“Get to Know the Many Faces of Foster Care”
DODD supports the host home concept, which emphasizes the value and the day-to-day support that a community-based family home provides. While the current Medicaid billing terminology used to describe such support is ‘Adult Foster Care,’ it encompasses many different elements involved in sharing a home.
National Foster Care Month spotlights the experiences of the thousands of adults and children in the national foster care system – many of whom have disabilities. The National Foster Care Coalition encourages people to get involved by being foster or adoptive parents or mentors. Around the state and nation, many people with developmental disabilities currently need good, community-based homes.
In fact, it is estimated that more than 100,000 U.S. adults with developmental disabilities now are in need of a family home due to a variety of circumstances.
DODD spotlights National Foster Care Month by recognizing and promoting efforts to enhance the lives of adults and children in foster care and other family-home based care settings. Research and reporting has shown that a good Home Sharing situation follows these guidelines:
- Screening/matching between individuals and host families for compatibility;
- Requiring background checks for all adults who live in the home;
- Offering pre-home visitation. Homes must be clean, plumbing and electrical systems must be modern, and homes must have smoke detectors and marked fire exits;
- Providing staff training that is individual-specific, and emphasizes community engagement;
- Ensuring that a system for oversight is in place, as well as back-up coverage for emergencies; and,
- Offering respite care for the Host Family.
This year’s theme, “Get to Know the Many Faces of Foster Care,” draws attention to the importance of permanency. Permanency can mean kinship care, guardianship, or lifelong permanent connections. DODD salutes Ohio’s foster families, and other individual mentors who offer excellent care to individuals with and without disabilities, in a supportive and community-based environment.