Bridges History

Bridges was made possible by Gov. Kasich’s signing of Substitute House Bill 50, which opened the door for Ohio to extend housing and case management services to eligible young adults who leave foster care on or after their 18th birthday, but are not yet 21.

Before launching the program in December 2017, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services researched similar programs in other states, formed an advisory council and an internal work group, and talked to public and private agency staff, juvenile court staff and other stakeholders across the state, including former foster youth themselves. Together, they designed a program that:

  •  Is young adult-driven
  •  Promotes the permanent connections and social networks necessary for lifelong success
  •  Supports the development of an educational foundation and skill set that enables participants to gain and maintain employment that meets their financial needs
  •  Ensures that participants live in safe, stable and healthy housing
  •  Links participants to appropriate physical and behavioral health services
  •  Ensures that participants have the daily living skills essential for lifelong self-sufficiency
  •  Builds skills for self-advocacy