The Family Hub provides guidance, services, and support for prospective and current adoptive, kinship (relatives caring for youth), and foster families to help them address unique challenges they may face. Activities include telephone and face-to-face support by Family Support Coordinators, our Family Ties Parent & Youth Groups, our Weaving Cultures Transracial Adoptive Family Group, Social Support Outings, and our Educational Liaison Services. Additionally, our EMBRACE (Enhanced Mentoring, Building Relationships and Cultivating Experiences) mentoring program connects youth living in adoptive and kinship families (ages 10+) with a caring adult adoptee or adult with similar life experiences. Finally, our Permanency Navigation Services help prospective adoptive and kinship parents, mostly those seeking to parent youth from the public child welfare system, by providing individualized assistance as well as two informational workshops, Adoption 101: Where Do I Begin? and Adoption 201: Adopting Infants Domestically.
The Adult Adoptee & Birthparent Hub provides information, support, education, and advocacy for adoptees and birthparents. Activities include our General Discussion Meetings for all those connected to adoption, Birthmothers’ Support Group, and Search and Reunion program for adult adoptees and birthparents/siblings looking to reconnect.
The Foster Youth & Alumni Hub helps youth/teens in permanent custody (those whose parent’s parental rights have been terminated) by providing them with support, life skills and preparing them for adoption and/or adulthood. Activities include our Get Real youth group, one-on-one support, and an annual event in partnership with the Junior League of Cleveland entitled Cooking with Cuyahoga’s Kids. The organization is planning to launch additional programs in this area in 2018, including Reconnections programming that will help former foster youth who have aged out of care reconnect safely and effectively navigate relationships with birth family members.
The Professional & Stakeholder Hub creates a community for professional training, development and collaboration for those who work with and for the adoption and foster care population. ANC leads and convenes the Adoption Awareness Coalition, a group of nearly 20 agencies who serve the adoption and foster care population in Northeast Ohio, providing workshops and quarterly learning community opportunities led by different member agencies. Additionally, ANC is sub-contracted through the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program (OCWTP) to provide trainings on-site for Adoption Assessors in Cuyahoga County as well as for foster and adoptive parents. In addition, ANC is designated as a provider of Continuing Education Credits by the Ohio Social Worker and Counselor Board.
In addition to our four hubs, Advocacy is a core activity of Adoption Network Cleveland: The Ohio Family Connection. By representing the perspectives of those touched by adoption and foster care, Adoption Network Cleveland uses grassroots and other lobbying efforts to ensure the voices of people connected to adoption and foster care are heard. From working for access to original birth certificates for all adult adoptees to ensuring that no qualified person is barred from adopting, Adoption Network Cleveland works to create adoption-friendly practices and policies on a local, state, and national level.