October 2022
Director's Corner
Ohio START believes in family, love and redemption. Together we have served over 1,000 families. We continue to work as a team, supporting and holding each other accountable.

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”

- Fawn
From the Field: County Highlights


Portage closed one case in August and two in June. 

Two START cases were closed and reunified with children.
Summit County has 15 cases, and two parents will be completing the program!

Portage County Success Story

When Krystal Booth voluntarily signed up to participate in the Ohio START program through Portage County Job & Family Services (PCJFS) Child & Adult Protective Services Division, she was all in. “I want all the services,” Chad Dye recalls her saying when she arrived for a diagnostic assessment in December 2021. Dye is the Chief Officer of Residential Services for Coleman Health Services, which collaborates with PCJFS to offer Ohio START, a children services led program that supports parents with substance use disorder who are willing to work toward change to ensure the safety of and retain custody of their children. “I’ve been willing to do whatever it takes to better myself and my children,” said Krystal, who sports a ponytail and looks younger than her 32 years. Krystal grew up in Western New York, where her biological mother still lives. Twelve years ago, her biological father married Tess Booth, who was with Krystal and her 9-month-old daughter, Alyssa, as Krystal graduated from Ohio START in late August. “This is epic,” said Krystal as she showed off her graduation certificate. “She has come a long way,” Tess said. Tess has been there for Krystal as she has fought her addiction to crack cocaine. She began using as a young adult in Batavia and Rochester, New York. She had a child at age 20, who now lives with her father in New York. Her two middle children, ages 10 & 7, have been in Tess’s custody for four years. 

Ohio START wants to share more success stories! Submit them here.
Employee Spotlight
Ohio START is proud to highlight Lucas County's ongoing caseworker, Laura Rubley, for the outstanding work she is doing!

A few words from her supervisor: "Since Laura has taken the position in December 2021, I have had the pleasure of watching her grow and mature as she works with families on an intensive basis. Seeing the passion and commitment to the families as they navigate their paths to recovery and sobriety has been refreshing at a time when substance use has continued to skyrocket across the nation. She is willing and able to meet families whenever there is a need, and the relationships that she has built with the families is a testament to the dedication that she has to the program. One family that she is currently working with was resistant to working in the program with a prior worker and felt that the agency was against her. However, with Laura's guidance and partnership with the family, the mother's viewpoint appeared to have changed and I can say that she has been successfully reunified with her children as a result of Laura's work. I am so proud of the worker that she has grown to be and I see her as a champion and advocate for Ohio START!"

Thank you Laura for all your dedication!

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

More highlights

  • Congratulations to Brychelle Mullins for receiving her LSW!

  • Mahoning County’s long-standing Family Peer Mentor and recovery advocate, Tina Cvetkovich, is transitioning to the START Caseworker position. Congratulations, Tina, on your new position!
Resources and Events
Attend the Recovery Is Beautiful Fall Fun Festival
The Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities, with support from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, will be hosting a Recovery Is Beautiful Fall Fun Festival on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, from 3-7 p.m. at Van Buren Acres. Van Buren Acres is a family owned and operated farm in Hebron, OH. Attendees will be able to participate in a variety of activities including a corn maze, hayrides, soybean maze, pumpkin picking, and more. Register for the event here.

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.

'World turns' at annual conference
This year’s theme, “As Our World Turns,” highlighted the fast-spinning nature of the children services system — facing workforce and placement challenges while trying to maximize new state and federal opportunities. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services partnered with PCSAO for the first time to make the conference possible, supporting conference scholarships for two frontline workers in each county through the workforce grant. ODJFS Director Matt Damschroder addressed attendees on Monday and shared a video welcome from Gov. Mike DeWine. Read more about the conference here. Mark your calendar for Tuesday through Thursday, Sept. 19-21, 2023. Our next annual conference will return to the Hilton Easton.
Ohio START in the News
September is National Recovery Month, and a program in Ohio is showing success in healing families who have struggled with addiction.

When a public children services agency (PCSA) case involves parental addiction issues, the obstacles can seem insurmountable. Thanks to the Ohio START program, those families have access to a team of professionals who support their recovery, help them navigate the court system, and work to keep the children in the home.

Seneca County Public Relations Director Jimmy Flint and Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services Project Manager Mindy Strup-Kummerer interviewed START coordinator Jill Gosche for episode seven of the Seneca County JFS experience podcast.
Visit the training calendar below to register
Nurturing Parenting: Appropriate Expectations & Family Roles

Oct 14 from 9:30 a.m.- 10:30 a.m.
Family Team Meetings

Oct 19 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Introduction to START for New Staff

Oct 20 from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Nurturing Parenting: Empathy & Personal Power

Oct 28 from 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Ohio START Consortium Meeting (In-Person Only)

Nov 3 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Trauma & Resilience: Identifying children, parents and families at risk

Nov 7 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.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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