2016 Public Policy Agenda

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Ensure every child who “ages out” of the child welfare system has a multi-level family support system in place.

We all know that youth who have strong family support are more successful in navigating the transition to adulthood. As Ohio stands on the edge of implementing the Normalcy and the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard and passing legislation to develop a statewide system to support youth in care to age 21, it is important to identify and encourage multiple family supports as a vital part of ensuring success for these youth. OFCA advocates for ensuring systems designed to protect and nurture youth are family centered and include the capacity and commitment to achieve outcomes that promote and improve social, physical, behavioral and emotional well-being.

Establish and strengthen family-led support groups and parenting partners 

Families that care for children who are or have been in the child protection or juvenile justice system face challenges unique to their family structure. Through authentic communication about the needs and purposes of each role, and with compassion and support for each other, families feel less isolated and gain the stability and support needed to successfully raise youth in their home. To prevent crises that could potentially harm or disrupt children in their homes, OFCA seeks to educate and facilitate collaboration between parents, organizations and others that have joint responsibility for the care, nurturing and decision making for a child.

Advocate for  Family Stability Funding

Children that are or have been in the child welfare or juvenile justice system are often impacted by trauma. For many children, this trauma manifests in ways that cause tremendous stress on families and caregivers. OFCA advocates to ensure family stability funding including but is not limited to funding for post adoption, kinship and respite without regard to the parent’s income. OFCA additionally seeks to ensure federal-state-local partnerships includes a mechanism for shared risk taking.

Advocate for Family Stability Intervention

OFCA seeks to ensure that when intensive therapeutic intervention is required in a residential-based setting, the connection between the child and the family is maintained, including foster and kinship families and that a family does not have to relinquish custody to secure needed residential treatment. The family is involved in the child’s treatment and also receives the help they need for successful reunification, greatly reducing the cycle of failure associated with post residential and foster care placement.

Collaborate with public and state partners on resource and primary parent recruitment and engagement

OFCA seeks to ensure that recruitment for temporary care (foster and kinship), reunification with birth family and placement with permanent adoptive families reflect the true dynamics surrounding care for a child that is or has been in the child protection or juvenile justice system

Support better access to services, in particular post adoption, respite and behavioral health care, for resource and primary families in Ohio

OFCA seeks to ensure all family types, whether primary, foster, kinship or adoptive, have access to responsive systems of care that deliver appropriate, integrated, comprehensive, home- and community based services and support designed to improve child and family outcomes.

Ensure the voice of family is included in policy developed for the child protection and juvenile justice system that affect families in any way

Many Ohio resource and primary families mistakenly believe their “voice” does not matter. By working with professionals and friends, OFCA seeks to ensure the family voice is included in all policy developed for child protective and juvenile justice system and use their collective experiences, talents and time to help all who have come to the attention of child protective services or the juvenile justice system.