OUR COLLABORATIVE

Bridges Program

 
Bridges extends housing and other supportive services to eligible young adults who leave foster care on or after their 18th birthday but are not yet 21 to more successfully transition to independence.

In 2016, Ohio became the 25th state to establish a IV-E extension program when Governor John Kasich signed Ohio House Bill 50. Unlike some states, Ohio did not expand its child welfare system. Instead, a new and distinct program was designed to provide supports to youths aging out of the system and help them successfully transition into adulthood.  This is the Bridges Program. The Collaborative is proud to have been selected by ODJFS to administer this program as the arrangement marks the first time that a IV-E extension is managed in a single statewide network. 

Bridges is a voluntary program available to young adults between ages 18 and 20 who leave foster care in Ohio and are in school, working, participating in an employment program, or have a medical condition that prevents them from going to school or working. The program provides guidance and support on their personal development path.

The program is designed by ODJFS and informed by public and private agency staff, juvenile court staff and other stakeholders including former foster youth.


Bridges provides the following participant benefits:

  • Provides assistance in finding and maintaining gainful employment

  • Ensures there is access to safe, stable and healthy housing

  • Links to appropriate physical and behavioral health services

  • Provides guidance in skill-building for lifelong self-sufficiency

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BRIDGES TEAM

Geoff Hollenbach, MSSW, LISW-S

Bridges Program Administrator

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Geoff directs the administrative team responsible for successful implementation of Bridges, Ohio’s extended foster care program through our provider network of 25 agencies and their staff.

Aditi Naik, MPA

Bridges Compliance Coordinator

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Aditi manages sub grant provider performance and compliance through audits, data analysis and reporting, and corrective action management.

Jason Harland

Bridges NW Regional Coordinator

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Jason is the primary provider of training and technical assistance to Bridges providers. He works with assigned agencies to ensure the highest standard of service is being delivered.

Katherine Weathers, MSSA-MSW

Bridges Program Manager

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Katherine oversees the Statewide Bridges performance and quality improvement initiatives and manages the daily operations and functions of the Bridges program.

Eliza Phinney

Bridges Intake & Referral Coordinator

Eliza serves as the first point of contact for young adults interested in the Bridges program and oversees the intake and referral process from initial inquiry to final connection with their Bridges program provider. 

Brad Bahl

Bridges Continuous Quality Improvement Director

Don Kuchey

Bridges SW Regional Coordinator

Sarah Shooter

Bridges SE Regional Coordinator

Doris Edelmann

Bridges Community Collaboration Coordinator

LaTasha Colbert

Bridges NE Regional Coordinator

Heidi Reddy

Bridges Central Regional Coordinator

Jamole Callahan

Bridges Community Collaboration Coordinator

Ohio Children's Alliance

Ph: (614) 461-0014 

2600 Corporate Exchange Drive 

Suite 180  

Columbus, OH 43231

© 2020 Ohio Children's Alliance

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