MISSION

IKP advocates for meeting the needs of abused and neglected kids and prioritizing their rights within the Hamilton County Ohio Child Welfare System.

OUR VISION

A transformed child welfare system where a child’s right to a safe, ongoing relationship with a nurturing and responsive caregiver drives all case-related decisions.

WHO WE ARE

We are former caseworkers and Guardians Ad Litem (GALs). We are foster and adoptive parents. We’ve witnessed the good. The bad. The ugly.

We see possibility. We have hope.

We know we can make this system better. With your help, we will.

WHAT WE BELIEVE

  • We believe healthy, loving relationships are a basic need. Children heal, learn, grow and thrive in relationships which offer stability, comfort and protection. Kids have a right to continue these relationships without disruption. Supportive relationships are equally essential to the growth and well-being of every person and every community.
  • We believe the current child welfare system does not adequately meet the needs or secure the rights of abused and neglected children. This is no one’s fault. Improving it is everyone’s responsibility.
  • We believe positive systemic change is possible.
  • We believe every child has unique gifts to bring to the world. We have a collective responsibility to nurture those gifts into full potential, not only for his or her benefit, but for ours.
  • We believe collaboration does not diminish but makes us stronger, wiser and more effective. We welcome opportunities to learn and grow with others.
  • We believe empathy, hope and humor are powerful allies. They also make life much more pleasant.
  • We believe we must be good stewards of all that is entrusted to us. We have an obligation to our donors of time, talent and treasure. Their gifts are appreciated and maximized to achieve our mission.

OUR FOUNDING TEAM

Holly Schlaack
Holly SchlaackFounder & Executive Director
For the past 20 years, Holly Schlaack has been immersed in a variety of child welfare system capacities including frontline casework and serving as a GAL. She created and managed an award-winning advocacy program called Building Blocks, and wrote Invisible Kids: Marcus Fiesel’s Legacy to educate readers about crises facing foster children and empower people to help. Holly currently trains a variety of audiences on the needs of very young foster children. As a voice of compassion, experience and common sense, she is routinely sought out by political leaders and others to offer opinions and advice related to systemic and legislative change. Full Bio
“To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.”
—Simone Weil
Mayo Woody
Mayo WoodyDirector of Centennial Barn, foster and adoptive parent
Mayo knows the powerful difference a loving, committed adult can make in a child’s life. Born in the small town of Jackson, Georgia, Mayo Woody was raised by his great-grandmother and the following motto: ‘It’s not what you got, it’s who you have that matters.’ Mayo’s commitment to making a difference led him to become a foster parent more than a dozen years ago. He is the devoted father of eight children, three of whom are adopted. Mayo is the Director of Centennial Barn, a space for community and celebration.
“Today, many will break through the barriers of the past by looking at the blessing of the present. Why not you?”
—Steve Maraboli
Kelly Gries
Kelly GriesAdvisor
Kelly is the mother of eleven children, several whom she and her husband adopted from foster care. For over fifteen years she has volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) or Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) representing the best interests of abused and neglected children in juvenile court. Her ability to form good relationships with caseworkers, families, and other professionals has created countless positive outcomes for dozens of children. Her not-so-secret weapon is her sense of humor and she’s not afraid to use it.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
—Dr. Suess, ‘The Lorax’

OUR BOARD

President

Holly Schlaack

Treasurer

Jenny Adamson, MA. PCC-S

Members At Large

Kelly Gries, Foster and adoptive parent, long-time CASA volunteer and GAL
Mayo Woody, Executive Director of Projecting Hope, Inc., foster and adoptive parent