Assessing the Context of Permanency and Reunification in the Foster Care System: Lucas County Ohio Community Development Department . 1. Background Information


Ohio's child welfare system is administered at the county level with supervision provided by the state. Of Ohio's 88 counties, 25, including the major metropolitan areas of Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Toledo, have adopted the Annie E. Casey Foundation's reform initiative called Family to Family. Family to Family is a set of principles, strategies, and tools to confront problems that child welfare systems face. These include strengthening the network of families available to care for abused and neglected children in their own communities; building partnerships with at-risk neighborhoods toward that end; and tracking outcomes for children and families so that child welfare systems can better learn from their experiences. Lucas County Children Services' implementation of Family to Family reflects several important trends that are emerging in the provision of child welfare services. These trends include intensive home-based services, community-based services, and team decision-making. Because of the increasing prevalence of these practices in many public child welfare agencies, we selected Lucas County for a site visit to examine their application of a community-based model.(1)