Click the county map below to view your county's Family and Children First contact information.
Ohio Family and Children First Cabinet Council and County Family and Children First Councils have a unique role to recruit and support parents to be active contributing members on county FCFCs; be involved in key decision-making efforts; and serve as an advocate for children, families and communities.
An effective practice model has been developed for Family Engagement and Empowerment.
County Family and Children First Councils are required to have at least three family representatives who are not employed by an agency represented on council and whose children are or have received services from an agency represented on the council. Where possible, the number of family representatives should equal 20% of the council's membership.
Families should be seen as equal partners and be considered a critical part of the FCFC. Families should be properly oriented to FCFC and be provided with a clear role for serving as a mandated member. When seeking input on key decisions, a broad representation of families should be sought out and encouraged to provide feedback.
The Parent Advocacy Connection (PAC) is a NAMI Ohio grassroots program that offers trained Parent Advocates with lived experience who reflect the cultural and ethnic make-up of the families they serve. When children require services from multiple sources (i.e., mental health, schools, juvenile courts, developmental disabilities, and alcohol/drug addiction services agencies), it can be difficult for parents to navigate their way through these various service systems. Families may become overwhelmed and have difficulty expressing their concerns and the needs of their child(ren). The Ohio’s Service Coordination process recognizes this challenge and has made support for families available through the Parent Advocacy Connection (PAC).
Families have the right to be informed and invited to all FCFC family team service coordination meetings. Families also have the right to initiate a family team service coordination meeting, and can invite any advocate or support person.
How family friendly is your agency, department, FCFC, school, and/or service system? This Family Engagement Self-Assessment tool can help identify areas of strength and opportunities for growth.
Several years ago, the Family Support Council with a grant from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council developed this tool. In 2011, The OFCF Family Engagement Steering Committee reviewed the survey and updated it with permission from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. The survey was transferred to Survey Monkey and the link was sent out to various local agencies (children’s services, developmental disabilities, juvenile justice, mental health, etc.) to complete. The survey may be used by any agency that would like to improve the family friendliness of its services.
OFCF designed this Parent/Family Resource Page to help parents gain quick access to frequently requested information and resources. If there are other links that should be included on this page, please email OFCF.
Looking for new ideas or ways to strengthen family involvement and voice in the work of county Family and Children First Councils (FCFCs)?
Want to learn about Parent Advocacy Connection (PAC) and how PAC could possibly assist you?
Each county Family and Children First Council (FCFC) is mandated to provide service coordination to families with children with multiple needs. Families can self-refer to their county FCFC for service coordination or be referred by an agency.
Want to learn more about the FCFC Service Coordination process?
Want to contact someone in your county about becoming a parent representative yourself?
Want to better understand the "lingo" (or alphabet soup) often used in meetings?