The Ohio Family Care Association (OFCA) serves as the statewide voice for the thousands of adoptive, foster, kinship, primary and respite families caring for children impacted by Ohio’s child protection system. Our mission centers on connecting, empowering and serving families in six service areas:
*Advocacy, *Community Awareness, *Family Support, *Building Connections, *Post-Placement Services, and *Education.
OFCA advocacy goals include the discussion of current and proposed changes in child protection policy and legislation, staying connected to what is happening at the state level in the development of laws and rules, ensure the family voice is included in all policy developed for the child protective system and speak as a united voice for Ohio families in rule development, legislation and practice issues. We believe rules and practices set to benefit one family group must not have unintended consequences for another.
OFCA seeks to promote community engagement and awareness of issues and needs of Ohio foster, adoption, kinship, primary/birth family and respite caregivers. Board members are encouraged to speak out locally to area groups and interested parties on issues of concern or interest to families. It is the association’s intention to get the word out that children grow best in families, that there are needs within the child welfare system, and that empowering and supporting caregivers and parents to become effective, caring parents for their children is a top priority.
OFCA publishes a quality and informative newsletter each quarter for the membership and also for distribution to other interested parties. OFCA also uses internet resources for current issues and distributes E-News bulletins at various times.
OFCA provides a warm line for resource families who are experiencing difficulties or desiring to share joys related to providing care for children that have been removed from their primary home by the child welfare system or who have been reunified with their primary parents.
OFCA helps build, train and sustain Ohio peer-led family support groups. and empowers Ohio resource and primary families to use their collective experiences, talents and time to help children and families who have come to the attention of child protective services do the best job possible in caring for their children.
OFCA works to connect families to support groups in their area, connect support groups to each other, connect regional and advocacy groups and provide referrals to local agencies and peer mentors. OFCA works to provide connections between statewide groups, both public and private, that advocate for a specific family group or agency serving that family.
Education and the need for support does not end once a child is in their permanent home. OFCA recognizes that families need ongoing support and services. OFCA provides guidance, answers and resources to support families and transitioning youth by advocating for ongoing post placement services for adoptive, kinship, primary parents and transitioning youth.
OFCA strengthens and supports the development of strong, successful resource and primary families through education. Educational goals include improving the well-being of children, stabilizing families, understanding the impact of trauma, implementing tools and resources that stabilize and empower families and supporting connections between all parties by emphasizing the reality that relationships established during the period of time families are served by the child welfare system have a lifelong impact with tremendous opportunities for personal growth, healing and strength.