohio

On November 27, 2008,  foster care youth and alumni from each of Ohio’s 88 counties were invited to enjoy a Thanksgiving buffet and time with our extended foster care alumni community.

Our event took place at the Holiday Inn Dayton. The hotel staff members were incredibly helpful to us - including the chef, who is a foster parent. Here is a link to more photos.

Doris Edelmann of Montgomery County Children Services played a strong role in orchestrating this event. Doris believes in the importance of this event so much that she brought her entire family to be a part of it!

We greatly appreciate the assistance given to us by OACCA, who sponsored the price of attendance for many participants, and PCSAO, who agreed to reimburse transportation expenses.

Many thanks also to valued allies, Assistant Professor Alvin Mares of OSU, and Bryan Brown of Starr Commonwealth, for joining us for Thanksgiving dinner.