The importance of maintaining sibling connections remains a heartfelt, vitally important, and ever-present priority for Ohio foster care youth, alumni and adoptees.
2020 Testimonials from Current and Former Foster Youth:
- Jasmine Hardy’s video testimony compares sibling separation with the pains that people are currently feeling due to social distancing.
- Jasmine Hardy’s written testimony explains how being separated from siblings feels like a punishment for foster youth.
- Stevie Hayslip’s written testimony demonstrates the loss and pain of prolonged sibling separation.
We are currently working to identify champions and allies with the Ohio legislature. We will continue to review research on sibling issues in foster care and adoption, and sibling legislation from other states.
When previous legislation was proposed to address this issue, foster care youth and alumni fully endorsed this effort:
- In 2017, the Fostering Sibling Connections Bill (HB 448) was introduced by Representatives Sarah LaTourette and Janine Boyd.
- The OHIO Youth Advisory Board launched a statewide letter writing campaign.
- Letters of support were submitted by OHIO YAB Officers Samantha Dillon and Stevie Hayslip, and by other foster youth and alumni throughout the state.
- On January 16, 2018, Ohio foster care youth shared their insights as part of a panel during an Interested Parties Meeting about HB 448.
- When the bill was referred to Committee in 2018, testimonials were shared by foster care alumni on June 20, 2018, including Amanda Davis and Jessica Camargo.