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Don’t leave those family photo frames empty: You can still make a

difference as a foster parent, even to a teen. Events like graduation and marriage are milestones re-enforcing the importance of family for all ages.

Continued from page 23 Saros says that it’s really reward- Now offering even more!

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Scrolling conversation between parents! NE Ohio . 26 FAMILY MAGAZINE com

This month: Chime in on touchy teen topics, including self- injuries & mood swings.

ing work with some tremendous success stories. “What these kids go on to achieve

is phenomenal, even though they’ve experienced some hard knocks,” he says. “It shows how resilient they are and how much they want to suc- ceed.” Jan Poplar, community resource

coordinator with the Ohio Youth Advocate Program (OYAP), han- dles recruitment, licensing and training of foster and adoptive parents for at-risk children. “We’re the safety net for the safety nets of the county agencies,” she explains. Te Ohio Youth Advocate Pro- gram places at-risk kids — children with behavioral challenges, schools problems, substance abuse, physi-

cal, medical or emotional needs — in therapeutic foster homes. “Tese children require specialized care and support from foster par- ents,” she notes. “In addition to the required 36 hours of training, cpr and first aid instruction, our foster parents receive 60 hours of ongo- ing therapeutic foster care training every two years.”

Lynne Meyer, APR, is president of A Way With Words (www.awaywithwords, a local public relations and

marketing communications agency.

8RELATED READS n Is Foster Parenting Right for You? n Are You Ready to Adopt?

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