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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Federal Legislative Update

Ohio foster care youth and alumni advocates made AMAZING federal legislative progress this week...

1.) Senator Rob Portman is endorsing the “Improving Employment Outcomes for Foster Youth Act” as per our request.

2.) Senator Sherrod Brown is endorsing the “Fostering Success in Higher Education Act” as per our request (which will improve higher ed outcomes for foster AND homeless populations)

And last of all.... drumroll please...

3.) When it comes to the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act, which was literally written by Ohio foster care youth, the federal government is currently considering a $20 million allocation of “on-demand” housing vouchers for young people throughout the nation who are aging out of foster care.

All of this has happened in the span of two days, and we are currently working on follow up


Friday, May 17, 2019

2019 Meeting with Director of Child Welfare Transformation

Link to more photos.

On Friday, May 17, we had an 10:30 a.m. meeting at CSCC with Director of Child Welfare Transformation Kristi Burre.

Our meeting focused on three topics:  
1. ) Establishing a statewide foster care Ombudsman Office, and the importance of including foster youth voice and input on the process of designing this resource.

2.) Normalcy training and safety requirements for group homes and residential placements.

3.) Appreciation for the statewide Fostering Pathways to Success Conference, and desire to include foster care youth and alumni voice in future conference planning.

Participants included: Doris Edelmann, Jamole Callahan, Lisa Dickson, Nikki Chinn, Stevie Hayslip, Kyajah Rodriguez, Katana Waters, Juliana Barton, Ashley Marie Williams, Katrina De Los Santos, and Brett Welsch.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Next Steps from Meeting with Star House

Jill Gorz and Naima Illmi

The following brainstorming ideas came up during the recent meeting:

  1. How can Ohio Colleges/Universities/Tech Schools better screen for former foster and/or homeless youth?
  2.  How can available supports on Ohio campuses be woven together and also publicized to these at-need students?
  3.  How can we map out the narrative to those in power about the importance of not just enrolling students of promise who lack family support, but also supporting their continued success in college (aka: retention?) 
We could start by inviting representatives from the Offices of Diversity and Inclusion (and perhaps other departments as well) to come together for a brainstorming roundtable to discuss.

Possible Dates: (it would be great to finalize a date and location ASAP - maybe CSCC?)
- Friday July 26
- Friday Aug. 9
- Friday Aug. 23
- Friday, Sept. 6
- Friday, Sept 20

Draft Attendee List: (we can keep adding to it) 

  1. Ohio Department of Higher Education (formerly known as the Ohio Board of Regents) 
  2.  Randy Gardner, Chancellor of the Department of Higher Education
  3. Capital University Office of Diversity and Inclusion
  4. Columbus State Scholar Network
  5. OSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion
  6. OSU Bell National Resource Center
  7. Franklin University  
  8. CCAD 
  9. Otterbein  
  10. Wright State ISSN 
  11. Reach Scholars at Tri-C 
  12. Reach program at Ohio University 
  13. Reach program at Central State 
  14. Star House 
  15. ACTION Ohio 
  16. Starfish Alliance 
  17. Ashon McKenzie from the Children's Defense Fund of Ohio 
  18. My Place 
  19. Huckleberry House YOP Shop 
  20. (we can keep adding to this list as needed) 
 Draft Agenda: 
*If this is a full-day event, we can include a break for "Lunch, on Your Own"

  1. Welcome and Purpose 
  2. Overview 
  3. Speakers/Panel (representing both professional and "lived experience" expertise) 
  4. Group Work by Tables 
  5. Reporting out 
  6. Next Steps for Implementation - Workgroups, Timelines 
Supplies Will Include: 

  1. Packets for participants 
  2. Flip Charts for each table
  3. List of questions for each table

Presentation for Covenant Presbyterian Women

On Wednesday, May 8, 11:30am, Lisa Dickson, a foster care alumni and representative of ACTION Ohio (Alumni of Care Together Improving Outcomes Now), talked about what happens when youth age out of the foster care system.

Lisa was deeply impressed by the commitment of Covenant Presbyterian Women to work on social justice issues. Their efforts to date have positively impacted multiple populations, including homeless youth and adults, human trafficking victims, youth victims of abuse, and those suffering from emotional trauma.

Looking forward to building an ongoing relationship with these passionate leaders, to seek to improve outcomes for Central Ohio young people in and from foster care...