Introducing the Youth Navigator Network Newsletter!

YNN is specifically available for youth and young adults up to 23 years old in Ohio who have had an open case with children services, have lived in a group home, are in or have been in foster care, or have aged out of care.


Introducing the Youth Navigator Network!

YNN is specifically available for youth and young adults up to 23 years old in Ohio who have had an open case with children services, have lived in a group home, are in or have been in foster care, or have aged out of care.

YNN is here to connect youth to resources and services like:

  • Basic Needs
  • Food & Shelter
  • Health & Wellness
  • Housing Access
  • Family & Relations
  • Job & Career
  • Legal & Financial
  • Forms & Vouchers
  • School & Education
  • Parenting & Childcare

Program Updates

What's New with YNN?

YNN: Now Accessible by Text!

Tough schedule? Not comfortable making a voice call? Now you can contact a YNN Navigator by text!

Simply send a text to 740-639-5252 and one of our team members will text you from their direct line during our normal operating hours. From there you can continue to text, or, if you prefer, talk on the phone.

YNN Texting Graphic

Thanksgiving Together in Columbus & Cincinnati

Before the Thanksgiving holiday, YNN team members Julia and Arlene traveled to Columbus and Cincinnati (with lots of YNN swag and information to share!) for Thanksgiving Together. Thanksgiving Together provides connections and resources for current and former foster youth. It is a chance to network, share a meal, and reflect on what we all have to be thankful for.

2023 Thanksgiving Dinner AJ2(1)

“One thing that stood out to me at the event was the excitement and enthusiasm that the young people had…” said Arlene.

“…When young people discovered that not only was YNN swag designed and chosen by other young people, but also that the entire YNN program was developed by young people, they become more interested in learning more about what it was and even went to tell a peer and invited that peer to come and see what we were offering (both in terms of swag and services). After a short while, it was sea of purple beanies. I was grateful to share the space with all of these young people as we celebrated the Annual Thanksgiving Together dinner.”

YNN Informational Webinar

On October 18, we hosted an informational webinar to formally introduce YNN to child welfare workers, eligible youth, and the general public. We had over 100 registrants, and we so enjoyed getting to spread the word and answer questions about this program! If you missed it (or want to re-live it!), we’ve made it available on our YouTube channel.

Staff Spotlight

Arlene Jones, Program Manager

Arlene Jones came to YNN with a broad range of experience in human services, all tied to her lived experiences in the child welfare and housing systems. Using her lived experience to benefit others, she has served as a founding member of the OHIO Youth Advisory Board, a Court Appointed Special Advocate, a child welfare caseworker, a youth housing specialist, and a workforce development program coordinator.

Arlene Spotlight Quote

Arlene has also worked with the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program as a trainer, consultant, and curriculum content developer. Arlene has also worked with the Capacity Building Center for States as a senior family consultant, providing coaching support and technical assistance and identifying opportunities to integrate the perspective of persons with lived experience. Arlene joined Kinnect as the Youth Navigator Network Program Manager in 2022. A very proud graduate of Wright State University, Arlene holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. She enjoys being in nature & outdoors, working out, exploring new places, music, and spending time with her husband and their five sons.

“The opportunity to work on the YNN project is one that I am deeply grateful for, particularly because it is a project that came to fruition in response to listening to the voice of young people. I always remember that I get to do this work. As people read this newsletter and become more familiar with YNN, I am hopeful that the YNN team’s intentionality to ensuring that we remain responsive to the voice of young people shines through.”

Meet Our Partners

They Make Our Vision a Reality!

Spectrum of Findlay

The mission of LGBTQ+ Spectrum of Findlay is to empower our diverse community to lead healthy, successful lives through focused resources, inclusive activities, and a vibrant supportive network serving Findlay and the surrounding communities.

Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley strengthens individuals and families through actions of faith, service and charity.

Miami Valley
The Centers

The Centers’ goal is to create life-changing solutions for people in Northeast Ohio to lead healthier and more successful lives.

Connect with Us

Follow Along & Spread the Word

YNN is a new program from Kinnect. Follow Kinnect on Facebook and LinkedIn to get the latest updates. Help us spread the word by sharing our website link and social posts posts, forwarding this newsletter, and telling your family & friends about our work!

YNN Glossary

Demystifying Our Services



We call our helpline operators Navigators. Why? Because they are here to do exactly that: help you navigate complex systems, access resources, and build an expanded network of support.

Example sentence: Jane called YNN and got connected with a Navigator. The Navigator helped Jane search for housing solutions that fit her needs, and made a list of local foodbanks.

Ohio-Agency-Logo-Department-of-Children-and-Youth-HORZ-CMYK-UNCOATED_v3-01 (1)

The Youth Navigator Network is an official program of the state of Ohio