On Wednesday, September 5 th class will be held at The Capital University Law School (303 E. Broad Street) in room 225. Several attorneys from the public/ private sector will be invited to describe how they engage youth and the steps they take to represent them in administrative and judicial settings. Goal of presentation: To share what my role as FCAA Communications Chair and co-facilitator of the Ohio Youth Advisory Board To share our involvement with foster care youth and alumni throughout the state - To share what I think new lawyers should know about engaging youth and the adults in their lives to be the most effective advocates.
Social Security Act section 475(5)(C)(iii) and Senate Bill 163 both require Ohio’s courts to engage in age-appropriate consultation with a child in any review hearing that pertains to a permanency plan. The law allows room for options for compliance ranging from verbal and/or written reports on the child’s wishes to in-person consultation with the child at the hearing. Each court has the latitude to determine for itself how they can logistically meet this requirement while serving the child’s best interest. Questions for Youth: (during Youth Panel at Ohio CASA Conference) At which hearings should you be there? (placement decision / change in case / general review with no change) How do you want your voice to be shared? (by a caseworker / by a CASA / a video of youth / you in person) Should they make exceptions based on: Your age? What a child wants? If they think the child/teen isn’t emotionally able? If they think it won’t benefit the child/teen? If the logistics are inconvenient? If the court “doesn’t want” to hear the child’s voice? Whether or not the court is kid-friendly? Is there a difference between kid-friendly and teen-friendly? What are some opportunities to prepare youth for court? (i.e. meet with judge, know what questions the young person might be asked, role-play ahead of time)
Preparing youth for the future – this is not an OPTION, this is FEDERAL LAW The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 outlines federal requirements regarding essential elements to be covered in the development of a 90-day transition plan.
The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 outlines federal requirements regarding essential elements to be covered in the development of a 90-day transition plan. Both federal law and Ohio Administrative Code require that prior to the youth’s emancipated from foster care, they need to receive ORIGINALS (not copies) of these three documents.
Photo Larry Palur, Amanda Dunlap and Representative Pat Tiberi advocacy for aftercare supports after adoption NACAC hosted an advocacy event in DC, including two days of legislative visits, from May 31– June 2 on behalf of youth adopted from foster care at an older age and adoptive parents who need post-adoption support. This event included representatives from 13 states, including Ohio. From each state, they invited:... • a young person (now 18 to 24) who was adopted from foster care at age 11 or older• an adoptive parent who can talk about the critical need for post-adoption support services• a representative from a local adoption support or child welfare advocacy group. Amanda Dunlap represented Ohio – and did such a wonderful job that Gregg Oberlander literally could NOT praise her enough when I presented before the Ohio Child Welfare Training Steering Committee earlier this week about certifying foster care youth/alumni as trainers….She helped the group navigate DC, and was so articulate that Gregg said that her voice opened doors for them to share with legislators.
Valued partnership with Ohio Supreme Court and Ohio Attorney General’s Office Foster care alumni in Ohio have the opportunity to serve as child welfare trainers through OCWTP as well
March 17 - 18, 2009, Testimony before House Human Services Committee regarding proposed budget cuts March 19, 2009, Testimony regarding loss of TANF-IL funds, as mentioned in the Hannah Report April 22, 2009, Testimony before the Ohio House of Representatives regarding loss of TANF-IL funds April 28, 2009, Ready to Launch Advocacy Day: Legislative visits to 24 Ohio Senators May 26, 2009, Meeting with Representative Sykes about reforming Independent Living funding in Ohio May 30, 2009, Testimony before Ohio Senate regarding partial restoration of Independent Living funds Oct. 27, 2009, Children's Defense Fund's Annual Women's Advocacy Action Day
Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act
Youth Voice in Court • Youth access to legal counsel • Youth access to CASA/GAL • Logistics of attending court hearings • Preparation for court hearings
Preparing Youth for the Future Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 Title II, Section 202 Mandates that 90 days prior to emancipation from foster care, “a caseworker on the staff of the State agency, and, as appropriate, other representatives of the child provide the child with assistance and support in developing a transition plan that is personalized at the direction of the child, includes specific options on housing, health insurance, education, local opportunities for mentors and continuing support services, and work force supports and employment services, and is as detailed as the child may elect.”
Youth Access to VitalDocumentation Prior to the youth’s emancipation from the agency’s custody, the PCSA or PCPA shall coordinate with the following agencies, to obtain necessary documents:• an original birth certificate• an original social security card• a current state identification card *OAC 5101:2-42-19: “Requirements for the provision of independent living services to youth in custody”
Youth Voice on PermanencySenate Bill 163 requires that in:• Any review hearing that pertains to a permanency plan, the court or a citizens board appointed by the court must consult with the child, in an age-appropriate manner, regarding the proposed permanency plan for the child.
Youth Training Professionals• 2010 Judicial Teleconference on Youth Voice in Court• Permanency Symposiums for Court-Related Professionals• 2012 Training Video by the American Bar Association• 2012 Ohio Attorney General 2 Days in May Event
Youth Voice on State LegislationPermanency and Vital Records• Oct. 22, 2009, Legislative visits regarding HB 197 and adoptee access to birth recordsOpposition to Neighborhood Notification Proposal• June 21, 2011, Ohio YAB testimony on HB 86
Budget Cuts to State Independent Living Allocation• March 17 - 18, 2009, Testified before Human Services Committee of the Ohio House of Representatives• March 19, 2009, Testimony quoted in the Hannah Report• April 22, 2009, Testified before the Ohio House of Representatives• April 28, 2009, Ready to Launch Advocacy Day: Legislative visits to 24 Ohio Senators• May 30, 2009, Testimony before Ohio Senate regarding partial restoration of Independent Living funds
Youth Voice on Federal Legislation• 2007 Home for the Holidays: Congressional Visits and Thanksgiving Dinner, as part of Kids Are Waiting Campaign• 2008 FCAA Alumni Leadership Institute• May 18 - 21, 2009, Congressional Visits with Casey Family Programs• May 31 - June 2, 2009, Congressional Visits with NACAC
Youth Voice on Federal Legislation• Sept. 10, 2009, NFCC housing policy platform for foster youth in Capitol Hill• Dec. 17, 2009, Chafee 10-year anniversary in DC• July 10-13, 2012, White House Young America: Outcomes and Results presentation in DC• Aug. 8-10, 2012, NYTD Technical Assistance Meeting in DC hosted by the Childrens Bureau