The following is an announcement from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services:
Over the past few years you have heard about a variety of initiatives, recommendations, legislation, or workgroups around evaluating the foster care system in Ohio. Results from those efforts indicated a strong need to expand and enhance how foster care is operated in our state, to better meet the needs of children, caregivers, and agencies. With your support, our team has been diligently working through recommendations and inputs collected to create a plan and approach, and are ready to move forward with implementing this transformative initiative.
With that in mind, we are excited to announce a collaborative effort to launch Tiered Foster Care, with the specific goal of expanding levels of foster care and enhancing training and support for resource families to better serve children and youth in foster care.
We have established a representative stakeholder group to work through the key pieces of this effort, such as:
Defining and characterizing each of the planned tiers
Updating and enhancing resources, training, and supports available to caregivers
Setting more consistent rates and determining tool(s) needed to support the level of care across the State
While we share additional details and a planned timeline below, we want to emphasize how much we appreciate your input and feedback. To move this work forward and meet the aggressive timeline, the workgroup, which is comprised of various stakeholders from public and private agencies as well as associations, input from former foster youth and foster parents, and sister state agencies, has begun meeting to make key decisions. Routine updates will be provided as decisions are made. The implementation of Tiered Foster Care is a significant change to the system and will be most successful through collective ownership and active engagement across the state to drive this forward.
Together, we can make a tremendous difference for children and families in Ohio. We look forward to working with you along the way.