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February 2012
In This Issue
Trainer Conference
Field Experience Requirement
E-Track Update
Training of Trainers
Skill Building Learning Labs
New GAP TOT on Diversity
Regional News
Promoting Application of Learning On-The-Job
Trainer Tips
Diversity Competence
Youth Voice
Applause and Recognition

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 Trainer conference 2012

We can't wait to see you on March 12, 2012, for the OCWTP Trainer Conference!  The conference will be held at the Crowne Plaza Columbus North and will feature keynote presenters Dr. Dale Curry and Dr. Anita Barbee and ethics trainer Pam Reid. 


To learn more about the conference and to register, click here.


Field Experience Requirement 


Attention Caseworker and Supervisory Core trainers!  If you have been out of child welfare practice for three years or more, it is time, once again, to complete your field experience requirements.  Ongoing exposure in the field will not only enhance your credibility, but will also assist you in developing appropriate transfer of learning strategies.


Field activities must include a minimum of four hours and be completed within the next nine months, by November 13, 2012.  For more information on what qualifies as field experience, please click here or contact Lois Tyler. You can also access the field experience form here.



E-Track Update


E-Track was released to OCWTP trainers on December 16th via a Constant Contact mass email.  If you did not receive the "Welcome to E-Track" email, contact Debra Sparrow to ensure we have your current email address. If you haven't had a chance to delve into E-Track yet, you'll want to start by completing the Facilitator E-Track Training Page:  


The training page will guide you through locating, logging into, and navigating E-Track as well as assessing your facilitator training data.  There's a lot of information in E-Track ready and waiting for you to log in and explore.  Check it out today!


This is what fellow trainer Jayne Schooler had to say about E-Track: "The instructions for E-track came at the right time, while we all were on a training break in December. I had the opportunity to explore it and I am excited about using it.  One of the biggest advantages I see is pre-training contact with participants, if necessary,  and post-training follow-up.  Thank you OCWTP for working so hard to get it up!"




To register, contact

Debra Sparrow



Presentation Skills

March 21-23, 2012

June 4-6, 2012


Curriculum Development

May 8-9, 2012


Culture & Diversity 

April 9-10/April 26-27, 2012


Transfer of Learning

March 14, 2012



June 22, 2012


Classroom Performance Systems (CPS)

as requested 


Skill Building Training for Trainers



The skill-building learning lab has been reformatted and new content has been added.   New content focuses on how to incorporate transfer of learning (TOL) strategies into your curricula, how to address the diversity of job roles and functions you might find in your trainings, and what transfer assessments and intervention strategies work best. Competencies Addressed: 660-05-001, 660-05-002, 660-05-004


The new format includes participation in 1 two-hour GoToMeeting, followed by a one-hour coaching session, and ending with individual technical assistance on a current training.


This new format will enhance participants learning by:

  • Allowing an exchange of information between experienced OCWTP trainers
  • Providing opportunities to practice applying specific skill building and transfer strategies
  • Receiving individual feedback regarding skill building and transfer strategies you have incorporated into one of your trainings

You must have an existing workshop which you have presented to OCWTP constituents and be willing to submit the content outline for critique.


There are three options for the two-hour GoToMeeting, all are from 7-9:00 PM:

May 15       May 29         June 5


To register, contact Debra Sparrow or Lois Tyler. You only need to register for one session. Registration is limited.


New GAP TOT: Diversity in the Training Room 


How many of you dread hearing the following question when you submit a workshop outline for review:


How do you address cultural issues in your workshop?


It's not that you are not interested or don't care about differences; you just don't know how exactly to do it. It can be a very challenging endeavor with so much to consider:  

  • What do I  say?
  • How do I say it?
  • How do I avoid offending anyone? 
  •  What if I leave something important out?
  • What if they ask me a question I don't know the answer to?

Talking about differences and the challenges those differences bring to all interactions and relationships can be stressful and sometimes scary!


The OCWTP has  developed a GAP session that includes a Resource Guide to assist trainers when thinking through diversity issues for their workshops.


It includes definitions, key concepts, and examples. There will also be a list of anticipated questions and answers to address the following points:


(1) What we mean by the terms "culture" and "diversity" in the context of child welfare and how the two terms interrelate;


(2) What we mean by "addressing diversity issues" in your training (We will provide lots of examples);


(3) Ways you can identify diversity issues and help your trainees respond to them, should they arise;


(4) Ways to work your diversity-related content into your workshop;


(5) Recommended "dos" and "don'ts" when talking about diversity issues; and


(6) Where you can go for additional information or assistance.


This GAP session is being offered March 22, 2012, from 10 AM to 12 Noon, via Go-To-Meeting.


To register, contact Beth Ann Rodriguez or Leslie Ahmadi.


Regisration deadline is February 29, 2012, so that participants have time to review pre-session materials.


rtc map

















As of February 1, 2012, WORTC discontinued sending participant comments to the trainers because they will soon be easily accessed through E-Track. Trainers are encouraged to continue to read comments and direct any feedback from those comments to Director Dale Hotaling or Coordinators, Michelle Bruce (Caseworker/Supervisor training) or Kristin Townsend (Foster Parent training).




ECORTC is putting the final touches on the 17th Annual Supervisor Conference being held March 7-9, 2012 in beautiful, rural Sugarcreek, Ohio.  This conference is open to Public Child Welfare managers, supervisors, directors, and ODJFS staff.  For more information, contact ECORTC at 740-432-2355.


Online Learning is taking off!  ECORTC is teaming up with IHS to offer a new nine-hour Effective Home Visits pilot training in February and March 2012.  Using the Citrix Go-To-Meeting software, trainees can enjoy engaging, instructor led training while in their home agency.  A special thanks to Sally Fitch for her logistical and leadership capacity in helping ECORTC launch this program!


Belmont County DJFS, has joined four other ECORTC counties as a Differential Response County. That means that 50% of ECORTC's counties are in various phases of Differential Response! For trainers, it is recommended that you brush up on Differential Response and understand the implications to practice so you can be prepared to articulate to trainees how your curricula enhances Differential Response. Feel free to contact ECORTC or IHS for more information on Differential Response.


ECORTC asks for your patience as they try to find a replacement for Natalie Knowlton. The new person will have some pretty big shoes to fill! ECORTC appreciates your patience and understanding as they attempt to pick up where Natalie left off. Good luck Natalie in your new chapter!


ECORTC would like to congratulate Darla Gorscak on her recent Engagement to Don Cordery! 




SWORTC staff have now fully integrated into their new host agency, Bulter County Children Services.  While the location of the SWORTC physically remains the same, on June 23, 2011, the staff of the RTC become employees of Bulter County.  the SWORTC and OCWTP are grateful for the leardership at Butler County Children Services under the direction of Jeff Centers.  The folks at Bulter County have worked hard to make the transition as smooth as possible.  New contat information for the SEORTC staff includes:


Darren Varnado.



LaDonna Morales



Terrie Stockton



Ben Hannah




Check out the new Distance Learning page on OCWTP.  Find information and links to all the distance learning options available to PCSA staff and caregivers.


Read the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). This report presents national estimates of the prevalence of past year mental disorders and past year mental health service utilization for youths age 12 to 17 and adults age 18 or older.


The latest edition of Pediatrics contains a facinating report that "presents an ecobiodevelopmental framework illustrating how early experiences and environmental influences can leave a lasting signature on the genetic predispositions affecting emerging brain architecture and long-term health." Read it here.


The estimated average lifetime cost per victim of non-fatal child maltreatment is $210,012. To learn how researchers identified this figure, read The Economic Burdent of Child Maltreatment in the United States and Implications for Prevention.



Editorial Staff


Kelley Gruber
Susan Yingling

We would love to hear from you!  Send your submissions to


Please submit articles electronically and provide citations when needed.  Common Ground staff reserve the right to condense and edit submitted articles.  




Exciting things are happening in the OCWTP!  The new year brings about renewed focus on transfer of learning and skills training, and a clarification of the role of OCWTP staff as learning consultants to PCSAs.  In the simplest terms, we will partner with PCSAs to help them identify their learning needs and develop a plan for meeting these needs, and we will sustain this partnership until the learning goals are achieved.  We are piloting these partnerships in several counties over the next few months, so we should have some good data to report in June's edition of Common Ground


You have an important role in this transition.  Your training builds the bridge between the classroom and the agency/foster home.    We are counting on you to emphasize transfer of learning and skill development, and you can count on us to provide you with the information and tools you need.   


Partnership, transfer of learning, and skill-building - our focus for 2012!

Practical Model for Promoting Application of Learning On-The-Job

Dale Curry

Curry, Caplan & Knuppel (1991; 1994) describe a basic but comprehensive model that can be used to guide individual, environmental, and training design transfer interventions (including low and high road approaches) into a comprehensive transfer plan. Broad & Newstrom, (1992) and Wentz, (2002) also advocate a similar approach. They emphasize that key persons (e.g., worker, coworker, supervisor, trainer) at key times (before, during and after formal training) can help or hinder transfer effectiveness. They suggest the utilization of a transfer matrix for transfer assessment and intervention that can be applied to any training, including ethics training. Figure 1  provides a brief illustration of how the model could be applied to ethics training. Many additional before, during, and after transfer strategies that incorporate both low and high road approaches can be included to help a child and youth care training and development professional achieve one's ethics training and transfer objectives.


The total number and strength of transfer factors in each cell promoting transfer (driving forces) and hindering transfer (restraining forces) determines the amount of transfer. The transfer matrix can be used as a template to place over any existing training program to assess factors that affect transfer and develop an effective plan for transfer intervention and evaluation by increasing transfer driving forces and decreasing transfer restraining forces. This approach involves a paradigm shift from viewing (ethics) training as an event that occurs during the training session to an intervention influenced by key individuals before, during and after training.


This is a excerpt from Curry, D. (2006) Training Intervention Strategies to Promote Application of Ethics Learning in Practice Settings. CYC-Online, 84. To read the full article click here. 


Dr. Curry and Dr. Anita Barbee will co-present at the OCWTP Trainer Conference in March.

To read additional articles written by the presenters, click on the underlined titles below: 





According to a 2007 integrative literature review, the most research-supported design interventions for promoting transfer of learning are learning goals, content relevance, practice and feedback, behavioral modeling, and error-based examples.


Consider your most recent training and answer these questions:


Learning Goals: Do the learning goals contain specific behavioral objectives?


Content Relevance: Do you make a consistent effort to show the close relationship between the training content and the participant's work tasks?


Practice and Feedback: Do you have time built in for participants to practice what they have learned, and do you provide constructive feedback with opportunities to remediate?


Behavioral Modeling: When presenting new skills, do you break down the skill into specific, key behaviors?


Error-Based Examples: Do you help participants see what can go wrong when they don't apply the skills correctly?


2007: Burke, Lisa A., & Hutchins, H. Training transfer: An integrative literature review. Human Resource Development Review, 6(3), 263-296


Diversity Competence

The OCWTP has made the following change to the Policy Manual:


The definition of diversity competence will be used as a guideline for recruitment of trainers, development of curricula, and in public relations and promotion of OCWTP. Where the OCWTP has historically used the term cultural competence it now uses the term diversity competence in order to account for the multi-dimensional aspects of all people that include, but are not limited to, culture.


Diversity refers to all those characteristics that distinguish us from each other. Culture is a powerful driver of diversity but not the only determining factor. Membership in groups (race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, etc.) also influences our social identity. The influence of a group membership can shift over one's lifetime, forming complex dimensions of social identity that must be explored for their relevance to the present day experience.


Diversity competence is an ongoing developmental process that includes:


a)   an acquired understanding of the patterns and potential dynamics of specific groups and cultures, including our own;


b)   the understanding of how culture (the values, beliefs, attitudes, and traditions acquired from affiliate groups) as well as personal circumstances, conditions, nature, and experiences influence our own and other people's thinking and behaviors; and


c)   the ability to use this knowledge to manage and adapt to the dynamics of diversity and work effectively with all people.


We invite you to seriously consider using this more expansive term in your workshops and other training activities.




Meet Foster Care Alumni Trainer Lamar Graham


Lamar is currently serving a second year as an AmeriCorps member with HandsOn Central Ohio, where he is responsible for getting people excited about service and also recruiting volunteers for service projects. 



We asked Lamar to give us some insight into what youth need to be prepared for independent living.


What is one of your specific advocacy areas related to foster care?




Can you give some examples of why this area needs reform?


Many students finish high school with no idea of the career path they want to follow.


I feel students should leave high school with at least four possible career options. They should know which careers require additional education, and understand the steps needed to be successful in the career they choose.


If students have a clearer understanding of what they would like to accomplish after high school, they would save time and use financial aid more wisely.


How can caseworkers/foster caregivers/adoptive parents better equip foster youth in this area?


Each stakeholder listed above should understand their role clearly and know exactly how their role ties in with the success of foster youth.


Caseworkers/foster caregivers/adoptive parents should coordinate a plan with the youth, outlining specific goals the youth may want to accomplish.  


By scheduling regular meetings to discuss and monitor the youth's progress, many future challenges can be avoided.  


What are some creative ideas regarding how this information might be shared in a workshop setting?


I recommend the following: 



1.  The training (or series of trainings) should start with a joint session with foster youth, caseworkers, foster caregivers/adoptive parents. 


2.  Each "role" should then have their own session (foster youth, caseworker, foster caregivers/adoptive parents)


3.  There should be rotation in which two groups are paired up and the third is by itself:


    -Youth will work alone, while foster caregivers /adoptive parents and caseworker work together

     -Caseworker will work alone, while youth and foster caregivers/adoptive parents work together

     -Foster caregivers /adoptive parents will work alone, while youth and caseworker work together 


4.  Everyone comes back together for a large group session


Lamar holds an Associate Degree in Business Management from Columbus State Community College and a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Management from Wilberforce University. Lamar's future plans include becoming a professional speaker, trainer, and coach to help people become the best person they can become.


Summit County Children Services has named Angela Irby the "Social Services Supervisor of the Year." Angie is the supervisor of the Home Assessment unit and her staff are responsible for the inquiry line and the licensing of all new foster homes. Angie has been an OCWTP trainer for many years and has worked for Summit County Children Services for nearly 25 years.  Angie obtained her Master's in Public Administration from the University of Akron. 


Congratulations to Alex McFarland for being selected to serve on the inaugural National Foster Youth and Alumni Policy Council, headed by FosterClub and Foster Care Alumni of America. Alex currently serves as Vice President of the Ohio Youth Advisory Board and Legislative Liaison of the Ohio chapter of Foster Care Alumni of America. 


Kudos to Paula Kyle, who has published a memoir of her foster care experience titled On the Edge of Unthinkable (published by iUniverse).


Congratulations to Betsie Norris, founder and Executive Director of Adoption Network Cleveland. In October, the Children's Bureau presented Betsie with an Adoption Excellence Award for Increased Adoptions of Older Children. For more information about all the award recipients, visit the Children's Bureau's website.