Ohio Family and Children First (OFCF) is statutorily defined as the Governor's Cabinet for children and families that was established in 1993 by Section 121.37 of the Ohio Revised Code. The OFCF Cabinet Council is comprised of eleven state agencies (ODOA, ODADAS, ODODD, ODE, ODH, ODJFS, ODMH, ODRC, ODYS, ORSC, and OBM as well as a representative from the Governor's Office).
Locally, the county commissioners regulate the 88 county Family and Children First (FCF) Councils.
Vision: Ohio's children thrive and succeed within healthy communities.
Purpose: The purpose of the cabinet council is to help families seeking government services by streamlining and coordinating services, resources, and systems. To accomplish this purpose, cross-system collaboration, leadership, and authority of the OFCF Cabinet is required.
OFCF Cabinet Council's Role
The OFCF Cabinet and the 88 county FCF councils are the critical opportunity structure that is needed for Ohio's economic future. The OFCF Cabinet is responsible for:
- Serving as the Governor's clearinghouse for federal and private grants that often requires a collaborative structure for the application and implementation of the grant. By collaborating on grants, departments can share resources in preparing for grants; align existing and future efforts; and be more successful in obtaining federal and private monies.
- Aligning services, resources, initiatives, policies/rules, and planning requirements across departments. This would reduce the duplication of efforts that often occurs across and within departments and thus, reduce the fiscal impact on the state.
- Advising the Governor, General Assembly, and local government regarding the state's provision of services and the needed alignment of resources to build a coordinated service delivery system for children and families. This level of accountability would ensure the Cabinet is working to improve the well-being of children, families, and communities.
- Strengthening the county FCF councils by providing leadership, outreach, and being responsive to locally identified barriers impacting service delivery to children and families. Services, supports, and resources are provided locally, not at the state level. Therefore, it befits the Cabinet to strengthen the local service delivery structure so a seamless system of care does exist for all children and families.
County FCF Council's Role
The county FCF councils are responsible for:
- Mobilizing child and family serving partners to address the needs of children and families through comprehensive planning to identify, prioritize, and implement needed services to fill the gaps. FCF councils must annually monitor, evaluate, and communicate progress to improving the well-being of children and families to the OFCF Cabinet.
- Aligning services, resources, initiatives, and policies/rules to reduce the duplication of efforts that often occurs from the state level and at the local level.
- Coordinating services and supports for individual families that require family-centered team planning, community involvement, pooled resources, and identification of existing and needed services.
- Recruiting and supporting families to be active contributing members on council and advocate on behalf of children and families.