Help available to youths aging out of foster care amid pandemic

February 9, 2021 op-ed by Megan Henry in the Columbus Dispatch

“Having a relief package like that was a big boost to my morale,” said the 20-year-old. “It’s very comforting and it’s a lot of relief and stress off my shoulders.”

Sandhu entered the foster care system when he was 15and emancipated after he graduated from Findlay High School in northwest Ohio in 2019. 

Read the full op-ed here.

Ohio organizations urge Congress to act swiftly to address impacts on children and families caused by the Covid-19 pandemic

Ohio organizations are among more than 570 national, state and local organizations that are urging Congress for emergency child welfare support to address the COVID-19 crisis. Read letter here.

Children’s Defense Fund – Ohio
Groundwork Ohio
Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Ohio Children’s Alliance
Ohio Council of Churches
Providence House
Public Children Services Organization of Ohio
Schubert Center for Child Studies at CWRU
The Ohio Council of Behavioral Health and Family Services Providers

Ohio Gov. DeWine will cover costs of youth “aging out” of foster care until end of pandemic

OLUMBUS, Ohio – Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state will continue to cover the costs for youth in foster care who are turning 18 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to DeWine, more than 200 people will “age out” of Ohio’s foster care system in the next three months.

“For many of these young people, their future looks uncertain because of COVID-19, whether their plan was to start a career or pursue higher education. This program will provide them with a safety net during these difficult times,” DeWine said.

Article here

Letter to Ohio Governor DeWine from Older Youth Advocacy Organizations

April 11, 2020

Overcoming Hurdles in Ohio Youth Advisory Board

Alumni of Care Together Improving Outcomes Now Ohio

…We would also like to propose, and offer our assistance in implementing; three proactive measures that we believe will vastly improve current and long-term outcomes for young people in and from foster care. Especially now, in the midst of crisis, our state has the opportunity and responsibility to:

  1. Expedite the timeline for establishing a statewide Foster Youth Ombudsman’s Office.
  2. Extend Chafee supports to age 23, as authorized by the federal Family First Act.
  3. Suspend emancipation proceedings for all youth facing release from foster care for six months, allow re-entry for foster youth younger than 21, and allow youth who reach the age of 21 in extended foster care (Bridges) to remain in care through October 30, 2020. …

Letter here

‘We need heroes right now’: Pleas for foster families amid coronavirus (Ohio)

April 4, 2020

Columbus Dispatch

According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio had more than 16,600 children in out-of-home care earlier this week. Of the state’s 7,880 licensed foster homes, about 4,440 had children placed in them.

To keep foster-parent recruiting efforts moving, the organization is conducting training classes online and in video format. “These individuals are natural helpers,” Jones said. “I don’t see them going away. But we have to do everything we can to support them.”

Read the full article here.