June 2023 Newsletter

Director's Corner

Ohio START believes that everyone is deserving of second chances. In recognition of June as National Reunification Month, we are celebrating the inspiring journeys of families reunited and thriving in recovery.

“For me, finding hope is not some philosophical exercise or sentimental notion; it is a prerequisite for my survival.” — John Green

From the Field: County Highlights


Ottawa successfully closed another case and has served 28 total families.


Eric Goines has been named as the new START caseworker in Muskingum County.


Allen County has 20 Ohio START cases between two dyads, and hopes to take on more soon.

Meet the 2023 Ohio START Award winners

The first ever Ohio START Awards were presented last month at the 2023 Ohio START Summit. These awards recognized agency staff and partners from across the state for their outstanding service to Ohio families. Congratulation to our winners!


Caseworker of the Year

Beth Smyntek, Summit County

Many families have found healing and overcome the challenges associated with addiction due to Beth's exceptional skills and expertise, combined with her unwavering belief in her clients. Her dedication to the families she serves goes well beyond the conclusion of a case, and she is always willing to offer assistance whenever needed. Beth is a true asset to her agency and the START program.

Supervisor of the Year

Ann Lynch, Ashtabula County

Ann is a huge advocate for START participants, taking the time to educate herself and get to know them personally. Her caring nature is evident to everyone she works with, and she is always eager to share stories of successful family transformations, going to any length to help families in need.

Family Peer Mentor of the Year

Lyndsey Graham, Brown County

Lyndsey became the first Family Peer Mentor in her county in 2018. Since then, her positive working relationships, dedication, and honesty have not only contributed to her success on the Ohio START team but also made her an indispensable and trusted member of the community.

Community Partner of the Year

Bethany Bolin, Meigs and Gallia counties

Bethany is a fierce advocate for families and START teams, even when it means having difficult conversations. She has gone above and beyond in support of the agencies and as an exemplary leader and educator for Ohio START.

START presents at Opiate & Other Drugs Conference

Ohio START Regional Managers Jen McClellan and Jennifer Millisor presented at the 2023 Opiate and Other Drugs Conference. Family Peer Mentors from Summit County Children Services, Erin Mills and Jessica Okolish, along with Brychelle Mullins, Ohio START TA, joined to discuss the role of peer support in engaging families affected by co-occurring substance use disorder and child maltreatment. In addition to this presentation, many Ohio START staff from local jurisdictions were able to attend the conference thanks to OACBHA’s generous donation of conference registrations.  

START presents at Trauma-Informed Care Summit

Marla Himmeger, Ohio START Training Program Manager and Elinam Dellor, Ohio START Evaluation Team, OSU, College of Social Work, presented a workshop at the 10th Annual Trauma-Informed Care Summit on May 16, “Trauma exposure in child welfare populations: Towards a trauma-informed approach.” The workshop introduced the key components of the Ohio START model, discussing the burden of trauma exposure among adults and children participating in Ohio START and presenting Ohio START’s trauma-informed approach to promote attachment and reduce the effects of trauma.

Success Story

Karrie's Story, Lucas County

Karrie's newborn tested positive for opiates due to her intermittent substance use during pregnancy. She agreed to join the START program in Lucas County and adopted an in-home safety plan. Karrie connected with Talbot, took a few weeks to join groups, regularly met with her caseworker and family peer mentor, and began an intensive outpatient program. Throughout her work with Lucas County, Karrie gained a sponsor, joined a homegroup, and maintained sobriety. Despite a counselor change near the end, she advocated for herself and successfully linked to a new counselor. Karrie's START team has been a proud part of her journey, celebrating her achievements as she embraced a healthier, substance-free life.

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: OhioSTART.parentinterview@gmail.com 

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 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 behavioral health providers!

Please join us Thursday, June 15, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

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

Here is the upcoming schedule:   

  • 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, June 15, 2023, from 9:00 am – 10:00 am 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/


2023 Peer Recovery Summit 

Save the date! OhioPRO (Peer Recovery Organizations) will host the 2023 Peer Recovery Summit, Ohioans Thriving in Recovery, on Aug. 16-17 at the Marriott Columbus OSU. This event will serve as a place where certified peer supporters can gather to network, learn, and grow in a space dedicated to their advancement. Registration for the summit will open in May and be limited to 400 attendees. Attendees will receive continuing education credits (CEUs). If you have any questions, please email OhioPRO Executive Director Michael Krause

Visit the training calendar below to register

Foundations 1: Introduction to Ohio START

June 7 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Screening and Intervention of Substance Use Disorders (UNCOPE)

June 9 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Family Toolkit: Genograms, ecomaps, and more!

June 13 from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Trauma & Resilience: Identifying children, parents and families at risk

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

Supervisor Professional Learning Community: Supervising and Coaching Staff on MI

June 15 from 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Nurturing Parenting: Nurturing Self

June 16 from 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Trauma-Informed Resiliency-Oriented Supervision

June 20 from 1:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Motivation Interviewing Refresher

June 23 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Foundations 4: START Child Welfare Practices

June 29 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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