Pilot program aims to place more children in foster care in Erie and Huron counties

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Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Children and Youth Director Kara B. Wente announced more than $2 million in funding is available to expand a model that is helping more Ohio foster children find a home in Erie and Huron counties, according to a news release.

The Foster Care Treatment Pilot Program will connect foster children facing significant behavioral health challenges with families who are equipped to support children with complex needs in their homes, according to the release.

Announced by DeWine in his 2024 State of the State address, the pilot will replicate and expand the Northwest Treatment Foster Care Partnership, a collaboration between Sandusky, Seneca, Ottawa and Wyandot County Public Children’s Services Agencies , according to the statement.

“By offering personalized support to foster families and personalized treatment, Northwest Partnership has been able to secure homes for foster children who otherwise would have been placed in group homes or residential facilities,” DeWine said in the statement. “We are excited to expand this innovative concept throughout Ohio to help place more foster children in homes with caring adults to help create a brighter path for these children to reach their God-given potential.”

The pilot program will provide support to families, including 24/7 on-call casework and crisis counseling, along with specialized training so children with complex behavioral needs can remain in a homey atmosphere, according to the statement.

Like the Northwest Treatment Foster Care Partnership, the new pilot program will use a regional approach, combining resources from public children’s services agencies in multiple counties to maximize the program’s effectiveness, according to the release.

“Not only will this program create more opportunities to connect foster children with a stable and nurturing home environment, but with multiple counties working together and combining resources, we will be able to move faster and improve profitability while achieving this important goal.” Wente said in the statement.

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