YMCA and ODJFS to Provide FREE Memberships to Foster and Kinship Families

CINCINNATI, OHIO – The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) announced yesterday that it has partnered with the Ohio Alliance of YMCAs Foundation (Ohio YMCA) to provide free memberships for certified foster homes and approved kinship caregivers who meet certain eligibility criteria. Bridges participants and their children are also eligible.

The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati CEO Jorge Perez said, “The Y is a place where everyone can belong. When children and families are looking for a place for connection and growth, we want them to know they are welcome at the Y. It is our privilege to serve these families in partnership with ODJFS, the Ohio Alliance of YMCAs Foundation, and partner YMCAs around the state.”

Greater Cincinnati foster and kinship caregivers can start utilizing these services locally on August 10th at any YMCA of Greater Cincinnati location in Ohio. 

Half the cost of the memberships will be paid for by ODJFS. The remaining cost, for at least one year, will be covered by an Ohio YMCA grant of up to $578,000 state-wide. 


To be eligible for the free memberships, certified foster homes must provide the YMCA a copy of the family’s current JFS 01213, “Notice of Approval for Foster Home,” showing the family is currently certified as a foster home. They must also provide a letter from the family’s recommending foster care agency on that agency’s letterhead. It must indicate the family is in good standing with the agency/state of Ohio and either the family has had at least one foster care placement within the past 18 months, or the family is a newly certified foster home within the last six months.

To be eligible as an approved kinship home, families must provide a letter from the agency that approved the family on the agency’s letterhead indicating the family is in good standing with the agency and that they have a current kinship child placed in the home.

Bridges is a program designed to help former foster youth transition to adulthood. To be eligible, Bridges participants must provide a copy of the participant’s Bridges Voluntary Participation Agreement showing the participant is enrolled in Bridges. Participants must also provide letter from the Bridges grantee on the grantee’s letterhead indicating the participant is currently enrolled in Bridges.

About the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati

The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati is one of the area’s largest nonprofits that focuses on engaging individuals and families in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Y is dedicated to helping people achieve goals, make friends and find a true sense of belonging. Branches offer quality time for families to be together, resources for parents, and a variety of opportunities for seniors to be active. The YMCA ensures these opportunities are available to everyone no matter their ability to pay with generous support from community partners and donors.

For more information about the Y, visit MyY.org, call (513) 362-YMCA or stop by a Y branch near you. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services manages vital programs that strengthen Ohio families. These include job training and employment services, unemployment insurance, cash and food assistance, child care, child and adult protective services, adoption, and child support services.


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