Change…Not many people like it. Usually when it occurs it’s necessary, needed or it’s someone else’s idea. There has been a bunch of changes at Options for Families and Youth (OFY) and guess what? It’s because of me!
I have been in the human services field for 44 years now and have worked in the private child welfare sector partnering with public agencies. Those agencies have been charged with protecting children, teens and young adults who are dependent or have been abused or neglected.
Twenty-eight of those years have been with OFY, the non-profit founded by myself and my wife, Debbie. It’s been quite an experience and it’s time for a change.
HERE’S WHAT’S UP:
In August, 2016 OFY transferred our Behavioral Health Services over to another non-profit agency, Pathway Caring For Children. They had more expertise in the field than we did and were much better prepared than us to address the coming changes in Medicaid and Managed Care Plans. It was a planned, successful transition.
In late February, 2017 we announced to our foster parents that we made a decision to end our foster care services. This meant that they had some decisions to make about whether they wanted to continue being a foster parent with another agency OR withdraw their license and close their home to fostering. Thankfully for Cuyahoga County’s children, the vast majority decided to continue fostering. Due to our solid working relationship with Pathway Caring For Children many of our foster parents chose to transfer their licenses to them. It looks like the transfers will be done by the end of October, 2017.
The benefit to our Behavioral Health clients, foster parents and children is that Pathway CFC has employed any of our staff that wanted to work for them. Our mental health therapists and foster care staff (case managers and support staff) have remained and Pathway has moved into our Brook Park location. The site and people haven’t changed much.
Then there is our adoption program. Over the past 5 years, OFY has provided home study and post adoption services to Ohio families who want to adopt internationally. We recently made a decision to not pursue the renewal of our Hague Accreditation from the Council On Accreditation. This accreditation will end in November, 2018.
This week we have sent out letters to all of our Ohio families informing them of their choices as they will need to decide to continue with another adoption agency OR close their home to children.
SO…WHAT’S IN STORE FOR OFY?
Well, we are still a non-profit organization. We are still licensed in Ohio by the state (until September, 2019) to conduct home studies (Child Welfare and International) and post-adoption services (International) for adoptive families. We will be finishing up our work with any of our families who decide to use us.
AND AFTER THAT?
Stay tuned. Our next blog will take you further along the path of change at OFY!