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Love, Blessed, Resilient: Getting to Know Ohio Families with Young Children

By: Lysette Arnold, Policy Assistant at Groundwork Ohio

During my first few weeks at Groundwork Ohio, I have been excited to learn and become a part of the thoughtful planning and development of our Family Action Network. Building this Network, as are all new things, has been an experiment in many ways. If we build it, will they come?

The Groundwork team is thrilled that the answer has been a resounding “yes!” from Ohio families. We have successfully connected with families from across the state to begin authentically engaging their voices in the policymaking process. As recruitment for the inaugural members of the Family Action Network closes, we are welcoming families to the Network and sharing exciting next steps including training and the much-anticipated May 18th, 2022 launch at the Ohio Statehouse.

Work begins now to build trusted relationships with these families—our Family Ambassadors—and build their leadership capacity to share their stories with policymakers in May. We can’t wait to learn and share more about these incredible families and their stories. While more formal virtual engagement with the Network begins soon, we recently asked our Family Ambassadors: “What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of your family?”

The most common words that came to mind for parents and caregivers were “love,” “blessed,” and “resilient.” The overwhelming love and strength of Ohio families is certainly the foundation of their stories—something we are thrilled to showcase at the Family Action Network launch event this spring. Parents and caregivers will have the first of many opportunities on May 18th to use this strength and love as fuel to share the hopes and dreams they hold for their children's future alongside the challenges they face day-to-day. The words “crazy,” “energetic,” and “fun” were also popular answers—we can’t wait for the voices and energy of these caregivers and their youngest children to fill the Ohio Statehouse Atrium!

To learn more about Groundwork Ohio’s Family Action Network, click here.


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