Ohio's Families and Children Rule Review Site

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Supportive services for prevention of placement, reunification and life skills.

Original Comment:

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Gabriella Craft
10-30-2020 (11:42pm)
I am writing this as a testimony that has to deal with the section of this law (A) (4) To assist a child who has attained the age of fourteen to prepare for transition from substitute care to independent living and self-sufficiency. I would like to share my personal experience with aging out of the foster care system in Franklin County Ohio in 2005. I was never provided with any of the resources that are available to foster youth in Ohio. I somehow managed to attend post-secondary education in Ohio and went as far as obtaining a master’s degree in social work. I entered foster care at 14 and knew from the start that I wanted to obtain a post-secondary education. I had one placement the entire time I was in foster care and my foster mom is an AMAZING person. I was her first placement and she only takes in teen females however even to this day I know that she is not aware of the resources listed and shared by Lisa Dickson in the link https://fosteractionohio.org/training-track-proposal/. She did her absolute best to prepare me as best as she could for an adult life but with no training on resources or how to teach life skills to teens. I even went as far to stay in a host home in between exiting care and moving into the university I attended. My host home experience was horrible. The host home parents ended up getting mad at me because another girl who stayed with them was suicidal and I allowed her to use my phone to call a suicide hotline when she had lost her phone privileges. The host home kicked me out at the point which was several weeks before I was to start school even though they were paid to keep me for a certain length of time and I ended up transiently homeless at that time and had to sleep on a couch at a friend of a friend. During my time in a host home no such life skills were taught to me and no resources were provided to me by a county worker, my foster mom, or my host home. During my time in foster care I do remember receiving at some point some type of assessment of my life skills but the assessment seemed very inadequate in assessing my current life skills, but never was anything done to implement teaching me those life skills or at the very least providing me with resources that were available to youth aging out of care in Ohio. I believe that there strongly needs to be a consistent model implemented statewide that prepares youth for self-sufficiency as an adult. I strongly feel that if any of the people involved in my life during foster care would have had training about the resources available to youth aging out I would have not had to struggle as much as I did during my post-secondary education. I struggled greatly with housing, finances including paying for college, and disability (to which I had to navigate on my own although I was on disability when I entered care it was not continued into adulthood). I found out about most resources through my own research and only after I was too old to qualify for any of the resources except for Medicaid up to age 26. There is so much more to my story and specifics I can’t include in this comment about my specific struggles please do not hesitate to reach out for more information I would be happy to provide it. I strongly agree with the recommendations from the link provided by Lisa Dickson that supports the proposals of ? Standardized curriculum designed by foster care alumni ? Scheduling a Training of Trainers for a team of foster care alumni trainers ? Training rolled out statewide ? Including a post-training Coaching component ? If part of this training is online, seek to have a live training where people sign in, and a post-test to ensure transfer of learning.
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