October 2018

Meet Linda
Linda loves to be active and enjoys swimming and gymnastics. She would like to play soccer.

She loves doing anything outdoors, especially camping and sight seeing. Linda would love to have a family that is active and enjoys being outside as much as she does.
Linda also loves hot sauce and will put it on everything! She is a happy kid and really tries to get along with everyone.

Linda needs a family where she can be the youngest child in the home.               

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Children needing families has 
more than doubled

For most of my 11 years as director, whenever anyone asked how many children we had awaiting adoption, the answer was "about 200."

Sad to say, that answer has changed to "about 400." The numbers have gradually climbed over the past three years to what is now probably an all-time high. We can attribute it to the opioid epidemic and rising incidences of other substance abuse, domestic violence and untreated mental illness.

Regardless of the reason, the results are not positive: 400 children who need loving homes.

That is too many. But we are doing everything we can to ensure their stories have happy endings.

Our first choice is always to reunify the family. If that cannot be done safely, we look for other relatives or close friends to care for the children. We recently started a new nationally-recognized program called 30 Days to Family that is designed to improve efforts to find suitable kinship placements for our children.

But if that doesn't work, the final option is foster care. From there, if a judge determines there is no chance of reunification with family, we must pursue adoption to a loving family.

Finding adoptive homes is a great challenge for our agency. But we are up for it, and we are employing new and creative tactics to meet the challenge. Last year, we facilitated 141 adoptions and this year we are already at 122.

Annual holiday meal for current and former foster kids 

ACTION Ohio invites current foster teens and former foster youth who are now adults to their annual Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 10.
The group, which stands for Alumni of Care Together Improving Outcomes Now, has held the dinner since 2007. It's a time for youth and their supporters to gather for some early holiday fellowship and to share their voices and talents.

The dinner will be from 1 to 3 p.m. at  Junior League of Cincinnati's Columbia Center,  3500 Columbia Pkwy, Cincinnati, 45226.

RSVP by emailing Lisa Dickson at lisa@fosteractionohio.org, or go to www.fosteractionohio.org  and click on Thanksgiving Together.

Elder abuse law changes in effect

Laws relating to Adult Protective Services have just changed, including redefining neglect and authorizing prosecutors to file directly for orders authorizing services for an older adult.

The definition of neglect now includes abandonment, meaning desertion of an older adult by a primary caretaker. The new additions also allow for an elder victim's name to be redacted if it's determined that revealing the name might bring more harm to the older adult.

The changes were brought about by a network of groups, including the Attorney General's Elder Abuse Commission, the Ohio Coalition for Adult Protective Services and the Ohio APS Advisory Council.


An early start
on the holidays 

Christmas will be here before we know it and we all tend to get so busy in December. So we're starting now to gather donated gifts and gift cards, with some special attention this year to kinship families and our kids in Independent Living. With our numbers growing, we will be trying to provide some holiday cheer to more kids than we ever have before.

So we'll be looking for toys for kinship family kids as well as gift cards for the family, such as for Kroger or Target. We're also hoping for some donations for our older teens, including appliances or maybe a small TV.

We're going to be working with  Jack's Closet, the free clothing closet at Clough United Methodist Church in Anderson Township. Members there are working on some things for kinship families, who don't get nearly the financial support that our foster families do. 

We're also working with  Amber Gray on a new effort for our older teens. Known for her basketball skills, Gray is building her foundation, called  Where2Next. She wants to mentor our teens and help them think about their next steps. She and her team are working on a holiday party for our IL kids.

We typically get a lot of calls in December from people wanting to "adopt" our kids for the holidays. We are so grateful for the help. If you are thinking about doing that or know someone who might, feel free to  email us and we can connect you with the size and type of recipient you're hoping to help.

Thank you and (early) Merry Christmas!

New CitiCable show to feature kids in care

Soon, our kids who are available for adoption will be stars of a new CitiCable show. Director Moira Weir and local video consultant Laure Quinlivan taped the introduction to the show a couple of weeks ago.
We'll let you know when it starts to air.