Family Development Programs

Staff

Marcus Games, LSW, Sojourners Co-Executive Director and Family Development Director
Cari Owen, MSW, LSW, Director of Compliance and Training

BJ Zdenek, Senior Youth Intervention Specialist
Tracie Barnes, Youth Intervention Specialist
Jennifer Remy, Youth Intervention Specialist
Shelia Turn, Receptionist  

Foster Care Program  

Sojourners Foster Care Program provides therapeutic foster care and adoption services for children in Southern and Central Ohio through partnerships with caring and supportive families. Many of the young people served by Sojourners have experienced difficult lives, including histories of abuse and neglect, multiple traumas, poor school experiences, and a lack of social engagement. Sojourners collaborates with the youth, their family, and their community to transform challenging pasts into bright, new futures.  

Components of Success  

Skilled, Dedicated Parents—The success of the Sojourners Foster Care program depends on a network of well-trained, committed foster caregivers and adoptive parents who wish to bring a child in need into their family. One family can provide an opportunity to a child that can change a life. Foster and adoptive parents receive ongoing support and training from highly-skilled providers to better meet the needs of children in placement. As part of a treatment team, parents work alongside trained professionals to help empower the young person to meet their hopes and goals.  

A Team Approach—All of the foster care program’s services are conducted through a wraparound team approach. The wraparound team is comprised of the people most closely involved in the child’s life (the child, foster parents, birth parents, caseworkers, counselors, teachers, etc…), and strive to support the child’s individualized goals. Meeting regularly, the teams are strengths-focused and integrate the opinions of all team members, and most especially, the child.  

Strengths-Based—Sojourners believes strongly in the notion that all individuals bring important strengths, experiences, assets, and knowledge to the world. We will always strive to help build upon these assets and incorporate the knowledge of the child and their family into all of our services.  

Comprehensive Services  

Crisis Respite (Host Homes)—A service, in conjunction with the Time Out Host Home Network, which provides short-term (1-5 days) out-of-home placement within trained foster homes. Crisis respite is often directly arranged with the child’s family, and aims to support family unity and connection.  

Family Foster Care—Provides nurturing, temporary out-of-home placement for children in need. Generally, family foster care is a temporary service aimed at supporting the reunification of the child with their family. If reunification is not possible, family foster care often supports the child towards adoption by the foster parents or other adoptive parents.  

Therapeutic Foster Care —A resource for youth who cannot successfully live at home because of their specialized needs. Therapeutic care offers homes with highly-trained foster parents who provide an optimal environment to support youth in their development of social and emotional skills. Therapeutic foster care can be short or long-term, and is supported by intensive case management and other services.  

Adoption—Offers the hope of a forever family for young people no longer able to reunify with their birth families. Sojourners offers support and training for adoptive parents throughout the adoption process, including application, pre and post-finalization services, and home study assessments.   

Adoption Services  

Foster care is only a temporary solution for children. Many children who remain in long-term foster care struggle with their own identity and self-esteem, with developing strong attachments, and with lifelong achievement and success. Sojourners wants to help each youth achieve life-long connections with families. Through dedicated services for reunification, family-finding, and adoption, Sojourners helps children and families to develop lasting, strong bonds.  

When children are no longer able to live with their birth families, adoption can provide a loving home for a child. Adoption provides children the opportunity to have life-long, positive relationships with an adoptive family. At Sojourners, our staff walks side-by-side, from home study to post-finalization, with each family through the process of adoption to ensure the success of each adoption. Our services are provided in the adoptive home, in order to provide real-world opportunities for family growth and development.  

Connected to their Communities  

Sojourners believes that involving young people in their community’s scholastic, nonprofit and faith based organizations is both a powerful youth development strategy and a serious and vital approach to economic and community development. Our young people in care take part in school sports and extracurricular activities, church youth activities, 4-H clubs, YMCA camps, and other exciting adventures which connect them to their community.