The Mission

Creating a Valuable Tool for Foster Youth…

This Site
You’re on a mission. You are preparing to age out of care. What does it take to get you from foster youth to adult? What resources are available to help with your transition? Who can help along the way? We will. We’ve collected information that will help guide you on this journey.

The Challenge
There are over 1,200 youth who age out of care in Ohio each year. A child placed in the custody of the state spends an average of 25 months in foster care, often moving multiple times. Foster youth can face many challenges – struggling with school, housing, employment, supportive adults, medical concerns – and the list goes on. The system is complex, the needs are real and the challenges are many for these young people.

What we need to see alongside these statistics are the faces, the many faces of the youth who deserve more. What we learned from listening to Adrian, Gabe, Vanessa, Cieria, Sarah and Kierra is that they need access to information. Developing their own understanding of their rights and responsibilities is imperative to empowering these young people as they transition to independence and adulthood.

Who We Are
Seeing the faces of youth and listening to them crystallized for a group of lawyers and judges affiliated with the Ohio State Bar Foundation to develop this Web site to support their mission to transition out of care.

We are the Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO) and the Ohio State Bar Foundation. We partnered on this important project to provide resources to foster youth in Ohio preparing to age out of care.

2007 Fellows Class of the Ohio State Bar Foundation
The Ohio State Bar Foundation (OSBF) is a 501(c)(3) public charity that works to advance the law and build a better justice system. The Fellows Class, comprised of volunteer attorneys and judges from around the state, singles out a legal issue each year and applies their collective expertise to find a solution.

The 2007 Fellows Class chose to support the foster youth who are preparing to age out of care in Ohio. They are faced with circumstances and situations that many other youth do not face. To be responsive to the needs of this population, the Fellows Class developed this Web site to address rights and responsibilities of foster youth in Ohio. In addition, it assembles a wide range of resources that could be helpful to foster youth. It is important that these youth be part of their life choices and be empowered to make informed decisions. The resource is also available to the adults who are part of their life journey. Knowledge is power.

Visit www.osbf.net to learn more about the Foundation’s grants, programs and other initiatives that support improvements in Ohio’s justice system.

Public Children Services Association of Ohio is a membership driven association serving Ohio’s 88 County Public Children Services Agencies through the support of program excellence and sound public policy for safe children, stable families and supportive communities. We do this through member dialogue, active sharing of information, building partnerships, research, training and technical assistance, and advocacy at the state and federal levels.

Since its inception in 1980, PCSAO has established itself as a leader in the child welfare community. Our organization is data driven and relies on research and best practices to advocate change in public policy. PCSAO, a progressive and proactive organization, has engaged in several initiatives including the following: establishing a system of uniform training made available to every social worker and supervisor employed by a county public children services agency; publishing the biennial Factbook, which provides critical data regarding Ohio’s children, families and the public children services agencies that serve them; and advocating at the state and federal levels for public policy, which better serves children and families. More information on PCSAO can be found at www.pcsao.org

Also part of PCSAO is the Overcoming Hurdles in Ohio Youth Advisory Board (OHIO YAB) is a statewide organization of young people (ages 14-23) who have experienced foster care. OHIO YAB exists to be the knowledgeable statewide voice that influences policies and practices that affect all youth who have or will experience out-of-home care, brings youth together on a statewide level regardless of race, sex, religion, creed, disability, sexual orientation or national origin, and provides exemplary leadership and empowerment opportunities for youth who have or will experience out-of-home care.

Visit www.pcsao.org/ohioyouth.htm for more information on how you can get involved.

The Casey Family Programs is the largest national operating foundation whose sole mission is to provide and improve—and ultimately prevent the need for—foster care. The foundation draws on more than 40 years of experience and expert research and analysis to improve the lives of children and youth in foster care in two important ways: by providing direct services and support to foster families, and by promoting improvements in child welfare practice and policy. The Seattle-based foundation was established in 1966 by UPS founder Jim Casey. Learn more at www.casey.org

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