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Our Histoy

Since 1975

Educate, Support and Advocate for Ohio Families

 

There is no greater feeling, no greater satisfaction, than knowing you are making a difference 

For those who are not familiar with OFCA, please let me tell you who OFCA is

In 1974 a group of foster parents started a grassroots effort to improve Ohio’s child protection system. Quickly realizing that to impact change families must have a “voice”, OFCA incorporated as a nonprofit agency in 1975 and began addressing policies and legislation affecting families.  As foster parents around the state joined, OFCA held its first resource family conference in 1976.  Understanding that children in out of home care have multiple caregivers, OFCA began educating, advocating and giving a voice to not only foster but also adoptive, kinship, respite and primary (birth) families touched by the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

Issues that captured OFCA’s attention in the 1970’s  

  • The public agency was the only agency that recruited foster parents in child welfare
  • Foster parents were asked to make a commitment never to adopt one of their foster children
  • Mandatory reporting laws for child abuse had just been passed and the federal law (92-247) required Ohio to take what was happening to children more seriously
  • Few educational requirements existed for foster parents
  • Foster parents were not encouraged to meet together to garner support. 

Members achieved success by collaborating with other groups in

  • The establishment of annual reviews
  • Redefining permanent custody
  • Allowing liability insurance for foster parents in Ohio
  • Subsidized adoptions 

The 1980’s

During this period, the Ohio Foster Care Association focused on

  • The federal Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act
  • The definition of Difficulty of Care Payments
  • Immigration of Amerasian children
  • The provision of foster homes for adolescents

In June 1989, the organization changed its name to the Ohio Family Care Association (OFCA) in order to incorporate all resource families. 

1990’s to Present

In the 1990’s, the first part-time staff was hired to begin a program of family leadership development and organization capacity building 

Today, OFCA’s core activities include 

  • Educating members of the General Assembly about the needs of abused, neglected and dependent children and the resource families that care for them
  • Testifying in support of increased funding during consideration of the state’s biennial budget
  • Representing resource families in meeting held by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in which proposed regulatory changes are being considered 
  • Offering educational opportunities to resource families and agency personnel including our very popular annual conference
  • Maintaining regular communication with its members through a monthly newsletter are periodic e-new flashes
  • Responding to families who are experiencing difficulties related to out-of-home-care, primary family stabilization and post adoption care
  • Collaborating with local leadership in the development of cross agency county associations
  • Training individuals as parent advocates in their counties