Families with children who have been in the custody of child welfare or juvenile justice systems too often feel disconnected from each other and from the agencies with which they are affiliated. These disconnects can result in caring people who may feel alone as they negotiate challenges to successful care-giving. OFCA serves both as a voice for and as a partner to these Ohio families.
OFCA seeks to bring together Ohio resource families (adoptive, foster, kinship, and respite), primary families, child-caring agency personnel, and interested others to promote the best interests of children, youth, and families who have been in touch with Ohio’s child placement systems that utilize resource families.
OFCA’s intent is to be a voice for resource and primary families in order to:
- strengthen the public image, status and rights of families;
- encourage recruitment and retention of resource families;
- conduct educational and informational activities for families;
- assist local family associations;
- advance communication, coordination, and collaboration among resource families, primary families, and public and private child-caring agencies;
- increase supports to families including sufficient reimbursements or subsidies for the care of children and youth placed in resource families; and
- advocate on behalf of families and the children, youth and the families they care for.
Family driven, family-centered, child-oriented principles guide the work of OFCA
- Children belong in families
- Child-caring agencies need partnerships with resource families to achieve strong outcomes for the children and the families served
- Cultural competence is paramount to successfully helping children and families
- Family care is best for the safety, stability, permanence and well-being of children
Reliance on institutional and group care must be reduced in Ohio with corresponding resources shifted to kinship care, foster care, adoption and family-centered services.