August 2023 Newsletter

Director's Corner

Ohio START rallies around achievements, big and small. Even amid setbacks, every step towards positive change is a victory worth celebrating. Together, let's champion progress and growth by acknowledging the journey, no matter its challenges.

“Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take toward reaching that goal.” - Simone Biles

From the Field: County Highlights


Huron is in the process of hiring a Family Peer Mentor and hope to be accepting START cases this fall.


Summit has submitted everything necessary to the National START team for certification review. 


Clark has taken their second case and achieved all fidelity points at 100%.


The Meigs team closed a case successfully with 8 months sobriety.


The Athens team accepted 2 new START cases in July.


Knox is ready to accept their first START case this month!

START Leadership Council

The Ohio START Leadership Council met on July 26 to highlight successes and address implementation barriers. The Council is comprised of state and local leaders in a variety of roles to provide comprehensive insights into challenges. The PCSAO team provided updates regarding certification, the launch of Cohort 6 and pre-implementation, training and technical assistance, and program evaluation. The Council also discussed family peer mentor SACWIS access, creation of a recovery support plan template for START teams and the upcoming November Consortiums. The Leadership Council meets quarterly and continues to be an integral part of the state infrastructure of Ohio START. If you or a member of your team are interested in joining the Leadership Council, please reach out to Fawn, 

Ohio START Success Story

Ohio START Specialist Chloe Peterson shared a success story about the partnership between Kinnect to Family and Ohio START. Working together with a family and their START caseworker, Chloe identified a kinship caregiver for two siblings that allowed them to remain together.

In this case, the father identified the family’s faith community as a source of support. The pastor and church members identified a kinship caregiver who was familiar to the children. One of the children in foster care was scheduled to change foster homes again after several abrupt placement changes already. This child was the older of the two siblings and very protective of his younger sister. The KTF and START teams were concerned that separating them would be traumatic for both, but they faced placement challenges due to the child’s special needs and behavior stemming from trauma.

Now the siblings are together, living with an adult they already knew and trusted. Their caregiver also has experience with special needs children, which made it a perfect fit. The children can see their parents regularly as their family engages in recovery and healing. Chloe also worked with the family to activate a support network around them, involving their community and trusted kin they identified, so that the family has assistance if they need it in the future.  

Employee Spotlight

Dawn McDonald-Wycoff, Portage County

Dawn, who previously served as Portage County's START Family Peer Mentor, received a promotion and will now be supervising the Ohio START Family Peer Mentor. Congratulations, Dawn!

Nicole Worthington, Warren County

Nichole has been with the Team for about 10 months, during her time she has really not only grown in her role, but she works extra hard at supporting and advocating for and with her clients. She has learned balance in her own life and recovery and models this for the families she works with. She isn't afraid to work hard or ask questions when she needs to. She has been a great asset to the team. Her team is glad to call her co-worker, and also a friend. Nicole is a model of what recovery is about. 

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

Nominate an Ohio START staff member to be spotlighted HERE.

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: 

IRB Number: 19-F-40


Ohio START Job Postings

Do you have an open Ohio START position? Please send the details of your open positions to to post on the Ohio START website.


Alcohol and the Brain

National Institutes of Health (NIH) created a great new tool to explain the impact of alcohol on the brain. This interactive activity is designed to help youth ages 13 and older to learn about alcohol’s effects on five areas of the brain. There is a YouTube video and a VR version available through Meta to provide an immersive experience. Find more information and watch the video here.


Family Peer Support, Parent Peer Support Supervisor Trainings

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 Oct. 2-6. The Board also offers a Parent Peer Support Supervisor training, and the next 24-hour PPSP supervisor training will be held virtually from Sept. 13-15. Registration for all trainings can be found here. Questions? Please email Wren Hawkins at


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.

Here is the upcoming schedule:   

  • August 17: Administrators
  • September 21: Behavioral Health Providers
  • October 19: Caseworkers
  • November 16: Administrators

Calling all administrators!

Please join us Thursday, August 17, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Zoom Link:

Calling all supervisors!

Please join us Thursday, August 17, 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.

Visit the training calendar below to register

Ohio START Consortium Meeting (Virtual)

August 9 from 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Introduction to START for New Staff

August 17 from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Supervisor Professional Learning Community

August 17 from 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Foundations 2: Hiring and Supervision of Family Peer Mentors

August 23 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Drug Screening in Child Welfare

August 30 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.
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