NOAS serves at-risk youth and young adults in Mahoning Valley’s child welfare system by recruiting, preparing, and supporting families with a goal of lifelong permanency. While we envision a day where every child finds their forever home, the reality is thousands of children will never experience this type of stability. As such, we offer many programs to address the mental and physical health risks faced by foster care youth and young adults, including the elevated risks of Covid-19. Expanded services address the isolation and loneliness that current and former foster youth face on a daily basis, also escalated by COVID-19.

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  Programs Supported by Your Donations  

Imagine the empowerment current and former foster care youth experience after being stripped from their family and home without any sense of control, to claiming responsibility for their future with a group of caring people they believe never existed by their side.

H.E.E.R.O. is a peer-led Pilot Program establishing a lifelong support network of a loving family, friends, peers, and mentors for foster care youth and young adults filling the basic need for a sense of belonging, identity, and self-worth. While perception often dictates foster care youth as possibly having no one who cares about them, the fact is through a process proven to identify important people in their life before they were placed and while in foster care, they're able to form a lifelong support network, plan their futures, and chart the course to achieve their goals with a team by their side. The H.E.E.R.O. model works because it is facilitated by peers. It shifts the responsibility from a caseworker serving as a child’s “do-all/be-all” to the youth/young adults being taught to take control of their future, identify and address their challenges and risks resulting from trauma, and overcome each barrier to design the future they never thought possible.

  Needs that Cannot beMet without Your Help  

COVID-19 has nearly halted every in-person process required to recruit, prepare, and support adoption and foster families and extended the times youth remain in foster care. While we've modified service delivery according to social distancing requirements, it is at a time when foster care youth are more in need of reassurance, love, and human connection than ever.

Every child deserves a lifelong network of people who care enough about them to commit to helping them achieve their goals and support plans for a successful future. The H.E.E.R.O. Program results in this network but can’t be implemented without funding.