February 2021 Newsletter
Director's corner

 Happy February, everyone. This month, we welcome Bhumika Patel to the PCSAO Ohio START team. Bhumika will be working with us to help coordinate training, technical assistance and certification. You may recognize Bhumika as she previously worked as the Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator at PCSAO where she served as a training and technical assistance resource for those working with trafficked children involved in child welfare and juvenile justice. We are also excited to add six counties to Ohio START. This month cohort 4 will kick off their implementation of the program by attending Foundations 1 training and meeting their assigned TA consultant. More information about cohort 4 can be found below. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to grow our Ohio START team.  
Ohio START Expands its Reach
Ohio START is excited to announce the addition of 6 counties to the program. The addition of Columbiana, Coshocton, Greene, Guernsey, Huron, and Miami county will bring the total number of counties participating in START to 52! Below are quotes featured from 2 of the new START counties!

“Coshocton County Job & Family Services/Child Welfare is very pleased to be accepted to Cohort 4 of the Ohio START program. Even though we are a remote and rural community, we are anything but immune to the ills of illegal drug use and addiction. In a recent study, nearly 80% of new intake cases for child abuse and neglect contained an element of illegal drug use or addiction which also inevitably involve child trauma. The Ohio START model will help our county by identifying the risks of child abuse and neglect and develop sound structures and practices to best combat the effects. “
Danny Brenneman, director of Coshocton County Job & Family Services

“Guernsey County Children Services is extremely excited to have been chosen for cohort 4 of Ohio START. Ohio START is an evidence-informed program that improves outcomes for parents and children affected by child maltreatment and parental substance abuse disorders. It provides comprehensive strength-based, family-centered, and community-focused resources, and is a sound approach for children and families. We are excited to work with our state and local partners to provide this invaluable treatment and support for families in our community."
Nicole Caldwell, Guernsey County Children Services

Read more about this exciting addition here!

From the Field
Summit County
Summit County is currently in the process of adding a second dyad to their START team!
Delaware County
Delaware County recently hired a new START coordinator to join their team!
Licking County
Licking County has taken on their first START case and are enthusiastic about working together as a team!
Ohio START is Hiring
PCSAO is seeking a second Regional Manager to assist with the management and implementation of the Ohio START Program. In this role, the regional manager will focus on the development and oversight of technical assistance required and provided to the Ohio START grantees in a specified region of the state. Applications are due by February 15th.

To find out more about this position and/or apply visit our new Job Postings page on the Ohio START website by clicking the link below!
START Caseworker Focus Group
Let's Talk Graphic
Our OSU evaluation partners are looking for caseworkers willing to participate in a focus group about how you collaborate on behalf of Ohio START families. Our team is really interested in understanding more about your role as a caseworker, and some of the strategies that you use to work across child welfare and behavioral health systems.
The focus group will be one hour, is planned for February 18, 2021 at 9:00am and will take the place of the usual affinity group call. Your participation is completely voluntary, and our discussion will be kept as confidential as possible. The call will take place over Zoom and we would like you to log in from a device where you can:
•          Enable video conferencing so we can see each other
•          Use the “chat” function.
For each caseworker/family peer mentor who participates, we will donate a $15 gift card to Ohio START families.

To participate, please click here to register and we will send you a calendar invitation and private link. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Alicia Bunger (bunger.5@osu.edu) if you have any questions or concerns.
We want to hear from YOU!
The START team at PCSAO wants to hear more from our counties about successes with your families! Whether it be a child reunification, a graduation from the START program, or simply positively engaging with a family – we want to hear about it!

Send your success stories so we can share them with the START community!

Email your stories to Karalyn@pcsao.org
Behavioral Health Workforce Development Trainings Available
The Ohio State University College of Social Work, with support from OhioMHAS, has released an updated calendar of free continuing education opportunities for social workers, counselors, and chemical dependency professionals. Register for one or more of the following trainings:
Training & TA
All trainings have moved to a virtual platform due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Introduction to Motivational Interviewing
February 12th from 9:00 - 4:15
Motivational Interviewing is a guided style of communication child welfare professionals can utilize to assist parents or caregivers in identifying reasons to and pathways toward change. Motivational Interviewing attends closely to engagement, and is well-matched to working with families involved with the child welfare system. There is a required prerequisite prior to attending this course. The link to this can be found on the training descriptions page. This six-hour virtual training builds on an existing introductory level of familiarity with Motivational Interviewing. This course is a requirement for Ohio START caseworkers and family peer mentors and is suggested for all supervisors.
Ohio START is a program of PCSAO
Our Mission: We approach Substance Use Disorders with compassion, understanding and hope for recovery. We work as a team, supporting and holding each other accountable. We believe in family, love and redemption.