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2018 Onondaga County Permanency Summit

Syracuse, NY– On April 19, 2018, the Onondaga County Department of Children and Family Services, with the support of Redlich Horwitz Foundation, the Annie E Casey Foundation and Casey Family Programs, held a Summit at the University Sheraton Hotel for more than 200 local and regional partners involved in working with children in the foster care system.  “All in 4 Kin:  Developing a county-wide system to keep kids with familiar faces in familiar places” was the theme of this year’s Summit.

The Summit kicked off with a Keynote Speech by Dr. Jeremy Kohomban, Ph.D., and President & CEO of the Children’s Village.  His opening remarks, entitled: ‘If these were my own children,’ provided a great kick-off to a day that was filled with 21 breakout sessions, a lunch and closing session that focused on the County’s commitment to increasing the use of Kinship and Relative Care in order to assist in timely and lasting permanency for all youth in the foster care system.

The Summit provided the County and its many partners a venue to announce its commitment to increasing the use and supports for kinship and relative caregivers so that by 2020:

  • 85% of all children in Foster Care will be in a Family, Non-Congregate Setting
  • 50% of all children in Foster Care will be placed in a relative or kinship home
  • 5% of youth will re-enter the Foster Care system within one year of exiting the system to permanency

Summit Materials:

Invited guests to the Summit were provided informational packets that included many resources, reports and even an action commitment form to assist them in moving from talk to action.  Below are links to several of the resources that were handed out to participants.

Foster & Kinship Parent Recruitment and Support Best Practice Inventory (Redlich Horwitz Foundation, September 2017)

Every Kid Needs and Family:  Giving Children in the Child Welfare System the Best Chance for Success. (The Annie E Casey Foundation Policy Report)

Know Your Permanency Options:  The Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGap)

The Family First Act:  The Tailwind Needed to Increase Family-Based Care in NY (Redlich Horwitz Foundation)

Break-Out Session Information and Downloads:

The Summit provided three separate break-out sessions and held 21 breakout sessions for participants.  Sessions were facilitated by more than 30 facilitators including local, regional and national experts from the field and most importantly current and former youth and families who were part of the foster care system.

To Download the Presentations and Power Points for All of the Session, please CLICK HERE.

Special Thank You and Appreciation

A special thank you to all of the members of the planning committee for assisting in making this event a success.

Summit Planning Committee Members 

Jim Czarniak, Chairperson

Michelle Belge, Hillside Children’s Center

Lynn Carrier, Onondaga County DCFS

John Cook, Onondaga County DCFS

Jaime Gaglianese, Elmcrest Children’s Center

Sidney Germinio, The Salvation Army

Ryan Johnson, NYS Kinship Navigator

Sara Schleicher, Syracuse University

Allison Spaulding, Elmcrest Children’s Center

Christy Vaughn, Onondaga County DCFS

Christopher Warren, Onondaga County DCFS

Karen Wightman, Onondaga County Law Dept.