According to DeWine, this online portal will help make the foster care and adoption certification process easier and more accessible to prospective families.
“As a state, we must give our children the support they deserve to succeed, and that support includes an adult to care for them. This new tool will streamline the foster parent and adoption certification process making it more accessible than ever,” the governor said.
The Ohio Office of Foster, Adoption, and Kinship Care details that there are approximately 15,000 children currently in the state’s foster care system.
Husted (pictured above, left) noted that with that many children in foster care, there is no doubt Ohio needs more foster and adoptive families.
“With about 15,000 young people in our foster care system, there’s no doubt Ohio needs more foster and adoptive families. I know firsthand the impact this will have, as I was in foster care and then adopted. Anything we can do to improve this process is going to make a difference in the lives of a lot of kids,” he said.
InnovateOhio in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) developed this new tool in order to make the state a leader in streamlining the adoption and foster care process.
Instead of having to complete and submit applications on paper as in the past, consumers can now do so using the new online tool. The streamlined, user-friendly experience provided by the updated web application claims to boost productivity and accuracy.
Prospective caregivers can visit the portal through Ohio’s fosterandadopt.ohio.gov website and can choose a local agency at random or one they prefer to work with.
According to ODJFS Director Matt Damschroder, this new portal helps break down barriers standing in the way of prospective foster and adoptive families.
“If Ohioans are willing to open their hearts and homes to youth in foster care, we want to break down the barriers that stand in the way,” Damschroder said.
Data dashboards and reports are now available to agencies and state administrators, through the portal highlighting inquiries and application data across the state and by the agency in real-time. This makes it possible to communicate with interested parties and families in a simpler and more direct manner.
Ohio organizations, group homes, and residential facilities will also be able to submit queries, applications, and certificates through the portal later this year. In the future, prospective and qualified caregivers will be able to track their progress in pre-service training, as well as the home study and certification processes, in one convenient location.
Ohio’s largest Christian public policy organization, Center for Christian Virtue‘s President Aaron Baer applauded the pro-life leadership of DeWine and Husted.
“Once again, Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted are proving themselves to be strong pro-life leaders. Thanks to the streamlining of the foster care and adoption process they announced today, Ohio continues to be a leader in caring for children, both born and unborn. Center for Christian Virtue is grateful for the pro-life leadership of Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted in keeping Ohio the top pro-life state in the country,” Baer said.
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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Mike DeWine” by Mike DeWine. Photo “Jon Husted” by Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted. Background Photo “Family” by Allen Taylor.