The MENTOR Network is pleased to announce that Chip Bonsutto, Executive Director of Ohio MENTOR, has been appointed by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to the Children Services Transformation Advisory Council. The 17-member council was recently formed to review and make recommendations for improving the delivery of foster care services across the state. Bonsutto and other appointees joined Governor DeWine at a ceremony announcing the council’s creation on November 4 in Columbus.
“During our long history as a foster care provider in Ohio, we have helped many families overcome the challenges that led to foster care placement. This is a unique opportunity for us to apply that deep knowledge and experience to help improve the foster care system across the board, so that all children who enter the system receive the compassionate, high-quality, trauma-informed services they and their families deserve,” said Bonsutto.
The members of the Children Services Transformation Advisory Council will travel the state over the next few months, hosting local listening forums to better understand the barriers faced in providing high-quality foster care and develop best practices. The council will review data, trends, and current policies and develop a plan for improving the current foster care system statewide.
The council is made up of a mix of community stakeholders with an interest in improving the foster care system, including foster parents, former foster children, behavioral health organizations, and government agencies focused on family and youth services. Ohio MENTOR is the only foster care provider represented on the council.
“The MENTOR Network and Ohio MENTOR are committed to doing our part to improving the lives of children and families facing an array of challenges,” said Bill Allen, Senior Vice President of Operations for The MENTOR Network’s Children & Family Services Operating Group. “As a foster care provider, we are pleased to have the opportunity to help shape policy regarding foster care services by having one of our state leaders serve on this council.”
Since 1983, Ohio MENTOR has empowered families to live lives of stability and promise through their Therapeutic Foster Care and mental health services. Ohio MENTOR’s Therapeutic Foster Care services are based on Family Vistas ®, a trauma-informed clinical model developed by The MENTOR Network’s clinicians. Under the model, foster parents help children set positive goals and overcome challenges, such as trauma and problems in school, to help them reach the destination of their choosing, including reunification when in the best interest of the child.