New Court Videos Hope to Help Foster Children Seek Self-Sufficiency
By Anne Yeager |November 21, 2017
Ohio will soon have a new program to help foster children, who have aged out of the foster care system get the resources they need.
It's called "Bridges," where judges and magistrates will play a new role in helping Ohio's foster children achieve success after they've left foster care.
A newly created "Bridges" website will feature videos highlighting the experiences of several former foster youth who discuss how "Bridges" could have helped them.
Their stories are compelling.
"I came into foster care first when my father passed away in the eighth grade, "said former foster child Chynna Kelley. "My mom passed away at the end of my ninth year."
"I went to a lot of schools, "said former foster student Nashawn Lariviere. "I was considered a troubled child. I had several suspension and expulsions. So they said we just want you to graduate."
"Bridges" allows assistance for 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds, who meet work or educational requirements, get help with housing, jobs, education, and healthcare who meet work or educational requirements.
Historically, the transition from foster child to independent adult hasn't been an easy one.
"I burned bridges along the way, "said Kelley. "I didn't know how to repair that. I was withdrawn and I think that 'Bridges' could have helped with that."
"I feel that 'Bridges' could have helped me because it's a hub of information," said Lariviere. "They have their hands in so many organizations and counties. It's not that help doesn't exist. It's just you don't know about it."
If you are interested in learning more about this program please contact Bridges@jfs.ohio.gov.