June 2019
Greetings to All!

This edition of Common Ground is full of information; I hope you will take the time to read it. Leslie Ahmadi submitted the second part of her very interesting article, 
How to Address "Diversity" Issues in Training (Without Ever Having to Mention the Word). Dale Hotaling, WORTC Director, wrote an informational article about 
CARA: The Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act of 2016.

We celebrate trainers who have won awards and we celebrate new trainers to the OCWTP. We welcome new staff at IHS.

We also say good-bye to ODJFS colleague, LeRoy Crozier, and to several IHS staff who have been part of the OCWTP for many years! We say good-bye to Nan Beeler, Sally Fitch, Christina Carter, and Debra Sparrow. I am also saying good-bye. It has been a great honor to be part of this system and I will miss everyone!
Enjoy reading the Common Ground!
Beth Ann Rodriguez

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

                        By: Leslie Ahmadi, PhD
All OCWTP trainers are asked in their workshop outlines to identify and address issues around diversity that could have implications for diversity-responsive child welfare practice. This skill set is so important to the OCWTP that we require all new trainers to attend a workshop (TOT) on the topic. But what do we mean by "diversity issues," and what does it really mean to address them?

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


ImportantInformationImportant Information
CARA: The Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act of 2016
Dale Hotaling - Western Ohio Regional Training Center Director

Have you ever been in a training and a participant asked about the impact of something in the field you have never heard of? It is of course "ok" to say you don't know what that is and ask the group for input; however, it is good to have some awareness of the many acronyms, such as CARA.

CARA is the first federal addiction legislation since the 1970s and attempts to address the opioid epidemic. Key points:
  • The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) of 2003 required states to address the needs of infants affected by illegal substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms from prenatal exposure. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder was added in the Act's reauthorization in 2010.
  • CARA amended CAPTA to remove the term "Illegal" drugs as applied to substance abuse affecting infants and a requirement that plans of safe care apply to both infants and their families or caretakers.
  • CARA requires that all infants affected by or exposed prenatally to substances have a plan of safe care following their release from the care of health care providers.
  • A plan of safe care describes the services and supports needed to address the safety needs of infants and their families, including health and substance use disorder treatment needs, developmental interventions for the baby, and services to support family stability.
  • CARA offers an opportunity for improved collaboration between public children service agencies (PCSA's) and their community partners, including: the medical community, substance use treatment, and developmental services.
Child Welfare Application:

CARA offers an opportunity for PCSA's to improve best practices for effective collaboration with community partners that address the safety needs of infants by assuring timely access to comprehensive medication assisted treatment, preparing mothers for safe births and Child Protective Services (CPS) involvement, providing consistent referral information, and developing processes that assure timely information sharing and monitoring across multiple systems for family stability and well-being.
  • CARA includes both legal and illegal substance abuse; meaning if an infant is exposed and/or affected by a substance which is legal (alcohol, prescribed medications, etc.) these infants are at risk just as an infant who is impacted by illegal substances. PCSA staff need to be well-trained on the effects of substance exposed infants with an emphasis on alcohol, still the primary cause of developmental disorders.
  • PCSAs decide to open an investigation based on information provided by the referral source. PCSAs are encouraged to share standard guidelines and specific questions with mandated reporters that will help CPS screeners determine if a case should be opened to assess the risk and safety concerns for the infant, mother and any affected family member.
  • Referral sources need reporting processes that support information sharing with PCSA's at the time a referral is made to ensure a plan of safe care is in place and adequate to ensure the safety of the child and stabilization of the family.
  • PCSA's can initiate agreements with local hospitals that identify the information needed for initial referrals and what information is included when completing a multi-disciplinary plan of safe care at the time of discharge.
Like with most Regional Training this plays out differently in different counties. Some have very thorough and complete plans and good relationships with their hospitals and work well together. Some counties aren't quite as well equipped. It can be helpful to ask participants how CARA works in their county and facilitate their learning from each other.
For each Common Ground Issue, the OCWTP is asking a randomly selected Trainer to answer questions about themself in order to "Get to Know You Better."  Take a look, you may find you have something in "Common" with another trainer!  

10 Things About Me -   Xan Boone

Favorite Food:  

Mexican food
Favorite Restaurant:

Moerlein Lager House, Cincinnati 
Favorite Movie:

Jurassic Park, with Shawshank Redemption as a strong 2nd!
Favorite TV Show:

Shameless, Dexter, This is Us, The Blacklist
Favorite TV show to binge-watch:

Ideal Travel Spot:

I love the beach and the ocean. But I have always dreamed of going to Africa and I get to go this June! It's a dream come true!
If you could have dinner with anyone in the world (living or deceased) who would that be?
Paul McCartney
Favorite Fun Thing to Do:

Relaxing with  friends or seeing a great concert 
What do you enjoy most about training? 
Meeting the new and energized caseworkers 
Most memorable training experience?  
All of them!  I love training!! 
Did you know...

The 2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book Now Available

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2019 KIDS COUNT®Data Book, just released, brings good news!
Over the last three decades, child well-being in the United States has generally improved. Bright spots include:
  • a 68% decrease in the teen birth rate;
  • a 62% drop in the share of kids without health insurance;
  • record-high teen graduation rates; and
  • unprecedented rates of 3- and 4-year-olds attending preschool.
Such gains speak to the power of smart policy decisions. But as the Data Book's 30th edition reveals: There's still more work to do.
America continues to have unacceptably low rates of reading and math proficiency, in addition to seeing an uptick in the number of kids without health insurance and the persistence of racial and ethnic disparities that create more of an uphill climb for children of color.

Read the Data Book and Casey's charge to policymakers and communities


Applause and Recognition 

Congratulations CeCe Norwood, an OCWTP Trainer since 2004! 

CeCe Norwood  was honored at this year's Ohio Attorney General's Office Two Days in May Conference with the Special Courage Award. The Special Courage Award is presented each year to an individual who has demonstrated strength, resiliency, and perseverance in serving crime victims.
We Celebrate Xan Boone, an OCWTP Trainer since 2004!

University of Cincinnati 2019 Inductee -
Academy of Fellows for Teaching and Learning

Welcome New OCWTP Trainers
Stephanie Beleal
Stephanie is the Program Director at  Kinnect (transforming from Waiting Child Fund)  in Cleveland, OH. She has over ten years of child welfare experience. She worked for Stark County Children Services as an Independent Living/Placement/Post Adoption Supervisor, an Intake/Assessment Supervisor, and a           
Social Services Worker. 


Family Matters: Supervising through a Kinship Lens.

Karen Ezirim
Karen has lived experience that brings a fresh perspective to child welfare work. She survived generational addiction, physical and sexual abuse, the loss of her 10 children within the child protection system, and years of struggle with her own addictions. She has been in recovery for 12 years and is a fierce advocate for her children, and a mentor and coach for other families faced with trauma, loss, and addiction. Her mission is to share her story of hope and healing to educate and encourage others to reach out and embrace those who are broken and to help them heal. 

Karen plans to develop a workshop on working with primary parents.

Diana Hoover
Diana recently retired from Hancock County Job and Family Services where she served as Director, Assistant Director and Administrator of Child Protective Services since 1987.  Her experiences include child welfare, adult protective services, fiscal operations, human resources, program design, and policy and procedure development.

Diana is approved to train Supervisor Core Module 2: Leadership in Child Welfare Supervisor Core Module 4: Assessing and Evaluating Individual Staff Performance, and  Improving Leadership and Supervision Through the Use of Data. She is also approved to coach supervisors and managers.

Kristen King
Kristen has been a licensed foster parent for approximately four years at South Central Job and Family Services (Ross County). Her primary experience is fostering young children. She  has worked with a variety of children with special needs.  She started a support group for caregivers which also works to support primary parents. She taught elementary students for nine years. She provides presentations through doTERRA direct sales.

Kristen is approved to train the Trust Based Relational Intervention series and several Preservice modules.

LaToya Logan
LaToya has over 10 years of experience in the field of social work providing supervision, training and program evaluation. She is a clinician, specializing in trauma, criminal justice, and crisis management and is 
currently employed at a VA Medical Center. She has also worked with at risk youth in court, foster care, and independent living. LaToya trains parents and works with them toward reunification. She has also trained for community mental health agencies, mental health boards, as well as human services conferences. She taught college level psychology and criminal justice.  LaToya was a child in foster care and was adopted. 

LaToya developed a workshop for caseworkers and caregivers called Working with Black Males: Addressing Aggression, Trauma, and Apathy. 

Kelly Mettler
Kelly began working for Ross County Job and Family Services in 1998 and supervised Social Services for more than 15 years. Kelly's passion is to educate others in leadership positions and those who work with vulnerable populations. Kelly serves as Vice President of the Ross County Social Service Council and provides the parent/caretaker education required by Child Protective Services. Kelly works with the Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development's Child Resource and Referral Network.
She is approved to train, A Supervisory Synopsis: Ideas to Review, Renew and Refocus! and Supervisor Core Module 3: Leading Change and Managing Conflict.

Nadine Musser
Nadine served as the Manager of the Northwest Ohio Regional Training Center. Prior to that position she was the Training and Development Manager at the Wood Board of Developmental Disabilities for 15 years. She holds certifications in Myers Briggs Personality Type and Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Nadine has 25 years of supervision experience and 10 years of fundraising and community development experience as the Director of the United Way in Wood County.
Nadine has developed a workshop called 
I mproving Personal and Team Effectiveness Through Learning Myers Briggs Personality Types She is developing a workshop for supervisors on recruitment and retention.

Jane Robertson
Jane is an experienced  public child welfare administrator with expertise in clinical practice and policy aspects of public child protection, negotiations, government relations, stakeholder relations, employee management, and communications. Jane worked with Lorain County Children Services from 1984-2018. She also served as Deputy Executive Director, Manager - Family Based Care, Direct Services Supervisor, Intake Worker - Family Sexual Abuse Unit, and Direct Services Caseworker.

Jane is approved to train Preservice and is in the process of approval to train Supervisor Core.


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

Several staff from ODJFS and IHS have retired or left the OCWTP the last couple of months.

LeRoy Crozier, ODJFS, Human Services Developer, Bureau of Child and Adult Protection Services, retired from his position in May 2019. We  thank him for his service to Ohio families and the OCWTP! We  wish him well in all of his future endeavors.

From IHS:

Nan Beeler

"I will be semi-retiring at the end of June, and while I won't be completely gone from the OCWTP, I will have much less contact with you.  I just want to let you know that it has truly been a privilege and honor to work with such talented, smart, enthusiastic, dedicated people.  You make this training system work; Ohio's child welfare staff and foster parents are lucky to benefit from your expertise and talent.  And, you make it look easy!  I especially want to thank those trainers who have assisted me with curriculum development  and video production...your instincts about what works in the training room is invaluable.  I've thoroughly enjoyed every minute of working with you.  Thank you, and I hope to see you again." 

Sally Fitch

"It is so hard to say goodbye to all of you. You have played an important role in my professional life. I have learned from you and have been pushed to learn more in my ongoing search for new resources to share with you. Training in a small room, sometimes with no windows, sometimes far from home, and sometimes with participants not always happy to be there, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that at the far end of our work is a child and family whose well-being is impacted by the skills you teach. Thanks for all you do."

Christina Carter

"I am so thankful for the opportunities I've had to learn, grow, and contribute during my 24 years with the OCWTP. I've had the joy of being part of a great team of dynamic learning professionals doing tremendously important work. I look forward to hearing about the OCWTP's continued achievements in the years ahead."

Debra Sparrow

"Working at IHS has been a great experience for me. I loved my work and working with so many great people. You helped me to grow and I learned so much from all of you. Thank you for your love and support. I will miss all of you!"

Beth Ann Rodriguez

"Wow! What wonderful 13 years I have spent working with such dedicated staff and trainers who truly work hard to ensure that the families of Ohio receive the best services and care possible. Trainers, thank you so much for your dedication and your willingness to grow and stretch with us as we have always sought to provide the best quality of training possible. Your work is difficult, and I appreciate your dedication. I will miss you and wish the OCWTP all the best!"

Welcome to IHS Dawn MORGAN
Dawn Morgan has joined the IHS Trainer Development program. We are very excited to have her be part of our team! She brings over 30 years of work experience and we look forward to benefiting from her skills. Dawn will be responsible for many of Debra Sparrow's tasks.  Please join us in welcoming Dawn!

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

October 3, 2019
Lois Tyler
February 11, 2020
Lois Tyler
June 2, 2020
Lois Tyler

Stand Up and Take Charge of the Learning Environment TOT - 9am-4pm

August 26-27, 2019
Wendy Shields
November 13-14, 2019
Lynne Anderson
March 16-17, 2020
Wendy Shields
May 19-20, 2020
Lynne Anderson

Curriculum Development TOT - 9am - 4pm

August 14-15, 2019
Pam Reid
October 17-18, 2019
Georgette Constantinou
J anuary 13-14, 2020
Nan Beeler
May 27-28, 2020
Pam Reid

Addressing Diversity Issues in Your Training TOT 9am - 4pm

September 20, 2019
Leslie Ahmadi
November 1, 2019
Leslie Ahmadi
March 27, 2020
Leslie Ahmadi
June 5, 2020
Leslie Ahmadi

CAPMIS Concepts TOT 9am - 4pm

September 12, 2019
Dorothy Striker
December 12, 2019
Dorothy Striker
March 12, 2020
Dorothy Striker
June 12, 2020
Dorothy Striker

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