Job & Family Services Office of Families and Children
Building a system of consistent, high-quality care for children and youth, resources for foster parent, and supports for agencies.
Tiered Foster Care (TFC)

Over the past few years, the State of Ohio conducted a variety of initiatives, facilitated workgroups, and put into legislation measures to evaluate Foster Care. Results from those efforts indicated a strong need to expand and enhance how Foster Care is operated in our State, to better meet the needs of children, foster parents, and agencies.

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has undertaken a collaborative effort to launch Tiered Foster Care, with the specific goal of expanding the levels of Foster Care and enhancing training and support for Foster Parents, to better serve today’s children and youth in Foster Care.

There are a number of components to this initiative outlined below, along with a detailed history of the initiative, prospective timeline, and ways to get involved and contribute to the effort.

Five key topics will be addressed:  

  1. Defining and characterizing each of the tiers, looking at specific child characteristics and caregiver skills.
  2. Updating rules and resources for caregiver certification and training.
  3. Expanding and enhancing the resources and supports available to foster parents.
  4. Setting consistent rates, in consultation with ODM and a contracted actuarial vendor.
  5. Standardizing tool(s) used to assist in determination of tier for each child.
History of Tiered Foster Care Initiative

Feb 2018: Family First Prevention Services Act: Need to expand capacity of qualified, trained and supported foster parents for reduction of congregate care placement / QRTP placement.

May 2018: Foster Care Advisory Group: Foster care training reform, expand supports and resources for foster parents, increase assessors accessible statewide, address recruitment and retention, foster caregiver rights and responsibilities.

Feb 2020: Tiered Foster Care Workgroup: Initial gathering of Foster Care Stakeholders compiled and submitted Reports and Recommendations.

Nov 2020: Children Services Transformation Advisory Council: The CST Advisory Council submitted their Final Report which includes recommendations that build upon a tiered system of foster care in Ohio.

Jan 2021: House Bill 8: Removal of foster caregiver training requirements from ORC, to allow for flexibility and revision of requirements in OAC, in order to streamline pre-service and recertification training processes.

Jan 2021:  OFC TFC Review Team: ODJFS Office of Families and Children conducted internal review, planning, and execution of priority activities around Tiered Foster Care implementation.

Oct 2021:  Tiered Foster Care Stakeholder Workgroup Launch: Launch of working group comprised of key Foster Care stakeholders, with target of winter of 2022 implementation.

Tiered Foster Care External Stakeholder Workgroup

The Tiered Foster Care Initiative was created to focus on expanding levels of Foster Care and enhancing training and support for Foster Parents, to better serve today’s children and youth in Foster Care. We have assembled a Stakeholder Workgroup, comprised of public and private agencies, advocacy organizations, foster parents, and former foster youth. This Workgroup will offer input and direction throughout the initiative, providing input and contributing to work on tier definitions, caregiver skill and training guidelines, use of determination tools, and rate-setting. A contracted actuarial vendor, Milliman, will also be conducting data collection and analysis to support the determination tool and rate-setting discussions.

This Stakeholder Workgroup will work through three key pieces of this effort:  

  1. Defining and characterizing each of the planned Tiers.
  2. Updating and enhancing resources, training, and supports available to foster parents.
  3. Setting more consistent rates and determination tool(s) used across the State.

For each topic below, the Stakeholder Workgroup will begin with large-group discussion to set the direction and compile initial feedback. Then, subgroups will be formed to make specific, tactical edits to working documents, before bringing them back to the full group for finalization. As working documents are finalized, they will be shared on this page.

Recent Updates
  • January 2022: The first workgroup session has been held and focused on tier definitions, evaluating current drafts for proposed revisions. Key next steps for this initiative will be assembling a Tier Definition subgroup to incorporate stakeholder feedback into specific language for revisions, holding a second Stakeholder Workgroup session to discuss caregiver skills, needs, and training and planning future sessions which will focus on rates and determination of level of care decision support tool. The Rate Setting Technical Subgroup kickoff meeting has been held and will be meeting monthly.  Interviews of both public and private agencies were scheduled throughout the month.
  • December 2021: Our office worked with a vendor to establish a Rate Setting Technical Subgroup which will include fiscal representatives from public and private agencies as well as members from the Office of Families and Children (OFC). The interviewees of both public and private agencies and foster parents were identified and a survey was created which will collect additional input.
Get Involved / Contribute to the Effort

We encourage you to channel feedback on any of the topics outlined above through members of the Stakeholder Workgroup, listed below.

Regarding the work of establishing more consistent rates across Ohio’s foster care continuum, ODJFS’ contractor, Milliman, will be supporting this initiative. Their role will include the development of rate calculations, performing stakeholder interviews, and facilitating the Tiered Foster Care Rate Setting subgroup. 

If you would like to provide feedback on what ODFJS should consider when developing tiered rates, please use this link, which will be available throughout the project.

ODJFS will have more updates in upcoming months regarding the progress of this initiative. If you have questions or would like to learn more, you can email OFC-Tiered-Foster-Care@jfs.ohio.gov

Stakeholder Workgroup Members
  • Public Children Services Association of Ohio
  • Ohio Children’s Alliance
  • Ohio Medicaid / OhioRISE
  • Ohio MHAS
  • Ohio Mentor
  • National Youth Advocate Program
  • Beech Acres
  • Cadence Care Network
  • Lucas County PCSA
  • Wyandot County PCSA
  • Sandusky County PCSA
  • Trumbull County PCSA
  • Foster ACTION Ohio
  • Former Foster Youth
  • Foster Parents
  • Ohio Family Care Association

Agency feedback link: