February 2019
Greetings to All!

Thank you for all the work you do to prepare staff and caregivers to provide the best possible services to the families of Ohio! It has been a cold winter and I am sure all of us are looking forward to warmer weather!

I am very excited about the upcoming Trainer Conference on April 8, 2019 (see the flyer below). Our theme this year is Flip the Switch on Team-Based Learning. We are using a different format this year that will allow us to spend the day learning about Team-Based Learning™ (TBL) for child welfare practice. Our
presenter is Liz Winter, PhD, LSW, a clinical professor at University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work, Child Welfare Resource Center. She is a consultant for Team-Based Learning™. On that day we will learn the key components of TBL, the rationale for using TBL in child welfare workforce development. The workshop 'flips' the training room to leverage active learning and demonstrate how the use of teams supports and drives critical thinking.
Something also new this year for the conference is a scheduled time for trainer networking! You have asked us for that and this year we have scheduled it!
I hope all of you have already set aside the date to join us April 8, 2019! Registration for the conference will begin next week!
Do you sometimes "get stuck" in how to address diversity in your outline? This edition of the Common Ground begins a series of articles written by Leslie Ahmadi. The articles will provide guidance about the inclusion of diversity matters in a workshop. I hope you will read the articles.
Enjoy reading the Common Ground!
Beth Ann Rodriguez

How to Address "Diversity" Issues in Training
( Without Ever Having to Mention the Word)
Part One

                        By: Leslie Ahmadi, PhD
As OCWTP trainers, an important part of our work is to help trainees understand the importance of considering diversity when working with an individual family or child. Considering individual, cultural, or other group-related differences in people could make all the difference in our assessments and interventions-and ultimately in the outcomes of a case. This article is the first in a series on ways trainers might select and address relevant "diversity issues" in their training.

To read the rest of this article, please click here.
Attention Trainers: 

Please join our sessions to gain knowledge about how your area of expertise intersects with casework practice. Our current schedule ends Monday night. We will have future dates, but need to hear from you on your needs and ideas. Please attend and share. You can also reach out to Amanda Beach at  abeach@ihs-trainet.com to get more information or share needs and ideas
Attention Trainers:

We invite you to "play" in the SACWIS training environment. The QR codes below will  take you to the instructions and the training environment. You can learn what the workers are dealing with as well as staying current with SACWIS updates.

ImportantInformationImportant Information

Trainer Responsibilities
Training Day
  • Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start of your training to set up the room and greet participants as they arrive
  • Be professional in dress and manner
  • Arrive early, follow the schedule, and stay afterwards to answer questions
  • Refrain from promoting or selling your materials or from marketing your other learnings
  • Know how to handle difficult participants
  • Respect client confidentiality during workshop presentations and advise participants to do the same
  • Initial sign-in sheets by each participant to verify their full participation
  • Know how to set up, operate, and troubleshoot any required equipment 
  • Create and maintain a safe training space by not posting pictures of participants on social media sites 
  • Manage participant disruptions in the classroom 
  • Complete the Trainer Feedback Form after each learning activity
From the  Trainer Handbook, page 11
10 Things About Me - 
Dawn Smitley



Favorite Food:  


Italian, but I can't eat it because I am now gluten free!


Favorite Restaurant:


Gino Gianelli's in Greensburg, PA 


Favorite Movie:


Tombstone, How to Train Your Dragon, Willy Wonka (the first one), Mary Poppins (the original), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Fight Club, Murphy's Romance, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter. I just love movies.


Favorite TV Show:


Shameless, Dexter, This is Us, The Blacklist


Favorite TV show to binge-watch:


The Ranch


Ideal Travel Spot:


The Ocean or the Mountains


If you could have dinner with anyone in the world (living or deceased) who would that be?

This question is too hard to answer!


Favorite Fun Thing to Do:


Volunteer to help others


What do you enjoy most about training? 


Providing information to others, meeting new people


Most memorable training experience?  

When someone asked me when it's okay to do a forensic interview in the car. 

Did you know...

You Can Easily Email Your Training Participants!
There is new functionality in E-Track that allow you to easily email your participants?  This functionality is designed to facilitate sending pre-training assignments and readiness materials, or post-training resources, TOL instruments, and spaced retrieval (memory) exercises.  This functionality is NOT to be used for marketing or other non-course-specific communication.


Applause and Recognition 

Congratulations Kristi Burre, an OCWTP Trainer since 2011! 

Governor DeWine has just named her Director of the Office of Child Welfare Transformation. See the news release below.

  February 19, 2019
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957
Breann Almos: 614-644-0957
Governor DeWine Names Director of Office of
Child Welfare Transformation

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)-Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today named Kristi Burre the Director of the Office of Child Welfare Transformation to lead Ohio's child protection and foster care reform efforts, a role he created in an executive order he signed moments after being sworn in as governor. 

Burre most recently served as the Deputy Director of Protective Services at Fairfield County Job & Family Services. She has worked in the field of child protection for almost 20 years in the capacities of caseworker, supervisor, administrator, trainer, and director. Additionally, she is a trainer for the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program and the Safe & Together Institute. Appointed by the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services to represent Ohio's public children service agencies, she is currently serving as a member of the Partners for Ohio's Families Advisory Board. Burre holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Capital University and Master of Arts degree from Ohio University. 

The Director of the Office of Child Welfare Transformation will report directly to Director Kimberly Hall of the Department of Job and Family Services, and will lead a nimble policy team focused on improving services to some of Ohio's most vulnerable citizens, children impacted by abuse and neglect, and children in foster and kinship care.

Shortly after taking office, Governor DeWine signed an executive order to elevate child protection and foster care priorities in the state of Ohio in order to improve and reform the child welfare system. More than 15,000 children were served in out-of-home care at any point in time in 2018, representing more than a 25 percent increase since 2013. One half of children served in out-of-home care were due to parental substance use disorders.
We Celebrate Ronna Johnson, Coach Extraordinaire!

Testimonial from Delilah Davis (Caseworker, Summit County Children Services) 

Ronna, thank you for continuing to work with our families!  When I talk to foster parents about one on one individual work with a coach/mentor/nurse/trainer and especially when I mention your name they are so ready to begin.  I have been sharing the knowledge and day to day tips of caring for exposed babies that I have learned from you and from the families you have worked with.  All of the foster families that have been assigned to me have nothing but positive things to say about their experience working with you!  Thank You!
~~~~Just wanted to pause and take this moment to tell you how much you are appreciated!   

Welcome New OCWTP Trainers
Rose Cousino

Ms. Cousino is a Clinical Social Worker at Sylvania Therapy and Counseling. Until 2018, she was a  Family Foster Care Supervisor at Lucas County Children Services. She worked at the county agency for 24 years. She primarily trains the standardized Preservice curriculum.

Bhumika Patel, MA

Ms. Patel started working on the issue of human trafficking in Ohio as an AmeriCorps Human Trafficking Education Specialist for The Salvation Army of Greater Cincinnati. During her time at The Salvation Army, she helped develop a community response to human trafficking through coalition engagement, training, and public awareness efforts. Currently, she is Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator for Public Children's Services Association of Ohio. She provides training and technical assistance to those working with trafficked children involved in child welfare and juvenile justice.

Jodi Kipper

Ms. Kipper currently works with Kinnect that is partnering with several Ohio counties to implement the 30 Days to Family ® Ohio program. She has extensive knowledge in foster care, adoption, and kinship care as well as working with children who are in and out of home placements and understanding the trauma they have endured. 

She worked as a county Foster Care Coordinator and as a county Juvenile Detention worker.

Ms. Kidder will be developing caregiver workshops which focus on strategies to support placements, adolescent delinquency, recruitment and retention.  

Laura Draheim

Laura has worked with foster and adoptive parents most of her child welfare career. She was the agency's first recruitment specialist for foster and adoptive parents and worked diligently to develop quality relationships. As Assistant Manager of the Placement Department Laura supervised caseworkers who provided services to caregivers.

She will train OCWTP caregiver standardized workshops.

In Remembrance of 
Gloria Rodriguez de Milord

On November 14, 2018 we lost our friend and colleague Gloria Milord. She was an OCWTP trainer since 2002. Gloria, a social worker,  worked with children and families for over 30 years. She primarily trained caregivers and adoptive families. She also trained Spanish to Caseworkers. We will miss Gloria, may she rest in peace.

From Around the OCWTP
The Latest News, Updates, and Announcements 



Hi Everybody!
In December 2018 Dale lost a bet and hired me onto his team here at Western as the Foster Parent Training Coordinator.  I cozied right into the much beloved Kristin Townsend's old office and generally spend my days making excessively long staple-chains or taking long walks on the beach. 
Just kidding, we here at Western don't have beaches like some of our Northern friends!  In all seriousness, I was an Ongoing Caseworker for Greene County since October 2015, and in April of 2018 I got to try my hand at adoption recruitment through the
Wendy's Wonderful Kids Program.  While that was a blast and truly fulfilling, when the opportunity arose to join Dale & Co. over here at WORTC I simply couldn't let it pass by.  I have so much respect for what OCWTP stands for and accomplishes, and really am honored to get to be a part of it now.  Foster parents are like superheros to me, so this particular role is one I am genuinely excited about.  Since coming on board, I have received such a warm welcome from everyone.  From my 5-person team here at Western to The Brass who like to meet in Columbus, to the work teams I'll get to be a part of... EVERYONE has been so friendly and kind to a newbie like me, I simply cannot say thank you loud enough.
You'll see in the picture that we have two little boys (I'm the big one on the far right), and my lovely wife is nearly bursting with our first little girl!! Yikes.  Not really sure what to do with that just yet, but I'm so very excited to meet her.  Her due date is end of February, so by the time you read this it might already be old news.  If so, I'm always happy to send pictures upon request.
I am incredibly excited to meet anyone I haven't yet, high-five those whom I have, and work hard to have the best darn training program west of The Mississippi.   That's right, next quarter we're moving The Mississippi.  Truly ground-breaking stuff here, y'all.
Please don't hesitate to drop me a line if you'd like to say Hi, send food/money, or babysit my kids (for free, of course.  We wouldn't charge coworkers).
Teamie love,


In the last Common Ground we missed out on sharing this great picture from the staff at SEORTC celebrating Halloween!  They represent the four seasons! 



Resources for OCWTP Trainers 

  • Templates by 24Slides is a free online library with hundreds of PPT templates, updated weekly. If you just scroll through you can see they have some pretty cool designs. ��
  • There is a helpful Language Guide to use when writing an outline from the Wisconsin Children's Mental Health Collective Impact Partners (CIP)

TrainingOpportunitiesUpcoming OCWTP Learning Opportunities for Trainers  


Pre-TOT (So You Want to be An OCWTP Trainer) 9am-1pm
May 21, 2019
Lois Tyler
Stand Up and Take Charge of the Learning Environment TOT - 9am-4pm
April 3-4, 2019
Lynne Anderson
June 6-7, 2019
Wendy Shields
Curriculum Development TOT - 9am-4pm
March 28-29, 2019
Georgette Constantinou
June 27-28, 2019
Georgette Constantinou
Addressing Diversity Issues in Your Training TOT
March 22, 2019
Leslie Ahmadi/Beth Ann Rodriguez
April 18, 2019
Leslie Ahmadi/Beth Ann Rodriguez
May 5, 2019
Leslie Ahmadi/Beth Ann Rodriguez
March 12, 2019
Denielle Ell-Rittinger/Dorothy Striker
CORTC (Franklin)
June 12, 2019
Denielle Ell-Rittinger/Dorothy Striker
CORTC (Franklin)
September 12, 2019
Denielle Ell-Rittinger/Dorothy Striker
CORTC (Franklin)
December 12, 2019
Denielle Ell-Rittinger/Dorothy Striker
CORTC (Franklin)
CAPMIS Office Hours GAP - 7-8 PM
March 4, 2019
Janie Rhoads
  CAPMIS University GAP - 7-8:30 pm
March 29, 2019
Janie Rhoads

For more information or to register please contact  Debra Sparrow at: