ISSUE 9                                                                             WINTER 2019

Dear Colleagues,

I recently noticed the quote from Jonathan Swift that Cindy Davis has on the bottom of her email. It says "Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others" . It struck me that this is exactly what enables us all to do our work every day. We believe that a child with a developmental delay can improve skills so dramatically that he, or she, can catch up with his peers; we believe that a family can move from almost total dysfunction to thriving; we believe that a teacher can change perception of a child's challenging behavior from a vindictive choice, to a natural product of what has happened to him. Believing that these changes, and many others, can happen, all comes from having vision. In even  the worst of circumstances, believing that people can change for the better is the basis for all that we do. Your belief, for many of our consumers, is what gives them hope and validation when facing a world in which no one has ever believed in them before. I commend you for the vision that you bring with you day after day as you embrace the toughest of challenges. Success may not be apparent this day or the next, but in the end, the lives of each family will be better for your efforts and presence.
It is a privilege to work along-side you and to witness the gifts that you give to parents and children through your commitment to truly valuing each and every life. My thanks for this opportunity is not enough, but it is, at least, a gesture of my belief in you.
So, when you embrace the New Year, make 2019 another year of making remarkable differences.May you and your family have a prosperous and joyous holiday and year to come.


Happy 2019! I hope everyone was able to take a little time to relax and spend time with those you care about over the holiday season. It seems that our lives are so busy; we often forget to relax and keep things in perspective. I wanted to start my tenure as President of OFCFCA with a BIG THANK YOU to Jane Whyde for all the time and hard work that she has provided over her years as OFCFCA President. Jane has been a tireless advocate for Family & Children First (FCF) and the work that everyone does locally.   Along with the efforts of our Ohio Family & Children First leadership and staff, Jane's work has furthered the awareness of FCF and the impact that our work has in each of our counties. While I have big shoes to fill, I am excited to be the new President and encourage you to contact me, or another Executive Committee member, when you have ideas as to how OFCFCA can support Coordinators better.
To give you a little of my history, I have been working with children and families for over 25 years. I have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Kalamazoo (MI) College with an emphasis in Business Management and Accounting. Prior to becoming Director of Clermont County FCF in March 2004, I was a counselor at the Sonja Shankman Orthogenic School (residential treatment facility) while I completed my Master's degree in Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. I also did a 9-month internship counseling those addicted to opiates during my time in Chicago. I then continued my dream to study sport psychology at Miami University and moved to the Cincinnati area after my graduation with a Master's in Sport Studies. I was a therapist in a day treatment program at St. Aloysius Orphanage, then the Director of Provider Relations for Magellan Behavioral Health's Hamilton County project prior to coming to Clermont County FCF. I am a Licensed Independent Social Worker with a Supervisor designation. I truly believe in collaboration among systems, family-driven care and having youth be active participants in their care.
Stay warm and I hope to see everyone at the February OFCFCA meeting!




An acronyms lists, for parents and providers has been posted on our website!


Thanks to all who participated in the 2018 OFCFCA Annual Meeting! Based on the evaluations, it was a big success! More than half of the counties in Ohio were represented!   The meeting, overall, received a very positive rating. The keynote speaker (Bruce Boguski) and the Trauma-Practical Strategies presentation both received very high ratings; however,  the highlight of the meeting was definitely Tuesday's luncheon during which we honored former First Ladies of Ohio, who had been, and still are, supportive of the FCFC initiative. Frances Strickland and Hope Taft were both able to attend and Jacqui Romer-Sensky represented Janet Voinovich. Each was able to share stories about their past involvement in the initiative, as well as express their continued support.   Everyone enjoyed hearing from them and it was wonderful to look back on our past experiences.  
When asked what aspect of the meeting participants would help them most in their counties, networking and the trauma presentation received the most references. Not surprisingly, the three agenda items that folks liked best were: the trauma presentation, the keynote speaker, and honoring the first ladies. We received lots of positive feedback and good suggestions and we are already planning for the 2019 OFCFCA Annual Meeting.  
Once again, thanks to the coordinators/directors who were able to attend, Franklin County staff for all their assistance before and during the meeting, presenters, and facilitators at the round tables and during the committee work. A special thanks to Hope, Frances, and Jacqui!



Beginning in July 2017, Clermont County FCF joined the Resiliency Project (funded by the Strong Families Safe Communities Grant), a collaborative effort between Hamilton County Board of DD, Clermont County Board of DD, Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services, and Finding Hope Consulting whose goal is to offer trauma focused mental health services and team based planning to dually diagnosed (mental health and DD) youth and young adults, in order to help encourage healing from past traumatic experiences and build resiliency skills. Since then, Clermont County FCF/Wraparound Program has worked with the project to help merge Trauma Informed Care practices with System of Care principles and the High Fidelity Wraparound planning model in order to provide the highest level of care in the least restrictive environment for youth and families. Currently, Clermont County has seven youth enrolled in the Resiliency Project, all at various stages of implementation. Preliminary data is showing that Clermont County youth involved in the project have overall increased their resiliency skills and decreased the total number of disciplinary events at school, probation violations, and acute hospitalizations. These positive outcomes are due to the tireless efforts of the Resiliency Project partners, as well as other community partners such as Families Connected's Peer Support Partners, Child Focus, Inc., Clermont County Children's Protective Services, local school districts and various other community service agencies. For more information, contact: Gretchen Behimer (513-732-7860) or Rachel Sorg (513-732-7862)
I've heard some of you say that your FCFC meetings are not very productive as they could be and/or that you do not have a lot of experience planning and conducting meetings. I found a great website that I think you will find helpful. I am tempted to say this might be helpful to new coordinators/directors, but I know from experience, that more "seasoned" coordinators/directors may also benefit. (After all, being seasoned does not guarantee you will not become stale!) There are a lot of websites out there that deal with developing agendas. This one was from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs! Strange source you might say-eh? The website's section on agendas, however, is very relevant to FCFC work, understandable, and practical. The table of contents includes Gathering Items for Agendas, Considering the Needs of Members, Being Prepared for Topic Drift, and Developing Annual Planning Calendars. I think, if you make an honest assessment of your current practices, you will find at least one area that you can improve. Do you use social interaction activities? Do you know why putting "new business" at the end of the agenda may not work well? Are your information-sharing items and your information-processing items distinct? Do you always distribute agendas before the meeting? Depending on your council's roles, it may be helpful to go over this section of the website with you council chair to make sure you are "on the same page". This website also covers a wide host of topics, in addition to agendas and it is worth exploring. Admittedly, there are some topics that are not relevant. For example, you can likely skip the section, "Horticultural Rural Society's Annual Return". On the other hand, it might be worth reading the sections on resolving conflict, clear writing, and/or the basis of collaboration. As you all know, working with collaborative decision-making groups is not easy and this website does not provide any simple solutions. It does, however, have a lot of good information that you get you thinking and point you in the right direction.
Click here to get to the website! 



Margaret Demko (new to Hocking; continues with Vinton)
Bonnie Wilson (Trumbull)
Melissa Byer-Smith (Huron)
Nancy Omahan (Knox)
Debbie Holycross (Logan)
Margie Alexander (Trumbull)
Heather Wells

What was your job when you were with Butler County Family & Children First and how long were you there? When did you leave?

I was with BCFCFC for almost 19 years. I started as the Cluster Coordinator and was the Executive Director when I resigned in February, 2018. In between those roles, I helped to build Wraparound, develop evaluation systems, and a million other things!
  What are you doing now?

I'm the project director for the southwest Ohio region of Engage 2.0. Engage 2.0 is a Systems of Care grant received by OHMHAS and will allow to regions in the state to build Mobile Response and Stabilization Services for youth and young adults.

Is there anything you miss about working with the Butler County Council? (or do you still interact with the council?)

Luckily, I still get to work with many FCFC Directors. I do miss my staff and interacting with such a diverse group as makes up FCFC.
Is there anything that you learn in your FCFC position, that has helped you in your current position?

Being an FCFC Director requires many of the skills that you need as a project director. The most important is being able to help folks envision what "better" may look like - either in terms of programs, systems, or policies.


If someone made a movie of your life, would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic comedy, an action film, or science fiction? 
Drama-Comedy (Sydney Slagle-Carroll)
Definitely -   a comedy!!! (Maggie Henry-Clinton)
The movie of my life would be a romantic-comedy!  I married my high school crush (who I might have been stalking from a distance sort of...he even took me to a dance but doesn't remember it!  Good thing I kept a photo for evidence!!! Ha!  Happily married with three kids, ten chickens, a dog, and some goldfish:)  (Jenn Coleman-Madison)
I would like to think it would be a comedy! (Sylvia Friel-Licking)
A  musical.  (Doug Messer-Lorain)

Psycho...but it was already made. (Nancy Omahan-Knox)

I would have to say that the movie would be a romantic comedy. (Peggy Grandbois-Hancock)

Drama for sure! (Lori Colian-Columbiana)

OKAY, I know it is not one of the choices BUT I would have to say a TRAVEL DOCUMENTARY!
(Sue Giga-OFCFCA)
JANUARY 9, 2019
SFY 2019 FCSS Reimbursement Form
FEBRUARY 1, 2019
SFY 2019 FCSS Semi-Annual Report
FEBRUARY 1, 2019
SFY 2019 Semi-Annual FCSS Needs/Services Tracking Grid
FEBRUARY 8, 2019
FCSS Reimbursement Form
REMEMBER - A cash basis report is due to the State Auditor's Office 60 days after the end of your council's fiscal year.     

  January 18, 2019
Executive Committee Meeting

February 22, 2019
Association Meeting

March 15, 2019
Executive Committee Meeting
Canton Meetings
January 25, 2019 & March 22, 2019
Zanesville Meetings

January 28, 2019 & March 25, 2019  
Jackson Meetings
January 23, 2019 & March 18, 2019
Findlay Meetings
January 24, 2019 & March 21, 2019 
Dayton Meetings
January 30, 2019 & March 27, 2019 
ALWAYS CHECK IF IN DOUBT! Things change and typos occur so always check with the  sponsoring group if in doubt about any due date or meeting/training date.      


Launched in 2002 by the National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, National Mentoring Month focuses national attention on the need for mentors, as well as how each of us-individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits-can work together to increase the number of mentors to help ensure positive outcomes for our young people. This campaign celebrates mentoring and the positive effect it can have on young lives. Its goals are to:
  • Raise awareness of mentoring in its various forms
  • Recruit individuals to mentor, especially in programs that have waiting lists of young people
  • Promote the rapid growth of mentoring by recruiting organizations to engage their constituents in mentoring
January would be a great time to thank the mentors in your community, increase awareness of the importance of mentoring, and/or sponsor an event.  The National Mentring Partnership website ( https://www.mentoring.org ) is a great website with lots of information about mentoring, resources, and news.  The website includes a section on National Mentoring Month and provides a toolkit o help you locally.