Main notes from the Ohio Council retreat:
1. Updates were provided on the Ohio Interagency Council for Youth and ENGAGE 2.0 project.
2. The YouthMOVE Ohio upcoming year priorities, calendar, & budget were discussed.
3. A new restructuring for YouthMOVE Ohio for 2019-20 was discussed. Adult staff & agency turnovers cause problems with maintaining county YouthMOVEs. Regional groups will be created. Athens County regional group will include Vinton and Meigs Counties. Each county will have 2 representatives on the regional councils. There will be an established regional point person that needs to be a youth/young adult. Then the regional councils will have at least 1 representative on the state council. There are about 30 counties in Ohio involved at least somewhat with YouthMOVE. The YouthMOVE Ohio fiscal budget usually has funding for about 20 counties. The goal is to maintain 10 youth regional councils. Funding would flow to the regional committees to be distributed to the local. The goal is to provide at least $3,000 to each region with $800 budgeted for the work of the regional point person. Some local chapters are more active than others. YouthMOVE Ohio grant reports are due June 30th and Jan. 30th each year. State budget gets approved around July each year. YouthMOVE Ohio's budget can vary year to year. YouthMOVE Ohio has many sponsors that believe in them and provide funding for events/projects year to year.
4. Terry Greene presented to the state youth council. He shared his powerful life story on breaking generational challenges & traumas, his experience with an unfair justice system for a young black youth and his ability to self-perservere. Because Terry's story could be triggering for many, time was taken for processing & recovery. Terry now runs Think Make Live, LLC which is a social justice consulting firm that provides innovative strategies to support returning citizens and opportunity youth within the community and the workforce. More information can be found at www.ThinkMakeLive.org.
5. Peer Support: spoke about the process for getting training/certification for peer supporters. This has been a “movement” that has been in the works for about 10 yrs so far. The State of Ohio has not defined Peer Support well even though they have made a commitment to support it (including requiring it in their grants). There are 3 different ways: 2 involve older youth to younger youth support, the 3rd is family support. There is a 16 hr online and a 40 hr face to face training. Council feels that the current system of Peer Support training/certification is not “best practice” but since already approved by Medicaid, and getting approval is a cumbersome process, it not likely to change. Lots of agencies across the state are doing some form of peer support so it would be great to understand this better. YouthMOVE Ohio is hoping to move the issue along by having a Peer Support Summit in Oct or early Nov. 2019. A goal is to have this summit replace the Systems of Care Summit this year and then begin by alternating every other year with a Systems of Care Summit. YouthMOVE Ohio is in the process of securing collaborations and sponsors for a Peer Support Summit.
Of Note: last year at the Systems of Care Summit there were simple application grants available to pay fully for youth/families to attend (i.e. hotel, mileage, food, conference fees). This will be a goal again at this summit.
6. Grant review process: YM Ohio is periodically asked to review state grants and rank them. A grant criteria the state has (for behaviorial health related) is to include youth/family input. Many grant proposals fail at this altogether or indicate have done it but it was not as authentic an inclusion as should/could be. Writing a grant clearly is important; meeting grant criteria can be the difference between getting a project funded to having $0. After the review process, some municipalities did not make the cutoff for funding based on grant ranking and state money available; however, the larger grant review committee is working on solutions to resolving this issue as these municipalities are doing valuable projects even if their grant writing did not make this clear.
Of Note: having an Athens Youth Council could help with more authentic youth/family input for grants submitted from county agencies in the future. This could bring more money to Athens County for youth/young adult programs.
7. May is mental health awareness month. For 2019 the Resiliency Ring Event occurred the week before the NAMI conference. The goal for May 2020 is to have them occur during the same time period and have conference attendees at the Resiliency Ring. The NAMI conference is usually the 2nd week of May. Local YouthMOVE chapters will still do an advocacy event during the first week of May. These events can vary, some examples include: a virtual event such as social media push or a "letter writing" campaign to state legislatures, a booth at an event, etc.
8. Angela announced that the Ohio Senate approved 18 million and the Ohio House approved 26 million (will get hashed out in committee for final amount) within the biennial state budget for funding related to preventing custody relinguishment for multisystem youth (in order for youth/families to be able to access Medicaid for needed mental health & developmental diability services). Too frequently families have been faced with custody relinguishment as a last resort, often after already experiencing great financial, emotional and work stability detriment. Jade testified in mid-May to an Ohio Senate Committee regarding this issue and another youth testified to an Ohio House Committee. Jade and her mother also each provided written testimony to the full senate finance committee in late May. Youth and Family voice matters!
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