April 2023 Newsletter

Wear Blue for Child Abuse Prevention

On April 12, 2023, please take a photo of yourself and your family, coworkers, friends, neighbors, fellow students, and others wearing blue to show support for preventing child abuse and neglect.

Share the photo on your county children services agency’s Facebook page or on the Ohio Wears Blue Facebook page.

Use our hashtag: #OhioWearsBlue

Director's Corner

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.

“There is something about setting eyes on the people who hold you up instead of imagining them.” - Hanif Abdurraqib

From the Field: County Highlights


Ottawa County was able to successfully close a START case and has opened a new case.


Jackson County has 11 open START cases, including one newly opened case.


Danica Adams and Brad Mendenhall are joining the Fairfield County START team as Family Peer Mentors.

START Presents in Ashtabula County

On March 15, Ohio START conducted an in-person presentation in Ashtabula County that touched on the key principles of Ohio START. The presentation was led by Jen McClellan and Kathi Kurtz and was well attended by supervisors and caseworkers representing multiple departments within the agency. Similar tailored trainings can be provided for any START PCSA interested in reinvigorating agency staff and/or community partners about the program.

Seneca County Celebrates Second Completion

Seneca County START recently celebrated its second successful completion. The team and community partners gathered to honor Lindsey Crisp and her successful completion of START requirements. The program has served 11 families in Seneca County, and the number continues to grow.

“We are grateful to be able to celebrate another graduate from our START program. We are proud of the work she has done to make healthy life choices for herself and her children. We look forward to hearing about her future successes. Thanks to all who support the work of the START Team and the families who are engaged in making great strides in their lives and the lives of their children,” said Kathy Oliver, director of Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services.

START & Thrive in Harrison County

On February 28, Harrison County JFS gathered with Thrive Peer Recovery services on-site to welcome the addition of family peer mentor, Danielle Kemp, to the START Team. Harrison County has partnered with Thrive Peer Recovery Services to support the need for peer recovery support services within their START program. The team collaboratively worked through onboarding/training details, getting the community ready to reboot START, and setting up process flow for START cases for the agency. 

Photographed in order from left to right: Thrive Peer Recovery Services Team: 

Montana Banner- Project Manager, Josh Munoz- Community Manager, Sarah Hayden- Team lead/FPM, Danielle Kemp- Family Peer Mentor Harrison County Team: Debra Knight- Director, Lindsay Spell- Social Services Supervisor, Dominick Harper- Case Manager

Aimee Rich Testifies on March 7, 2023

Jackson County JFS Director Tammy Osborne-Smith, Ashtabula County Children Services START caseworker Aimee Clemson Rich, and Angela Sausser testified before the Ohio House Finance Subcommittee on Health and Human Services on March 7, 2023. They did an amazing job supporting the proposed new investments in children services, articulating the impact of the workforce and placement crises, and sharing how our system can improve outcomes for families and children.

To watch Aimee's testimony (starting at the 59:00 mark): 


You can read more, including their written testimony, here: https://www.pcsao.org/news/167

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

Nominate an Ohio START staff member HERE.

Registration NOW OPEN for Ohio START Summit

May 1, 2023

About the Summit

The 2023 Ohio START Summit will take place May 1, 2023 at The Ohio State Fawcett Center. This event brings together caseworkers, supervisors, behavioral health providers, and family peer mentors for a day of learning how best to serve Ohio's families struggling with co-occurring child maltreatment and substance use disorder.

Hear from keynote speaker Dr. Brad Lander who specializes in addiction medicine at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and participate in workshops of your choice! At the summit, Ohio START will also recognize agency staff and partners for their outstanding service to Ohio families with the first ever Ohio START Awards. See our agenda at-a-glance.

Click here to register for the Ohio START Summit
Resources and Events

Please share upon completion of Ohio START 

You can now participate in a phone interview study about your experience. If you participate in an interview from Ohio University or Ohio State University, you will receive a $75 gift card.  

Interviews can be over the phone or via video conference call. 

If you are co-parenting, each parent that completes Ohio START can participate and receive a gift card. 

Your participation is voluntary.  

To schedule an interview text or call: 740-486-0065 

Each interview will last approximately 45 minutes. 

Or email: OhioSTART.parentinterview@gmail.com 

IRB Number: 19-F-40


Family and Parent Peer Support Supervisor Training

Looking to become certified as a Family Peer Supporter? The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Union County is offering Parent Peer Support Provider (PPSP) training at no cost. This training is one of two approved trainings to fulfill the requirement for becoming certified as a Family Peer Supporter in the State of Ohio. The next 40-hour PPSP training will be held virtually from April 24-28. The Board also offers a Parent Peer Support Supervisor training. The next 24-hour PPSP supervisor training will be held virtually from April 19-21. For questions, contact Wren Hawkins at wren@mhrbuc.org.


Ohio START Job Postings

Do you have an open Ohio START position? Please send the details of your open positions to christine@pcsao.org to post on the Ohio START website: https://ohiostart.org/job-postings/


Attend Upcoming Learning Community Discussions

Learning Community Calls will be held quarterly for Behavioral Health Workers, Caseworkers, and Administrators. The Zoom calls will be held on the same date and time, the third Thursday of the month, from 9:00-10:00 a.m. The same link will be used for all learning community calls.

Calling all Caseworkers!

Please join us Thursday, April 20, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84753110112

Here is the upcoming schedule:   

  • May 18th: Administrators
  • June 15th: Behavioral Health Providers
  • July 20th: Caseworkers
  • August 17th: Administrators
  • September 21st: Behavioral Health Providers
  • October 19th: Caseworkers
  • November 16th: Administrators

Calling all Supervisors!

Please join us Thursday, April 20, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. for the Supervisor Learning Community Call that is open to both PCSA and BH supervisors participating in Ohio START.

Register here: https://ohiostart.org/training-assistance/


Addiction Academy

Addiction Academy is an educational conference offering quality training in the area of substance use disorder and comprehensive treatment. The Academy offers a unique view into the lives of those dealing with addiction and the professionals working alongside them. The event provides an opportunity to learn from organizations and specialists sharing their innovative expertise to promote effective recovery programming

Addiction Academy is a one day event on Thursday, April 13, 2023 at that Lower Lights Recovery is putting on in partnership with Sanctuary Night and The Hope Resource Center. It is both training and making connections with people all along the recovery continuum. CEU's are available.

The sign up link is: https://www.lowerlights.org/addictionacademy

Visit the training calendar below to register

Understanding the Culture of Poverty

April 11 from 9 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Nurturing Parenting: Nurturing Self

April 14 from 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Introduction to Motivational Interviewing

April 14 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Family Team Meetings

April 17 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Trauma Informed Family Engagement

April 19 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Supervisor Professional Learning Community: Reflective Supervision

April 20 from 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Introduction to START for New Staff

April 20 from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Nurturing Parenting

April 24 - 26 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 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.
Visit our website