Since 2004 — with emphasis being on permanency for Ohio foster children — the kids themselves have been involved in seeking out their forever families. In the nearly 350 adoptions that have occurred in the past decade through foster care services, it’s been surprising to find a grandparent or other relative become the adoptive family. With the kids involved, conversation takes place and people are remembered who may have been overlooked without the kids. Other times, foster children involvement in the search and negotiation process has led to entirely new homes.

Deb Downing, the assistant director at Montgomery County Department of Job and Family Services told the Public News Service that it’s important to bring the entire community together. Understanding the urgency to create forever homes for these children before aging out is essential. Each year in Ohio about 1,000 kids age out of the system.

This article reported on a meeting that included the foster child and two grandparents who had previously not considered permanency. In the end, with discussion from all, the grandparents and the teenager were all thrilled with their decision to adopt.