Bashia Price, the statewide facilitator for the Youth-Centered Permanency Roundtables (YCPRT) program, was working with Madison*, a youth who was uncertain about what she wanted in the future. The goal of YCPRTs is to support youth in building lifelong connections that lead to permanency. Over 1,000 youth in Ohio age out of foster care each year without permanent connections.
Madison was attached to her foster parents and was in a planned permanent living arrangement (PPLA). However, she was interested in connecting with her biological mother who lived out of state. Unfortunately, they had lost contact with each other which can happen when youth are in foster care. She was also close to her grandmother who was caring for Madison’s sibling who was expecting a baby. Madison had concerns about how her foster family might feel about her desire to connect with her birth relatives and biological mother. Bashia and the caseworker thoroughly discussed Madison’s available choices during the YCPRT youth preparation process.
Bashia and Madison’s caseworker arranged a phone call with Madison’s biological mother and grandmother to reestablish contact. Next, they arranged a roundtable meeting, inviting both Madison’s foster and biological families, as she requested. When it came time for the strengths bombardment, a portion where people described the youth’s strengths, everyone shared their love for Madison. Bringing together her foster family and her biological relatives was extremely moving. It empowered Madison to ask for what she wanted, which was to relocate to live with her mother. Her mother agreed, and together they developed an action plan that would lead to this.
This fall, Madison will visit her mother. Later, her mother will visit her here in Ohio. Then, Madison will relocate to live with her mother in the summer, with her foster mother accompanying her to help with the transition.
Bashia was overjoyed to guide Madison in building lifelong connections and the future every young person deserves. Without the facilitation of YCPRTs, Madison may not have felt comfortable asking to return to her biological mother and she may have aged out of foster care without reconnecting. The roundtables brought together her two families, foster and biological, to support her and plan for her future together.
*Names and identifying information have been changed for purposes of confidentiality.