October 2019
  • The Link Between Addiction and Connectedness
  • Addressing Diversity Issues in Your Training (Part 3)
Happy Fall season from the OCWTP! 
Many people think of the Fall as a time  of change. Colors change, leaves cover the ground, the temperatures begin to drop and we get out the layers of clothes.  With all of this change, it is also a time of beauty. May this remind us that change can be beautiful if we choose to focus on the process rather than the loss.   

This Summer brought much change for the OCWTP with people retiring, people changing jobs, rules changing and the expansion of some programs. If we choose to focus on the process and opportunity rather than losses, we will see much beauty!  
Several key staff members at the RTCs, PCSAO, IHS and ODJFS got the opportunity to retire and others changed positions to impact children and our communities in different ways.  While we may feel a loss, we know that they have all worked diligently to prepare others and the system as a whole to carry on as a strong and capable body. We have appreciated and want to acknowledge all that they provided for us in their years with OCWTP.  We also want to welcome people who are new to their positions with the OCWTP. We are excited that you will be sharing your experience and expertise with us. Many of the new staff members will be introduced through this and future newsletters.
You may have heard about the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) that was adopted in February 2019 and will be implemented nationwide by October 2021. "The Family First Act places emphasis on the use of evidence-based prevention services to alleviate the need for placement of children in foster care, and ensuring appropriate settings are used for children in foster care." ( http://jfs.ohio.gov/ocf/Family-First.stmA group that includes those in the OCWTP has been working diligently on a proposal for tiered foster care in Ohio. More to come in future newsletters.
PCSAO has experienced another significant growth to the Ohio START program. In this third cohort, 14 Ohio counties will begin implementing the program, bringing the total to 42 counties in Ohio that are involved. To find out more, visit https://www.pcsao.org/programs/ohio-start.
Beauty can also be seen in the shining moments. This past summer held its own shining moments with a successful PCSAO Conference. To see pictures and read about the award winners, visit https://www.pcsao.org/programs/conference/2019-awards. On October 22, Leslie Ahmadi from IHS will be presenting at the National Staff Development and Training Association Conference in California. Very exciting to have Ohio again represented at the national level!
And finally, I want to say how excited I am to join the staff at IHS. It has been wonderful to join such a talented team. I look forward to getting to interact with you. The work you do to ensure that our supervisors, caseworkers, and caregivers provide the best possible services to the families of Ohio is so incredibly important. We appreciate the time you take to research and develop needed workshops. We also appreciate the work you do to continue develop your skills.
Don't forget to mark April 6, 2020  on your calendar and plan to attend the Trainer Conference!  

It is a privilege to join you on the journey,
Carol Taylor
The Link Between Addiction and Connectedness
By: Carol Taylor, M.A.
The impact of addiction has become a common topic. We hear about the opiate epidemic, numbers of overdoses and the rise of fentanyl nearly every day on the news. Many people's lives are impacted every single day by the destruction that substance abuse can cause. There are many hours and dollars being spent to try to intervene and help people enter recovery. Yet, the situation continues, the drug of choice changes slightly and children are still being impacted. After 50 years of a "War on Drugs," what are we missing?

Research indicates what we are missing is EACH OTHER. Isolation/disconnectedness/relational poverty is a significant risk factor in substance abuse, mental illness and academic issues/failure. When people are hurting, they will seek ways to cope. The brain can get convinced that drugs or other maladaptive behaviors are going to relieve the discomfort.

We know that relational wealth is one of the greatest protective factors people can have. Significant hope is being found in recovery programs and processes that intentionally include work around connectedness.  The National Institute of Drug Addiction (NIDA released its fin dings from a recent study.

"... NIDA's Dr. Marco Venniro, required rats to choose between social interaction with another rat or access to a drug (heroin or methamphetamine). The animals consistently chose social interaction when given the choice, and this was true when they were first given access to the drug or when they were experienced drug takers.
The authors of this study point out that our social needs as humans are far more complex than the social needs of rats. In addition to social interactions and companionship (more immediate forms of social gratification), we also need more distal social expectations like the promise of meaningful participation in our community or society. But the findings of the study provide valuable insight into how recovery programs centered on mutual aid, as well as treatment approaches that emphasize social reinforcement, might help individuals overcome drug problems." ( www.drugabuse.gov )
Having relationships with people that we can count on and that count on us provides purpose, hope and resilience. Resilience is a set of skills/behaviors that people can learn and are best taught in the context of relationship. Having a sense of hope is crucial. Having the ability to self-regulate and manage emotions is also pivotal in being resilient. Both are found in being connected to healthy, supportive relationships within our community, having a "tribe."

While information about the need for relationships is not new, the significance of connectedness in recovery has not always been the approach in our country. There was a time when institutionalization, brain surgeries and exorcisms were the best-known method for addictions treatment. In the more recent history, we have chosen harsh consequences, humiliation, isolation from family and waiting for someone to "hit bottom" as forms of treatment. Fortunately, we have begun the process of discussing the lack of success from all of these methods. The conversation and practice is shifting to one of compassion, prevention, treatment, empathy, support and connectedness.

As the community continues to look for the most effective ways to address addiction, consider who you can connect to in a meaningful way. Can you get to know your neighbors better and support each other? Can you visit with an older relative living alone? Can you help children in your life include other children around them so they can feel connected? Can you find an organization in which to volunteer and get to know people? Can you visit with a friend you haven't seen or heard from in a while? Can you talk to the other parents attending an event for your children?

If all of this seems a bit overwhelming, you're not alone. Social media is filled with opinions, negativity and judgment. However, it can serve as a connection-apps like Meet Up and Next Door can provide opportunities to meet people with shared interests. Websites can provide volunteer opportunities and information about social activities in your area.

Apps will not solve our addiction problems. There is no one magic answer. To address addiction and the consequences to our families and communities, we need a multi-pronged approach. We need effective prevention opportunities. We need effective treatment options. We need patience and compassion with each other. We need connectedness to community. We need resilience. We need hope. We need each other.

How to Address "Diversity" Issues in Training
( How to Navigate "Hot Moments" in the Training Room )
Part Three
 By: Leslie Ahmadi, PhD
Addressing Diversity Issues in Your Training

(Part 3: How to Navigate "Hot Moments" in the Training Room)

Here's the scene: You're three-quarters of the way into your six-hour workshop, and you're enjoying how training is rolling smoothly toward the home stretch . . .

. . . Until seemingly out of the blue, someone you thought would know better turns to a fellow participant--and with neither malice intended nor awareness of the damage she is about to wreak, in the name of asking a question she says something disparaging to that person about his racial identity. Or sexual orientation. Or faith tradition. Or physical ability. Or generation. Or gender expression. The possibilities, of course, are endless, depending on the bias that's driving the speaking.

Suddenly your workshop has plunged precariously into one of those moments-let's call them "hot moments"-when nearly everything and everyone are thrown off-balance, people's sense of safety and dignity are at stake, and everyone (including you, the trainer in "amygdala meltdown") wonders just what the trainer is going to do about it.

It is decidedly a tough place for most trainers to find themselves in. On the one hand, a trainer does not want to leave the person who made the offensive remark unchallenged. On the other hand, she wonders how she can challenge the person without risking that the person will feel under attack, shut down, or, worst case scenario, withdraw from the conversation indefinitely, where no one can help them move past the negativity or come to see their potential bias. At the same time, the trainer understands that if she says nothing, she runs the risk of conveying a dangerous unspoken message to workshop participants: i.e., namely, that it's okay to leave such disparaging statements unchallenged and unaddressed.

What to do? (Your trainees are still watching and waiting . . .)
First and foremost, be kind to yourself and cut yourself some slack for your "sins" of omission or commission--present, past, or even future. Realize that few, if any, of us can respond clearly or appropriately in the moment when our brain is in amygdala meltdown--especially in sensitive moments where much is stake. But perhaps you can use this article as an opportunity to think ahead of time of what you might say or do in the training room-before the dreaded hot moment occurs. Here are some thoughts to consider:
  1. Draw from the wisdom of the age-old expression, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." If from the very start of a workshop a trainer works to build a safe space and positive connections among workshop participants, comments that result in marginalizing others may be less likely to occur. Ice breaker activities (particularly those that gently affirm the unique complexity, or "diversity," of each participant), ground rules created by the group members on how they'll ensure each other's sense of safety, and the trainer working to be grounded within before entering the training room, are solid places to start.
  2. At some point in the training, after trust has been established, have a conversation about the tendency of all of us humans (including trainers!) to pick up and act on unconscious biases. By asking the participants (1) which group(s) of people may be subject to the unconscious biases of caseworkers or caregivers within the context of the training topic, and (2) what stereotypes are commonly assigned to such group(s), a trainer can bring awareness of possible bias to the forefront while preserving the privacy and dignity of each participant.
  3. Consider creating and/or collecting an inventory of "scripts" to draw from and apply as the situation calls for whenever a hot moment emerges in the training room. These refer to ready responses for when someone makes a disparaging or judgmental remark, stereotypical comment, and/or erroneous statement based on misinformation or faulty assumptions.
The following are just a few scripts that have been used by fellow trainers and affirmed to have been effective at the times they were needed:
(To direct to the entire group:)
  1. "I need to pause us. I'm pausing because I just had an internal reaction to something that was just said. Did anyone else have a similar experience?"
(To direct to the potentially offended party/parties:)
  1. "May I check in with you on the impact of that statement?" or alternatively, "May I speak to this (i.e. the potential impact of the statement)-then ask you to check me on what I said?"
(To direct to the person who made the offensive statement:)
  1. "This was the impact of what you said, in spite of your intention. How was it for you to hear the impact your words had on your colleague(s)?"
  2. "I appreciate your honesty, but the first thing I thought when I heard that statement is that someone else could feel diminished by it. Can you explain what you meant when you said '________________________'?"
  3. "I would challenge you to ask yourself if you are holding any biases that could negatively impact the outcomes of a case."
(Then last but not least, one of my personal favorites. You may need to say it aloud to get it:)
  1. "Maybe we should stop 'shoulding' on each other."
These are only a few examples; the list is by no means exhaustive. What's important is that your response be a message in keeping with your own conviction and personality--so that what you say will ring authentic.
Remember: we cannot control or be held responsible for how another will respond when we challenge their thinking. In the words of a respected colleague (whose thought gave me pause): "Yes, I realize that however respectfully I call someone out, I run the risk of losing that person, of their shutting down. But I also realize that by addressing the moment, I have a good chance of not losing everyone else. And that's what our work needs to be about."

Applause and Recognition 
Congrats to Sally Fitch she is the recipient of the  Dan Schneider Leadership in Child Welfare Training Award at the PCSAO Conference in September!

Sally has over 30 years of human services experience. She served as Program Director of the National Assault Prevention Center and consulted internationally to help implement sexual abuse prevention programs. She was a home-based specialist for at-risk families. She co-produced one of the first national videos on child sexual abuse prevention while an Assistant Director of Education and Training at Planned Parenthood. In addition, Sally was the President of Ohio's coalition on domestic violence.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson (center) met with a coalition of advocates and former foster youths about a new plan for public housing support after foster care. Photo courtesy of iFoster

  Jamole Callahan is turning 40 this year.  He's  carved out a successful career in advocacy and motivational speaking (his Twitter handle is @MrMotivator. aged out of foster care,  his path was far from  stable."

Please click on the above link to view this article featuring Jamole Callahan and his work.


Congrats to OCWTP Trainer Maureen Keating recently received the 2019 County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADM) Services Board Trailblazer Award at their annual luncheon on October 10.  The ADM Board pays tribute to local  trailblazers at their annual luncheon.  Established in 2007, the luncheon honors   individuals who are  recognized as being  innovators  and  advocates  in the mental  health  and  addiction fields like the  o riginal trailblazers  their community. The Sister Ignatia Hope   Award was presented to  Maureen Keating  for her  inspiring  work with women in addiction   treatment and early recovery  Community at   Community Health  Center  Addiction Services.

Also Pictured are fellow award winners - left to right Becky Ryba, Dr. Mark Munetz & Maureen Keating
Welcome New OCWTP Trainer
Christina Carter
Columbus, Ohio

Christina Carter received her MS in Instructional Design and Performance Technology from Franklin University in 2014.  She received her BA in English from Wittenberg University in 1991.  Christina worked for the Institute for Human Services for 24 years , responsible for oversight of technology initiatives, needs assessment, distance learning, and cognitive science. Christina's training and expertise focus on research-backed strategies to increase the effectiveness of learning intervention ( whether virtual or in-person).

Christina will be training  (Learning Lab ONLINE) Strengthening Presentation Design to Enhance Learning (TOT 2 hr ONLINE)  Strengthening Presentation Design to Enhance Learning,  (TOT 2 hr ONLINE)  Flattening the Forgetting Curve One Space at a Time,  You will also develop a 6-hr combination TOT of Strengthening Presentation Design to Enhance Learning and the Learning Labs

Lori Hawkins
Canton, Ohio

Lori received her Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from Walsh University in 1997 and has been a licensed foster parent since 2012 and more recently an adoptive parent as well.  She has extensive trauma experience and training and her passion lies with equipping and mentoring foster families.  Lori is the co-founder of NEST of Stark County - a support group for foster/adoptive/kin families. In this capacity she has been training and supporting foster parents since 2017. 

Training  Module I: Orientation to Foster Care, Kinship Care,  and Adoption, Module II: The Child Protection Team, Module III: Child Development,Module IV: Childhood Trauma and Its Effects, 
Module V: Child Sexual Abuse, Module VI: Minimizing the Trauma of Placement,
Module VII: Transcending Differences in Placement, Module VIII: Helping the Child 
Manage Emotions and Behaviors, Module IX: Understanding Primary Families, 
Module X: The Effects of Caregiving on the Caregiving Family, Module XI: Long-Term Separation and Module XII: Post-Adoption Issues for Families.

Donna Scott
Painesville, Ohio

Donna has a Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 1994 and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Kent State University in 1991.  Currently she is working with Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services. Providing Early Childhood Mental Health consultation and training to DCFS staff, foster/kinship parent, and Partners. 
D onna has done training through Crossroads Mental Health Agency in Lake County.  She has assessed training needs on an individual and team level.  If a training didn't exist, she would develop it and administer it. She has worked with a juvenile court judge, defense attorney and created and delivered a training on how to testify in court as a mental health worker
Donna will be training (SU 6 hr) An Introduction to Reflective Practice and Reflective Supervision

Verlinda Bennett
North Canton, Ohio

Verlinda Bennett has more than 30 years of experience working with people from diverse and challenging backgrounds. In 1998 she was hired by Stark County Department of Job and Family Services, in the Children Services Division as a Social Worker. By 2009 the Stark State College hired her as an adjunct professor. Currently she serves as an Assistant Professor in Human and Social Services Department. As a knowledgeable Professor at Stark State College, she has taught courses in the practice of social work, student success, cultural diversity, social services for the elderly, gerontology, psychological aspects of aging, victim and crisis intervention, human behavior in the social environment, group processes, intro social welfare, U. S. poverty. She has trained in the areas of social work, sex abuse, cultural of poverty and strengthening relationships in marriage to name a few. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and two Master's Degrees in Social Work and Education from The University of Akron. Verlinda loves to see others succeed in the midst of trying circumstances and continues serve the community in various roles.

Verlinda will be training 307-41  Supporting and Working with African American Families (developed by Dan Houston)

Tamme Smith
Toledo, Ohio

Tamme has worked in the field of community mental health for 21+ years and Law Enforcement for 12 years. She maintains partnerships with state and area professionals to address the issues around the disease of addiction and community mental health. To remain connected to the community that she serves and sits on various coalitions to include: the DART Collaborative, Lucas County Opioid Coalition, Human Trafficking Coalition, and the Lucas County Trauma Coalition.

Tamme is working with NWORTC and has developed a substance abuse workshop called  A World of Opportunities, High Risk Behaviors are Hidden in Plain Sight.  (It is in the approval process.)

Erin Zink
Milford, Ohio

Erin Zink and her husband have been foster/adoptive parents for approximately three years. They adopted one foster children in 2018 so she is familiar with the child welfare system. She also works in the public-school system as an occupational therapist and has experience working with children experiencing toxic stress and trauma. She has provided training to the school district on  the effects of trauma, how to meet their needs, and responding with strategies and methods to support children. Erin also has experience working with foster and adoptive families to support children in the care who have sensory issues and help them meet their needs as well as provide new knowledge and strategies to support children who have experienced trauma, so they can develop trusting relationships. She has trained as an occupational therapist for over 25 years and has worked in the school system. She uses this experience to work directly with foster and adoptive parents to help them support children who have experience sensory issues, ADHD, toxic stress and trauma.

Erin recently developed a workshop with a focus on sensory processing and self-regulation for caregivers -  Sensory Processing:  Seeing and Meeting the Needs of Our Kiddos

Warne Edwards
Dennison, Ohio

Warne has over 17 years of  working in the Job and Family Service.  Warne attended University of Akron where he received his Master's degree in Social Work (MSW), Supervising Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW-S) also having his Bachelor of Arts from Hiram College.  He is a designer of successful levy campaign. Proven professional in he field of family services brings vision driven leadership, exemplary communication skills and customer focused service. 

Warne will be training  CAPMIS Case Planning,  CAPMIS Safety Planning,  CAPMIS Assessing Safety and  CAPMIS Strengths and Needs

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



Congratulations  Sarah Shendy! On Saturday, September 14, 2019 OCWTP trainer Sarah Shendy was invited to throw out the First Pitch as part of the Cleveland Indian's Hometown Heroes Program.   According to Sarah, as she walked to the pitcher's mound in her police uniform, she thought to herself,  "How can a girl who was born in a bedroom in Saudi  Arabia almost 35 years ago toss out the first pitch at Progressive Field?" she asked herself. "America. That's how. Land of the free because of the brave." The OCWTP recognizes Sarah for her  service in law enforcement and congratulates her on a once-in-a-lifetime honor!


Mary Serapiglia, NEORTC Director, presented the award to Beth Cardina.

On Friday, October 25, 2019 NEORTC hosted their 29 th  Annual Fall Retreat for over 30 staff and foster parent training liaisons along with other OCWTP partners.  At this event, Beth Cardina, received the award for NEORTC Trainer of the Year.  She also presented to the group,a GAP session on  Determining the Best Interests of the Child: Understanding the Role of a CASA/GAL in Child Welfare Cases.  It was a very interactive and lively discussion. Beth was very honored to receive the award as this was voted on by NEORTC Staff and Foster Parent Liaisons.    


Chris Malcolm

10 Things About Me -Chris Malcolm

Featuring Chris Malcolm, a new OCWTP Trainer who trains Caseworker Core and CAPMIS.

Take a look, you may find you have something in "Common" with another trainer!  

Favorite Food:  Pizza      
Favorite Restaurant:  " A Touch of Italy"- in New York
Favorite Movie:  Unforgiven
Favorite TV Show:  LOST
Favorite TV show to binge-watch:  24
Ideal Travel Spot:  Maui
If you could have dinner with anyone in the world (living or deceased) who would that be? 
I wouldn't want to have dinner with anyone deceased but if the deceased could be brought back to life than it would be my grandmother.
Favorite Fun Thing to Do:  Snuba  (Snuba is a form of surface-supplied diving that uses an underwater breathing system.  It's a cross between snorkeling and scuba diving)
What do you enjoy most about training?   When you see participants interest rise because you were effective teaching them something new that they know will help them in their work.
Most memorable training experience?   Two groups of participants got into a heated argument during an exercise.  They did not agree with the others response and for some reason got very upset with each other's opinions.  When I informed them that neither of them actually had the best response, they 'joined forces' to argue with me about how wrong I must have been.  These were new workers and one of my first training experiences.


great job seal
Greene County Children Services and Western Ohio Regional Training Center employees were honored October 10, 2019 by the Greene County Commissioners. Nancy Dakin, WORTC Administrate Assistant for 20 years now has 31 years of Greene County service. Dale Hotaling, has been with the WORTC for 25 years and has over 27 years of county service. Both remain very committed to the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program and look forward to adding productive years to those impressive totals!!

Resources for OCWTP Trainers 

Please check out online training's just developed through ODMHAS

"You only ever grow as a human being if you're outside your
 comfort zone."  Percy Cerutty
This website provides extensive and up-to-date information regarding the topic of Adverse Childhood Experiences. Beware, it can lead to traveling down winding roads of the internet for hours ��. If you are trying to stay updated on the finding about trauma and ACEs, this may be the gem you need. Of note, nationally 19% of people experience 4 or more ACEs. During a moment in time review of an Ohio county, 39-42% of social service workers and first responders have experienced 4 or more ACEs. This is important information to consider when developing or presenting workshops for the child welfare workforce and caregivers.
Interesting way to spend 14.51 minutes. The leader provides several different improv activities that can be added to training sessions to help participants gain skill. 
Feel free to email your favorite industry podcasts to ctaylor@ihs-trainet.com to be shared in future newsletters.
This video on spaced retrieval techniques provides some ideas for ways to include spaced retrieval into your training sessions.  I'd love to hear about your effective techniques for spaced retrieval. Send them to ctaylor@ihs-trainet.com


Easy and quick read that challenges your ability to creatively think.  This book, recommended to me by my leadership coach provided me with many topics for reflective thought. I have utilized several of the activities that he shares in training sessions and meetings that I have led.

TrainingOpportunitiesUpcoming OCWTP Learning Opportunities for Trainers  

Pre-TOT (So You Want to be An OCWTP Trainer) 9am-1pm
February 11, 2020
June 2, 2020
Stand Up and Take Charge of the Learning Environment TOT - 9am-4pm
November 13-14, 2019
November 20-21, 2019
March 10-11, 2020
May 19-20, 2020
Curriculum Development TOT - 9am-4pm
January 13-14, 2020
February 13-14, 2020
May 27-28, 2020
Addressing Diversity Issues in Your Training TOT - 9am-4pm
November 1, 2019
December 9, 2019
March 27, 2020
June 5, 2020
December 12, 2019
March 12, 2020
June 12, 2020
For more information or to register please contact Dawn Morgan  at: 

2020 OCWTP Trainer Conference
April 6, 2020
Details coming soon!