n t
June 2020

It would be an understatement to say that this past quarter has been stressful, challenging and a bit wild. While all of us have worked to establish a new routine during this time, the OCWTP had to move quickly to expand the Distance Learning options. Through extensive and intentional collaboration, the system saw the number of distance learning sessions offered increase by more than 1700% in just 6 weeks.  That is to be applauded!
In the coming months we will carefully navigate through the next levels of the new normal. We will see some classroom sessions, some sessions remaining virtual, and additions of even more distance learning options. The intentional collaboration that got us here will be necessary to keep us moving forward.
This issue of Common Ground will focus on our successes and provide resources for continued growth. If you have additional resources that can be helpful or of interest to the system, please share via trainerdevelopment@ihs-trainet.com .
Until we see each other in person again, stay healthy and enjoy a moment in each and every day! 
Best Regards,
We are happy to announce the upcoming launch of our new OCWTP Facebook and Twitter pages!
As the new contract approaches, we have started gearing up for our official  social media launch by building our social pages and adding some basic content. 
In August, we hope to have an "official launch party," to celebrate! In preparation for this event, please send any content ideas/potential posts to Susan Yingling at SYingling@ihs-trainet.com.   We hope these pages will help everyone feel a little more connected and provide additional information you may find useful.   
You can find us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@ocwtp and on Facebook at    https://www.facebook.com/OCWTP/  

What are some of your favorite tips, strategies or techniques that add to your success during a virtual training session?
  • "One of my favorite things to do is to engage the group with drawing/annotating.  Rather than use the white board, I create PowerPoint slides that allow for drawing.  For example: Here are four statements - circle the one you agree with.  Create a likert scale of anything.  Either choose the emoticon that most resembles how you feel or draw your own.  Like everything else digital, some people can't access the drawing tools so they respond in chat with their response.  My #1 rule is Flexibility and Grace for all!  --Laura
  • "A dual screen system has made DL trainings so much more comfortable and effective. Before the training begins, I can share my primary screen with an introductory PowerPoint slide, while catching up on email or doing last-minute preparations on the other screen. During the training, I have the chat box, attendee list, and polls open up on my second screen, so that I can more easily see comments and everyone's names.  Be prepared to use your voice twice as much as during in-person trainings. Silences last a LOT longer during DL trainings. If you relied on silences during in-person trainings while people thought about a question that you posed, it simply sounds clumsy during DL trainings - so you'll need to yammer on while people are thinking. Plus, you will want to read out loud the questions or comments that people type into the chat box, since not all of the attendees can keep up with the chat box. When I first started doing DL trainings, I was surprised by how much my voice was strained afterwards. Keep water near you."  --Stacy  

To Flatten the Curve of Implicit Bias?

       By: Leslie Ahmadi
We are all deeply affected by two crises simultaneously: the COVID-19 pandemic and the worldwide outrage surrounding the brutal killing of George Floyd.

In the case of the COVID-19, individuals, families, businesses, institutions, and systems are shaken to their foundations-including training systems like ours. It has wreaked havoc on our economy and our everyday operations. Tragically, it is also resulting in the rampant disruption of society and loss of life in epic proportions.    
Nancy Simon - Winner of the Linda Pope Award

The regional training centers are happy to announce that Nancy Simon is this year's Linda Pope Award winner! Since 2000, the Linda Pope Award has been presented annually at the OCWTP Trainer Conference to a trainer who reflects Linda's courage to incorporate new theoretically sound concepts and best practice into training while reflecting Linda Pope's dedication to providing high quality, ethical, family-centered training to child welfare professionals. Unfortunately, this year's Trainer Conference was canceled due to concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19.  Gina Callender was looking forward to personally presenting this award to Nancy to highlight her 20-year training career with OCWTP!
Nancy is a 30-year veteran of child welfare practice with Cuyahoga County. When she was getting ready to retire from the county, then director of North Central Ohio Regional Training Center, Sue Horner, approached her with the idea of becoming a trainer. The prospect of this was very enticing, as she could continue her involvement in child welfare without the day-to-day grind. She ended up training for OCWTP for 20 years.
Even before her work with OCWTP, Nancy had a great deal of experience developing others. Way back in the 1980's (her words) when case planning first came to the agency, she helped develop the first form and trained staff on how to write case plans. Then in the early 2000's, when the county started to use Structured Decision Making, she was part of the development of those tools and helped train the entire agency, along with staff from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, on how to use them. She also assisted when Ohio transitioned from the use of the Family Risk Assessment Model (FRAM) to different tools, including the actuarial risk assessment in CAPMIS. 
Nancy's OCWTP training experience includes early CAPMIS training in pilot counties, CAPMIS Toolkit workshops, Reunification Assessment, Caseworker Core Modules I, II and VI. She also developed and trained skill building workshops and GAP sessions on case planning.
Nancy said, "I loved training new workers and helping them understand what Child Welfare is about and to help them in the beginning of their careers."

Nancy is now enjoying a second retirement, living in Arizona with her family.
Jamole Callahan  - Winner of the Rising Star Award 

Jamole Callahan spent six years in foster care living in nine different homes until he was emancipated at age 18. His road into foster care had been paved with being the product of an affair, his father's subsequent abandonment, then his mother's drug addiction that left him to care for his baby sister at the age of 11. Although he had doting and attentive grandparents, the state of Ohio still decided to put Jamole in foster care, while his sister went to live with her father, and his brother ran away and eventually ended up in prison. He moved from home to home for six years due to abusive environments or the illness or death of his caretakers. Finally, he reached a home that changed his life and attitude, propelling him into building a success. The influence of his foster father planted the seed of Mr. Motivator by the mantra  "Recognize no such word as impossible" (Napoleon Hill). He completed his college education, started a family, and saw the opportunity to bring foster youth and others to a mindset that anything is possible. 

We have a say over what happens to us
At 15 years old Jamole saw a major flaw in the system which was a lack of self-advocacy. When people were making decisions for a foster youth's life, the youth was not a part of the process.  Mr. Motivator knew that he had to use his most powerful tools to build up those who are affected the most to make changes -  his experience and his voice. After creating his own stability, in 2009 a vision for success and change was born for empowering foster parents, caseworkers, and foster care youth and alumni.

He began by speaking to small groups in his home state of Ohio which transformed into training sessions through the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program and motivational speaking by 2012. From there his vision for change grew and took him to the steps of Ohio, New Jersey, and Federal legislators to shape policy to better serve alumni and youth who are currently in care.

Speaking Up To Educate, Motivate and Elevate

It's not enough to speak and teach, you must also act. Jamole Callahan turned his attention to local organizations, governments, and federal offices to create a new path for foster youth that they do not have to recover from. He lent his voice and ideas to influence laws and initiatives that will change the outcomes for foster youth in America. He has contributed to the following Bills and Organization: Foster Youth to Independence Initiative, Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act 2019, The Ohio Fostering Connections Act, and ACTION Ohio.

From telling his story to inspire to engaging audiences at events and being a voice of reason in a room of those uncertain about the future, people have heard Jamole's voice at local, national, and international organizations events.  His voice has traveled to: Montgomery, AL, Orlando,FL , Atlanta, GA, Indianapolis, IN, Oklahoma City, OK, Sheffield, United Kingdom  and Washington DC. Maryland (Multiple Locations), Ohio (Multiple Locations), Oklahoma City, OK, Pennsylvania (Multiple Locations), and Texas (Multiple locations).

It is the speaker who motivates and the teacher who changes lives. Jamole Callahan has reinvested in his home state of Ohio to educate child welfare professionals on critical components that affect foster youth's health, education, permanency, and housing.  His curriculum has been a part of training sessions with the Buckeye Ranch, North Central Ohio Regional Training Center, Southeast Ohio Regional Training Center, Southwest Ohio Regional Training Center, and Western Ohio Regional Training Centers.

Carol's Resource Corne

As we all prepare to provide training that is of the highest quality in this virtual world, you are encouraged to remain active in your own learning. The web is full of great resources to help us explore virtual design, development and delivery. Some of these resources are available on the OCWTP website and others are continually being shared via books, blogs, webinars, articles, white papers and podcasts. Make some time to explore these topics, review and revise your outlines, practice the recommended skills and consider how you can be confident and successful in the virtual world.
During my own exploration on the topic of virtual learning, I found some particularly helpful resources. Below are my reviews of a few things I found. I hope you enjoy the learning journey as much as I did...Carol

Virtual Training Basics (2 nd Edition) by Cindy Huggett (2018)
In this second edition, Cindy helps us further explore the foundations we need to understand in order to design, develop and deliver effective virtual sessions. Cindy Huggett is a known expert in the field of virtual learning and has chosen to share her knowledge, skills and experiences. A quick read that is very worth the effort!

The Learning Guild ( www.learningguild.com)
This website contains updated, evidence-based information from the field of e-learning. Articles, white papers, upcoming webinars/conferences and conference archives.

The Bob Pike Group ( www.bobpikegroup.com)
Extensive resources for trainers wanting to explore the topic of virtual training with other experts. Free webinars, podcasts, articles and other resources. This website could keep you exploring for hours!

Overcoming Virtual Mistakes by Becky Pike Pluth (  https://www.bobpikegroup.com/podcasts-videos)
In this brief podcast (less than 6 minutes) Becky reminds us what we can do to design and deliver engaging virtual training. As an experienced virtual trainer, Becky shares her tips and strategies quickly so that thoughtful decisions can be made about the best ways to convert in-class sessions to virtual sessions.
         Important Information


Governor DeWine Orders Review of Child Welfare Cases in Montgomery County

February 26, 2020
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957
Breann Almos: 614-644-0957

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)-Earlier today, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine received notice of an infant fatality in Montgomery County. The case contained numerous similarities to that of Takoda Collins, a ten-year-old boy from Dayton who died on December 13, 2019. Takoda passed away roughly 19 months after his alternative response case was closed by Montgomery County Children Services. 
                                                                                                          Click here to view article 

For each Common Ground Issue, the OCWTP is asking a randomly selected Trainer to answer questions about him/herself in order to "Get to Know You Better."  Take a look, you may find you have some "Common Ground."  
Jody Johnston-Pawel - 10 Things About Me
  1. Favorite food:  Jiffy Peanut Butter.  My father and I used to bond over toast with Jiffy peanut butter as a bedtime snack. 
  2. Favorite restaurant:  Red Lobster...I love seafood! 
  3. Favorite movie:  Foul Play with Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn (1978) - it has the best movie kiss and the most hilarious car chase scene ever! 
  4. Favorite TV show:  It changes with the year or season, but one of my current favorites is This Is Us
  5. Favorite TV show to binge watchDead to Me or Stranger Things on Netflix. 
  6. Ideal travel spot:  Any beach
  7. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world (living or deceased) who would that be:  Ideally, I'd like a round buffet table with 6-8 people, but if I had to choose one person, I guess I'd choose Oprah. 
  8. Favorite fun things to do:  Play with my grandchildren. 
  9. What do you enjoy most about training? The exchange of energy during a discussion and sometimes seeing aha light bulbs go off over people's heads. 
  10. Most memorable training experience?  When I taught parenting classes to mandated birth parents at Mont. Co. CSB, a teen parent said to me at her graduation, through tears, that she was grateful for CSB's involvement for helping her get off drugs and the streets and to me for showing her how to be a good parent.  She said she loved her child, but didn't know how to be a good parent because she didn't have one.  Now she knows how to be the kind of parent she wanted to be. 
Kristen Little

Since 1993, Mrs. Little, has been a licensed foster and adoption home through Lucas County Children Services as well as being licensed as a general home, home for adolescents, and a treatment home for terminally ill and medically fragile ages 0-18.  She has also fostered over 140 children and currently has a family of 23 permanent children. In addition, she has also worked as a parenting coach and mentor for primary families and caregivers and currently is a liaison between the caregivers and Lucas County Children Services.

Cory Chan-Frederick, M.Ed.

Cory is a trans man of color helping leaders navigate 'best practices' in equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).  Cory works with parents, educators, social workers, counselors, and therapists as  they   work to support these vulnerable youth, as these issues central to LGBTQ youth, are close to his heart.  Cory is excited for the opportunity to be a part of the OCWTP team, staff, and parents.

Currently, Cory manages an EDI consulting company called Goldfall Consulting that provides professional development for people in the 'helping professions.'  Prior to Goldfall Consulting he was a program manager for a $1.9M CDC-funded grant which increased health and wellness among transgender/gender non-conforming youth of color in Central Ohio.  Cory was chair of the advocacy and policy subcommittee for the Greater Columbus LGBTQ Health Coalition, advisor to the Ohio Department of Mental Health Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) Screening Brief Intervention, referral for Treatment (SBIRT) Program, and was a member of the Ohio University Inter-professional Health Committee. Cory served as a board member for Equality Ohio and continues to be an invited lecturer for universities, non-profits, and corporate clients. Cory is an Ohio University alumnus earning a B.S.S. in geology, plant biology, and M.Ed. in cultural studies. 

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

Applause and Recognition 
RTCs Reopening In-Person  Training's  Protocol

Prevention  and decreasing the risk of COVID-19 infection. Trainers it is asked that you review and uphold each of the RTC's reopening in-person training protocol. It is important for trainers to be the leaders within the training rooms to support social distancing, face coverings, wipe down surfaces and the use of hand sanitizer. 

Congratulations to OCWTP Facilitator Cherie Bridges-Patrick on being awarded her PhD in April 2020 from  Antioch University Graduate School of Leadership and Change.  She recently published her doctoral thesis titled Navigating the Silences: Social Worker Discourses Around Race.  Her study explores how subtle and nuanced racial dominance found in social worker discourses worked to produce dynamics that preserve and support hegemonic structures and status without intent. Discourse from the study's focus group illustrates four interpersonal capacities that support constructive racial dialogue. The study also offers lessons and tools for social justice leadership and  anti-racism practices. 

A Sign of Hope  -  By Dough Livingston/Beacon Journal
It's a simple message from the Good Book. "Faith, Hope and Love. 
Stay safe neighbors," Debra Huff paid to put on the marquee at the 
Linda Theatre in Goodyear Heights.

Angie Irby, 2020 NEORTC Trainer of the Year

The Northeast Ohio Regional Training Center is pleased to announce Angie Irby as the 2020 NEORTC Trainer of the Year.  Angie has been an OCWTP Trainer for many years and offers the perspective of direct experience from working in the foster care and adoption field throughout her trainings.  Angie trains Pre-Service, Foster Parent Fundamental and Post-Finalization trainings for Adoptive Parents.  For staff, Angie trains many of the Assessor Tier I and Tier II courses, as well as Documenting the Home Study in SACWIS, Assessor Refresher, and more recently she has been conducting Virtual Assessor courses for the OCWTP. 

A Licensed Social Worker, Angie has over 30 years of experience in child welfare, including 28 years in a public children services agency.  She has experience involving organizational leadership, and communication and interpersonal skills. She is a retiree from Summit County Children Services, where she worked for nearly 30 years in the areas of Foster Care and Adoption.  She has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Services from Mount Union University (1984) and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Akron (2000). In her spare time, Angie enjoys spending time with family and friends, going shopping, or going out to eat, and traveling (during "normal" times)!

Angie trains in many of the NEORTC counties and also throughout the state.   She has received positive survey feedback from her trainings, as can be seen from these two recent comments from her trainings:  Angie is by far the best trainer the OCWTP has! and This trainer was wonderful, very engaging and made the topic fun. I really enjoyed this course.

Angie is also very passionate about culture and diversity, she trains the Assessor Tier II course, Diversity Competence in Permanency Planning. The Foster Parent Fundamentals course, Cultural Issues in Foster Care: Dealing with the Dynamics, and the recently updated Alphabet Soup: The Legal Maze of Placement Decision-Making. 

As previously mentioned, Angie has adapted to the Virtual World of training very quickly, she has trained a number of Assessor courses online as well as Assessor Refresher.  In addition, since we have not been able to have Angie train in person yet, we used Zoom to surprise her with notice of her Award!  She was both shocked and happy to win this Award and feels honored to be chosen by NEORTC Liaisons.  We are so thrilled for Angie and are looking forward to celebrating with her at our Liaison Retreat on Friday, October 23, 2020, PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS!  (Retreat planning is going forth at this time, if alternative arrangements are warranted due to the COVID-19 situation at that time, we will keep you all posted).  

Thanks to all our Liaisons who voted! 

Jackie Jackson

Our hearts goes out to Jackie's family, loved ones and colleagues.  Jackie's passing was a sudden and unexpected loss.  Death does not always come with a warning and doesn't always leave us time to  say  goodbye, only leaving us with our grief and quiet farewell.  Jackie was an  OCWTP/FAK trainer for many years and her smile and expertise will be missed greatly by all that knew her.    

New Graduate!  

Rachel Wooddell, WORTC staff training coordinator, graduated from Western Governors University in early May 2020 with a Master of Education, Learning, and Technology degree. Amazingly she was able to complete this challenging program in only 7 months! She also received an Excellence Award from the university for her Capstone project. This project was presented in a distance learning format in late April on the important topic of Secondary Trauma. Way to go Rachel!!

SWORTC Welcomes Brian Callahan as a new FAK Training Coordinator 
Brian Callahan has 14 years of experience in child welfare at Butler County Children Services, working as a caseworker and an assessor.  Most of his experience is working with and recruiting foster and adoptive families.  Brian looks forward to bringing this experience and knowledge to the broader region of southwest Ohio to serve our families who care for those children in their homes.

IHS Welcomes Pamela Miller

Miller began working as a contractor for the Center for Child Policy in October, 2019, and has now been hired as a Senior Policy Analyst, and initially will be leading a work group researching and writing on Intrafamilial Child Torture.  

Pamela J. Miller, JD, MSW, LISW-S is an attorney and clinical social worker and lives in Nashville, Tennessee.  She has a background as an Attorney-GAL for maltreated children, and as a psychotherapist for young children in foster care.  Miller has treated child survivors using the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (Miller trained with creator Bruce Perry) and TF-CBT (trained with creator Judith Cohen).  Her research and policy interests are intrafamilial child torture, mandated reporting, sexual abuse disclosure in young children, and child-centered permanency planning.  Miller has been on the board of NASW Ohio for the last four years and Director of the Cincinnati region.  She regularly trains social workers on evidence-based principles and methods.

 Please join us in welcoming Pamela Miller!  We are excited to have her as part of our team. 

            IHS Welcomes Whitney Yarberry

Whitney Yarberry received her Master's of Human Resource Development from Xavier University in 2016 and has been in the learning field for 5+ years doing Instructional Design work. Most recently, she supported her previous employer in transitioning their client facing training from primarily in person training to a virtual platform using virtual classrooms and self-directed learning.

 Whitney lives in Cincinnati with her family (all huge Reds fans) and she and her husband have been foster parents for 2 years.  They share their journey on their YouTube channel while raising awareness and educating their viewers. Whitney's passion for positively impacting the lives of children who are in foster care led her to leave the corporate world and pursue a contract position with IHS. She has now joined IHS as a Senior Instructional Designer.  Please join us in welcoming Whitney Yarberry!  She is a great additional to our team!

Welcome to IHS Natalie Adams

Natalie will be joining IHS as a training coordinator on the Casework Practice Work team.  She has been in child welfare for 19 years and began her social work career as an ongoing caseworker for Fairfield County Children Services. She was promoted to Family Team Meeting Coordinator in Fairfield County, which was one of the pilot counties for the Protect Ohio Initiative. Natalie was chosen by her peers to lead quarterly facilitator meetings across the 13 Protect Ohio counties. In 2007, Natalie was selected by Human Service Research Institute to present Fairfield County's Family Team Meeting Program at the National IV-E Conference in Washington D.C.        
            Read More Here...
In 2018, Natalie took a step away from full time employment and began working as a case reviewer and facilitator of Initial Family Team Meetings, Semi-Annual Reviews, 90 case reviews and Permanency Round Tables.
Please join us in welcoming Natalie Adams!    

Casework Practice Team Extends its Sincere Thanks

When Covid-19 unexpectedly shut down much of the country, the Casework Practice Team, with tremendous effort and support from their valuable trainers and partners at the Regional Training Centers, launched new CAPMIS GAP virtual sessions to ensure caseworkers we still able to receive invaluable learning while sheltering in place. With much hard work, long hours, and tremendous dedication, many trainers and the team at IHS were able to take Caseworker Core Modules 2, 4, 6, 7, and 8 virtual as well. We thank ALL the trainers who learned new virtual platforms and applications and reached out to train caseworkers across the state, as well as the trainers who helped transform and construct the virtual materials to offer these Core modules in a new way. Many, many thanks to our Regional Training Centers for stepping up with advertising, organizing, and scheduling these virtual classes, and really seeing the value we could provide as a team to the caseworkers throughout the state. Finally, a HUGE thanks to the many integral teams and moving parts at IHS that came together so quickly and effectively to launch these virtual opportunities - what a team we have!

Quarantine Trainer Resource Document

The Casework Practice team would also like to extend its thanks to the trainers who helped create and grow the Quarantine Trainer Resource Document. This resource came about as a way for trainers and caseworkers to think about how they approach their job functions in light of a quarantine, and how to effectively reach and help those that need it most. We have compiled some valuable information, and are continuing to grow our resources. Please take a look at the resource and share with someone you think could benefit. Using  QR code below:

Resources for OCWTP Trainers 


For a few years the OCWTP has been implementing and expanding a coaching program for PCSAs. A cadre of coaches has been prepared to work in the field with PCSA supervisors, staff, and caregivers to help develop priority skills identified during state, county, and individual needs assessments. 

I mplementation research indicates that coaching is a worthwhile investment for PCSAs wanting to ensure that staff use the skills learned in training when they return to the field. A  95% gain is found in skill use on the job when learners are coached after training, compared to only a 5% gain without coaching (Joyce and Showers, 2002).

The Regional Training Centers (RTCs) coordinate all requests for coaching services. Coaches are selected to work with staff and caregivers depending on the skills that need further development. A coaching plan is developed with the learner and his or her immediate supervisor.

The OCWTP has developed coaching interventions in several particular competency areas, including core-level skills, such as helping children manage their emotions and behaviors; engaging families; visitation; working with relatives and extended families; family assessment, including the use of CAPMIS; case planning; and case documentation. Coaching in other skills identified by staff, caregivers, or supervisors can also be provided.

Knowing that coaching is part of a larger training program, you may be left with an important question: How are coaching and training different?

Training and coaching are both important types of professional development support. While the purposes of the two may overlap, there are important differences to consider. The table below highlights some of those differences:

Transferring knowledge
Enhancing knowledge or skills
Group setting
Usually one-on-one, but can be done in a group setting
Frequently held off-site
Usually on-the-job
Depends on the sharing of information
Depends on the coach asking questions to allow the learner to explore
Focus on teaching
Focus on helping someone learn
Often coaching is used as an extension of training. When someone has attended training and learned new information, coaching can be used to provide opportunity to practice integrating that information into practice. With one-on-one support from a coach, learners will retain more information, receive immediate feedback on performance and have the opportunity to reflect on successes and challenges with a trusted professional.

To learn more about coaching in child welfare check out these resources:



Addressing Bias and Opioid Use Disorder Virtual Trainings

  • OhioMHAS is sponsoring a series of free trainings for physical and behavioral health professionals to understand ways to address bias, especially for people with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). We all have implicit biases that affect our understanding, action, and decisions in an unconscious manner. In addition, people may have explicit preferences and bias that influence decisions. When acted upon, these biases contribute to health disparities. Some of the biases people with OUD may face are complex and varied. These biases show in a variety of ways including, but not limited to: biased language used against individuals with substance use disorders; bias against people with OUD who are "criminalized"; racial bias; socio-economic or class bias; secondary level characteristics such as education level, professional status, parenting status, region, etc.; and social desirability bias. Click the links below for training dates and registration information. For more information, contact Mindy.Vance@mha.ohio.gov.
National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare


Which virtual activities should you be using to help people learn?

The virtual activities chart in this article is really good....a helpful tool to decide how to fold in effective activities in the virtual classroom.


The Federal Family First Prevention Services Act (Family First) was adopted on February 9, 2018. The Act focuses on evidence-based prevention services to help keep children safely with their family. If children do need placement, measures in the act emphasize placements in least-restrictive, family-like settings.   Ohio has been implementing parts of the Act since 2018 and will fully implement Family First by October 1, 2021.
Family First included a directive to HHS to identify model licensing standards for foster homes. HHS'sNational Model Foster Family Home Licensing Standards were released in February 2019. They can be reviewed here: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/im1901.pdf
Ohio formed a workgroup to review the Standards and make recommendations. A summary of their work from July 2019 can be found here: https://jfs.ohio.gov/ocf/FFPSA-ModelStandards.stm
Based on the workgroup's recommendations, Ohio revised Administrative Code to be in line with the federal Model Standards. These rules went into effect June 15, 2020. Below is a table with links to the rules.
Rule Number
Personnel and prohibited convictions for employment
Criminal records check
Waivers and variances
Initial application and completion of the foster care home-study
Foster home re-certifications
Occupancy limitations and accessibility
Foster caregiver pre-placement and continuing training
General requirements for foster caregivers and applicants
Care of a foster child under age two
Site and safety requirements for a foster home
Food assistance: project area and approved county collaborations
Preservice training Implications:
Revisions are being made to allow for alternative delivery methods:
  • Up to 6 hours of Preservice can be self-directed learning
  • Up to 50% of Preservice can be synchronous, instructor-led on-line delivery
  • At least 50% of Preservice must be classroom learning
Revisions are being made to incorporate new required topics:
  • CPR/First Aid (without certification)
  • Medication administration
  • Procedures for reporting child abuse or neglect (revisions made in 2019)
Assessor training implications:
Content will be updated in the following trainings and resources:
  • Family & Child Assessment Trainer Guide, handouts, and PowerPoint presentation (virtual and in person classroom versions)
  • Assessor Refresher Trainer Guide, handouts, and Power Point presentation (virtual and in person classroom versions)
  • Family Interview Guide for Foster Care and Adoption Assessors
These changes will include updated rule information on:
  • Criminal charges and criminal background history for foster and adoptive families
  • Requests for non-safety waivers now includes non-relative kin applicants
  • References to include one relative
For questions about Preservice training, contact Kelley Gruber kgruber@ihs-trainet.com
For questions about Assessor training, contact Amanda Schranghamer aschranghamer@ihs.trainet.com

TrainingOpportunitiesUpcoming OCWTP Learning Opportunities for Trainers  

August 2020 thru June 2021
Available Soon 
For more Information or to register please contact  Dawn Morgan at
dmorgan@ihs-trainet.com or 614-233-2214