February 2023 Newsletter

Director's Corner

February is Black History Month! It’s a time for everyone to celebrate the role of the black community, both past and present.

Ohio START believes in family, love, equity, and redemption. Together we have served over 1,000 families. We continue to work as a team, supporting and holding each other accountable.

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” 

—Booker T. Washington

From the Field: County Highlights

Northeast Region

There are three new Family Peer Mentors joining Ohio START.


Celebrated one successful case closures in January and have several more coming up.


Fawn Gadel and Jennifer Millisor celebrated a successful case closure with the family and the Seneca Ohio START staff.

Richland County Success Story

"Richland County worked with a young mother and her newborn son. The newborn experienced complicating withdraw symptoms and was transferred to Nationwide Children's for medical care. Upon the child's released, a safety plan was put into place, though this quickly fell apart as the relatives were no longer a safe option for them. Mother and child had no other local supports, our FPM and Caseworker were able to quickly address the concerns at the family member's home and talk with a local inpatient provider and convince mother that this was best option. Mother has now been the residential treatment program for nearly a month and has been able to keep her son with her the entire time. Mother has the support she needs to be able to address her addiction and care for her infant, while in a safe environment."

Share your success story to be featured in the next newsletter here.

Employee Spotlight

From Summit County: "Candy has been a strong advocate for one of our START clients. A relative of the client has sought legal actions (regarding the children) against our client, citing the client's history of substance use as a reason for her actions. Candy has been a strong support to our client through the process, advocated on behalf of the children/client and provided excellent testimony to the court regarding the client's progress, sobriety, success and much more. She spent nearly 4 hours on the stand testifying! This was empowering to our client and she felt so supported knowing her START team was behind her and supported her through a rough time which could have potentially led to relapse."

A success story that involves Candy: "The team shared a success story about the mother who will graduate in March. She has one year of sobriety after a difficult beginning with her journey. It was difficult for her early on to develop relationships, including one with Candy and Jessica. Candy and Jessica never gave up on her, however, and she recently gave birth to her third child, the first who was born non-drug exposed. The team talked about her pregnancy and birth and her ability to remain sober while she was in the process, working with the START team to advocate for her choice to remain drug free while she went through and recovered from a cesarean section. This mom advocated for herself, her sobriety, her medical treatment, and her child and consistently reached out to Candy and Jessica for support. Her story is an example of a complete life change and a complete turn around."

Thank you Candy for your dedication!

Have a staff member you want to highlight? Submit the survey here.

Save the Date for the Ohio START Summit

May 1, 2023

Fawcett Center at The Ohio State University

2400 Olentangy River Road

Columbus, Ohio

The 2023 Ohio START Summit Keynote Speaker is

Dr. Bradley Lander

Keynote: Dr. Bradley Lander

Understanding Substance Use Disorders: Squirrel Logic

People addicted to alcohol and drugs baffle us. But when we become frustrated with them, the problem is not them, it is us. It is our expectations of what we believe they should be able to do that frustrates us so much. If we understand addiction as a “chronic brain disease,” everything begins to make sense. Using alcohol or drugs over time creates fundamental changes to the brain that lead to compulsive and self-destructive behavior. This presentation looks at the effects of alcohol and drugs on the brain, what addiction is neurologically, and the recovery process.

Presenter Application

If you are interested in presenting at the Ohio START Summit, please let us know by filling out the presenter application form, here. Applications are due February 17, 2023.

Hotel Information

If you plan on staying in Columbus the night of April 30th, rooms are available for reservation at the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton - 3160 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus, OH 43202 Please call: (614) 268-8700 for a rate of $119/night. Please reserve your room by Friday, March 31, 2023, by using the GROUP CODE: PCS Book your room online now.


This year, Ohio START will be recognizing agency staff and partners for their outstanding service to Ohio families. The 2023 Ohio START Award winners will be announced during the 2023 Ohio START Annual Summit. Below is information about who is eligible to receive each award. Here is the link to make your award nominations. Deadline is March 17, 2023.

Ohio START Caseworker of the Year: Recipient must be a current Ohio START caseworker serving families.

Ohio START Family Peer Mentor of the Year: Recipient must be a current Ohio START family peer mentor serving families.

Ohio START Supervisor of the Year: Recipient must be a current Ohio START supervisor with a dyad actively serving families.

Ohio START Community Partner of the Year: This person is an integral part of the local Ohio START team and collaborates with the team to meet the needs of families. This could include a therapist, case manager, treatment supervisor/administrator, court personnel, direct line or steering committee member.

Resources and Events

Encourage your clients to participate in study about their Ohio START experience

Email: OhioSTART.parentinterview@gmail.com

The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare provides resources on pertinent topics

Attend Ohio START Coaching Calls

Coaching calls will continue to be held quarterly and may be attended by any Ohio START staff. They will be on the same date and time, the first and second Thursday of the month, from 9 a.m.-10 a.m. The same content will be covered at each session, so you only need attend one of the days. 

Join a Sober Active Community

The Phoenix’s mission is to build a sober active community that fuels resilience and harnesses the transformational power of connection so that together we

rise, recover, and live. Find more information on their website.

Visit the training calendar below to register

Ohio START Consortium Meeting

Feb. 8 from 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Assessing Safety and Safety Planning in SUD Cases

Feb. 10 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Supporting LGBTQIA+ Families

Feb. 15 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Introduction to START for New Staff

Feb. 16 from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Supervisor Professional Learning Community: Empowering Your Staff

Feb. 16 from 9 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Motivational Interviewing: Practical Application Practice

Feb. 17 from 9 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Training Calendar
Ohio START is a program of PCSAO and an affiliate of the National START Model
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, equity, and redemption.
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