In an effort to improve foster care throughout Ohio, The Office of Children Services Transformation released their recommendations. Kinnect has the honor of being included in the final recommendations of the advisory council as their key values align closely with our own as well as the work that we do.
About the Advisory Council
The Children Services Transformation Advisory Council was created shortly after Governor Mike DeWine was sworn into office. Governor DeWine believes that our most vulnerable children should have the opportunities they deserve to succeed and live fulfilling lives. He made it a priority to reform Ohio’s foster care system.
The 21 Members of the Children Services Transformation Advisory Council traveled across the state in 2019 and listened to individuals and families as they shared their stories, their struggles and their recommendations for improving child welfare services. The Advisory Council was comprised of public and private child welfare professionals, foster parents, kinship parents, birth parents, adoptive parents and adults who experienced foster care as a youth.
Key Values of the Council
As a result of their listening and learning experiences, the Council identified the following values that would be at the forefront of their work in creating a stronger service delivery system in child welfare.
- Children deserve safe families and communities
- Children and families should have access to a standard level of care regardless of where they live
- Children should be raised in family-based settings and have a family to call their own before becoming an adult
The Advisory Council’s Recommendations
The Report highlights 37 RECOMMENDATIONS in seven key areas:
1- Prevention Services for children and families
2- Workforce Development and Support for Child Welfare employees
3- Promote Child Welfare Practice Strategies that strengthen children and families and are consistently utilized across the State
4- Kinship Care – Increase the number of youth who are placed with kinship caregivers as well as increased supports for kinship caregivers
5- Foster Care will better understand the impact of trauma and develop strategies to ensure the foster care system and foster families are better equipped to support youth and families as they strive toward reunification
6- Adoption – When a family makes a commitment to adopt a child, they should be supported both during and after the adoption process, to ensure that the unique needs of the child can be met long term
7- Juvenile Justice – There is an opportunity to partner with the judicial branch to ensure that all parties, including families and youth, are well represented at court hearings, are informed about timeframes, and are working together to strengthen families and achieve permanency
How Kinnect is Helping
- Kinnect was highlighted as an important resource for improving Kinship Care in Ohio; specifically its OhioKAN program.
- OhioKAN will work to ensure that trauma informed training is available to caregivers and is integrated into the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program.
- Kinnect was also highlighted as an important resource for meeting the statutory requirements for Family Search and Engagement; specifically it’s 30 Days to Family® Ohio program. The recommendations call for identifying collaborative family search and engagement strategies across other Ohio Family Service Delivery systems. Kinnect has expertise in this area.
Kinnect is honored to have been highlighted in this Child Services Transformation Report. If you wish to view the whole report, please see the link below:
OhioKAN is a new statewide flexible and responsive kinship and adoption navigator program designed to assist children, caregivers, families. OhioKAN is designed to help kinship and adoptive families navigate and connect with all of the resources available to them, both locally and statewide. Call 1-844-OhioKAN or visit https://ohiokan.jfs.ohio.gov/ to learn more.
30 Days to Family® Ohio is a short-term intervention that utilizes the strategies of diligent searching and relentless engagement to identify potential connections. To learn more, please visit https://kinnectohio.org/what-we-do/30days/