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June 2012
In This Issue
Training of Trainers
Skill Building Learning Lab
E-Track Update
Regional News
Applause and Recognition
Addressing Well-Being in Training
Trainer Tips
NRCYD Training
Youth Voice

Back Issues of Common Ground


Trainer Resources

Join Our Mailing List



To register, contact

Debra Sparrow



Presentation Skills

October 24-26, 2012

June 3-5, 2013


Curriculum Development

November 28-29, 2012

April 3-4, 2013


Culture & Diversity 



Transfer of Learning

October 4, 2012

April 9, 2013



December 11, 2012

May 16, 2013


Classroom Performance Systems (CPS)

to request, contact Mary Landrum




Skill-Building Learning Lab for Trainers: Transfer of Learning


The skill-building learning lab has recently been revised to intensify the focus on transfer of learning (TOL).  Participants will learn how to incorporate TOL strategies into curricula, how to address the diversity of job roles and functions present in trainings, and what transfer assessments and intervention strategies work best. The following trainer competencies are addressed: 660-05-001, 660-05-002, 660-05-004.


The new format includes participation in a two-hour GoToMeeting and a one-hour coaching session.  One month later,  participants will submit a revised content outline/curriculum demonstrating improvements.


Register for one of the following dates by contacting

Debra Sparrow:


Tuesday, September 4, 2012      7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Wednesday, January 16, 2013    7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Tuesday, May 14, 2013              7:00 PM to 9:00 PM


Registration is limited. 


E-Track Update


E-Track was released to OCWTP trainers on December 16th via a Constant Contact email. 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 accessing 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!


Please note: E-Track is going live for participants on June 29, 2012.  This will impact you in two ways: 

  1. You will have access to the participant side of E-Track, meaning you will be able to see your training attendance among other things.  
  2. You no longer need to allow 15 minutes at the end of the session for the completion of evaluation surveys.  (See the Trainer Tips article for ideas on how to use those 15 minutes.)  

More information will be sent via Constant Contact.


rtc map





Office Manager and Assistant Training Coordinator, Nora Fakhri, will be leaving on August 4, 2013, to attend law school in North Carolina. Nora has done an outstanding job and will be missed by many.




ECORTC introduces Ms. Pam Barnett, who recently assumed the duties of Training Coordinator, focusing on Foster and Adoption Training and Needs Assessments. Pam is working in a shared position with Guernsey County PCSA, and will be at the ECORTC five days every two weeks. She has been an Assessor for over 10 years and brings a wealth of knowledge to the training center.

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 by November 13, 2012. For more information on what qualifies as field experience, please click here or contact Lois Tyler


Help Participants Get to the Right Learnings


One way workers and caregivers can find the learnings they need is by searching in E-Track using the classification table. Therefore, it is important to make sure your learnings are associated with the correct classification categories and sub-categories when you submit them to the requesting RTC. You can find the Classification Table on the OCWTP website at:


Care Training


If you are a therapist formally trained in Parent Child Interaction Therapy and are interested in being certified in CARE, an "off shoot" of PCIT for caregivers, please contact Kelley Gruber.  We would like to develop at least one CARE trainer who can offer the CARE model to caregivers statewide. You must first be trained in PCIT before you can be trained in CARE.

CSWMFT Board News  

Want to Boost Your SACWIS Knowledge?


Kudos to Adrian McLemore for being selected as one of 30 delegates for the 2012 International Summit of Youth in Care World Congress. This Summit brings together 30 emerging leaders and 30 senior leaders to find new answers and develop new standards for policies and practices related to transitioning youth.



Way to go Ann Bagley! Ann received the "Advocacy Award" from Geauga County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services on May 17, 2012.



Congratulations Chris Cross, NCORTC senior tranining officer, 
who earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. Her dissertation, The Perspectives of Child Protection Caseworkers on Sustainability, Training, and Attitudes: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study, looked at tenured caseworkers' perceptions of the motivating factors that assisted in their decision to remain in child protective services and the relationship training has on their sustainability.  



Ben Hannah, SWORTC Training Coordinator, also deserves congratulations for earning his Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Cincinnati.  Through his course work and field placement at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center he brings additional knowledge and skill to the OCWTP.  



NEORTC proudly announces Jayne Schooler as the NEORTC 2012 Trainer of the Year. Jayne was selected for her practical experience, her endearing personality, and the variety of topics she presents to both caregivers and caseworkers.



Exciting news from Jill Sanders! Her book Love Yourself More: Stress Less, has been published as an e-book.   You can download her book to your kindle from Amazon.




Additional Well-Being Resources


The most recent edition of the Children's Bureau's Online Digest spotlights social and emotional well-being.


Child Welfare Information Gateway has a number of resources focused on state and national statistics on child and family well-being indicators.


The National Alliance of Children's Trust and Prevention Funds recently released free online training on protective factors that support well-being including social connections, parental resilience, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need, and social and emotional competence.


View a PowerPoint used in the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrator's all-state webinar conducted by ACYF Commissioner Samuels on May 4, 2012.  In addition, ACYF has formed a Well-Being Workgroup within its Training and Technical Assistance (T&TA) Network. For more information about this workgroup, contact either Lisa D'Aunno or John Levesque.


One way systems are collaborating to improve well-being is through a federal program called Systems of Care. Read a description of Systems of Care or read about Ohio's System of Care initiative.  


ideas  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.  




In 1997, The Adoption and Safe Families Act added well-being as the third goal of child welfare, in addition to safety and permanency. Since that time, waves of policy and funding streams have targeted each of these three goals. In the last few years, the focus has been on improving permanency outcomes. Now, attention is shifting to well-being.


Being aware of and addressing child welfare trends such as these with your participants:

  • Enhances your credibility as a content expert
  • Helps participants apply the information you are providing to their work

This issue of Common Ground will help increase your knowledge of child well-being and spark ideas about how to incorporate the information into your learnings.

Addressing Well-Being in Training


When taking in new information, such as the exciting work being done in the area of child well-being, it can be overwhelming to consider how to incorporate that information into existing workshops. However, it is exactly this kind of information that will enhance learning and support application to the job.  


Sometimes it helps to break the information down into manageable parts, which can then be incorporated into a training with the addition of a few PowerPoint slides. Below are summaries of three child well-being documents with links to read the full documents. Following the summaries are suggestions for how to break the material down, and how it could support existing training content.


Recently released information on child well-being:  


Information Memorandum: Promoting Social and Emotional Well-Being for Children and Youth Receiving Child Welfare Services (2012). The Administration for Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF).

  • ACYF is encouraging states to implement evidence-based practices that will improve the social and emotional well-being of youth in care. The information memorandum (IM) summarizes the impact of abuse and neglect, identifies two "policy requirements and opportunities" of the Social Security Act where well-being can be impacted, and makes recommendations for action.  Read an IM Summary or the Full IM.    

Well Being: Court Performance Measures for Children. Draft Issue Brief (2011). National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues.

  • The American Bar Association (ABA), the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) collaborated in 2011 to develop court measures for well-being. This Issue Brief describes how they developed the well-being outcome measures and the barriers they encountered. They confirm the ACYF's notion that child well-being cannot be the exclusive responsibility of child welfare agencies.  Read the Issue Brief and be sure to review the links to federal legislation related to well-being. You can also view the proposed measures.  

Beyond Common Sense: Child Welfare, Child Well-Being, And The Evidence For Policy Reform. Wulczyn, F., Barth, R. P., Yuan, Y. T., Jones-Harden, B., & Landsverk, J. (2005). Piscataway, NJ: Aldine Transaction.

  • This book acknowledges that it is "common sense" for the child welfare system to address well-being as a desired outcome, but when you take a step beyond common sense and begin to define well-being, dilemmas emerge. The authors argue that perhaps the biggest issue is the disregard of developmental theory when addressing the dilemmas. Once again, it is noted that child well-being is beyond the scope of child welfare services' resources and practice. Read a book summary or get the book from Transaction Publishing or Google eBooks.

Ideas on merging the content with existing trainings based on topic:


General Aspects of Well-Being: Introduce well-being using the same framework embraced by ACYF (C. Lou et. al. 2008); Help learners understand well-being from both a bio-ecological/life course perspective and a public health perspective, as is done in Beyond Common Sense; Include information on the importance of functional assessments and the right time and way to do a functional assessment, according to the ACYF's recommendations.


Education: Discuss how to support educational stability, framing the discussion using the Fostering Connections Act requirement for states to create an education stability plan for all children in foster care. This requirement is referenced in the Issue Brief.


Physical Health: Discuss best practice in medical care using the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) recommendations for initial and comprehensive health screenings and Medicaid's requirements for Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment Services (EPSDT) found in the Issue Brief.


Permanent Relationships: Make the link between well-being and maintaining permanent relationships using the information from the proposed court well-being measures.  


Youth Transitioning Out of Care: Discuss the impact of the Fostering Connection requirement for all teens to have a transition plan 90 days prior to aging out. This requirement is references in the IM.


Family Capacity: Utilize the Family Self-Sufficiency Scale in the appendix of the Issue Brief.


Mental Health: Discuss the need for greater oversight of psychotropic medication use with support from the ACYF's Information Memorandum on Psychotropic Medication (ACYF-CB-IM-12-03), the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act's requirement for oversight (referenced in the IM), and the proposed well-being court measure to review all psychotropic medications at every ASFA hearing; Familiarize participants with the AAP's timeframe recommendations for mental health screenings and psychological assessments as referenced in the Issue Brief.


Trauma: Make the connection between trauma and well-being using material from the IM and Beyond Common Sense; Discuss the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act's requirement to screen for trauma, as referenced in the IM.


Management/Leadership: Use the proposed court well-being measures as an example of how to develop practice goals from CFSR well-being outcome goals; Discuss the importance of collecting data and using it to evaluate and improve services using content from chapters five and six of Beyond Common Sense; Encourage agencies to partner with caregivers noting the ACYF's view that the success of an intervention hinges on the involvement of the caregiver and the support the agency provides the caregiver.  


It takes effort to keep trainings updated with the latest practices, policy changes, and emerging research. But if the effort is made, the benefits will come.   You will feel more confident as a trainer. Participants will reach a deeper level of understanding and feel prepared to apply their new knowledge to the work they do.  And, ultimately, children and families will be better served.   




       Give your participants a

             TOL Booster Shot



When E-Track goes live to participants on June 29, evaluation surveys will be filled out on-line.   Now that you no longer need to save 15 minutes at the end of your learning for the completion of evaluations, you might be wondering how best to use that time. Why not kick start participants' transfer of learning by helping them develop an action plan? Here are some ways to encourage them to use what they have learned:

  • Have participants identify three small steps they will take to incorporate the information into their work. Have them also identify timeframes for when they will complete these steps.
  • Help participants identify how this imformation will change their practice in one week, in one month, and in six months.
  • Encourage participants to make a plan for how they will share the new information with either a supervisor, co-worker, or another foster parent.
  • Discuss with participants potential obstacles to using this information, and then have them develop a plan for overcoming those obstacles.
  • Give participants a few minutes to list support people and resources in the agency that can help them achieve their action plan goals.

It might be helpful to have a handout for participants to record their plans.  There are a variety of Action Plans available through the RTCs, or create your own.





NRCYD Training


The National Resource Center for Youth Development (NRCYD)  is a service of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau.  Its mission is to "enhance the quality of life of youth and their families by improving the effectivness of human services."


NRCYD visited Ohio in April to conduct a three-day Training of Trainers (TOT) entitled Positive Youth Development: The Vital Link.  This training, held at CORTC, drew a mixed audience of approximately 20 former foster care alumni and social work trainers from all regions of the state.  The trainees learned the fundamental principles of youth development and then participated in a "teach back", presenting the content in teams of two to other TOT participants.  


NRCYD trainers Kathy Sutter and Lupe Tovar from Oklahoma University co-facilitated the training and provided technical assistance to participants throughout the session. They effectively modeled the concept of alumni engagement in Child Welfare training while emphasizing core principles the curriculum, including youth development, collaboration, cultural competence and permanent connections.


Five OCWTP regions hosted this pilot training during May and June and received favorable evaluations from participants.  Amanda Dunlap, one of the alum trainers stated,"It was a wonderful opportunity to see what it is like to train for OCWTP and realize how impactful the content was".  Lynne Anderson, an OCWTP social work trainer added,"Having a foster care alum co-train added a valuable dynamic and insights for me as a trainer."


The two additional TOTs, Lifelong Connections and Transition Planning, will occur later this fall.  These NRCYD trainings will establish a model training environment for best practice in alumni engagement, and help Ohio build capacity for meeting its CFSR federal requirements in an effort to improve its child welfare system.



Meet Foster Care Alumni Trainer Crystal Oliver


Crystal Oliver has become a household name within the OCWTP. NWORTC staff person, Rebecca Battles, introduced her to the training system in 2011 as someone we should know. Since that time, Crystal has proved to be a dynamic, dependable, and an engaging individual with a promising future. She is a foster care alum who has "hurdled many obstacles" in life, and has worked hard to overcome each one. Crystal's perceptions and personal experiences about her life in the child welfare system and preparation for Independent Living are noteworthy. We asked Crystal to tell us about one area of foster care in which she would like to make a difference. 


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


I really want to focus on the aging-out population.


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


I aged out of the Independent Living Program at Lorain County and found myself in extremely vulnerable situations and unprepared to manage the challenges of life. Many foster care youth as young as 17 and 18 are faced with this same dilemma. Not all counties have adequate resources to provide housing, education, healthcare or material assistance to youth in transition from foster care to Independent Living. Yet, no youth should ever leave the child welfare system without access to basic survival needs. When this happens, homelessness, incarceration and other adversities are often the outcome.


To avoid these consequences, I strongly believe youth and young adults in transition need knowledge of and access to available resources; financial assistance; and viable permanent connections with human support systems. Legislative reform at all levels of government is also critical. I want to serve as a resource to other youth aging out of foster care.  


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


There are four ways I think they can have a postive impact on youth:

1)Through training, including workshops that involve the "experts"

2) advocacy

3) community forums

4) direct collaboration with foster youth and alumni for their perceptions about needed changes


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


Use foster care youth and alumni as guest speakers and panelists, or even convene a panel that includes the youth, foster caregiver, and Independent Living caseworker to share stories from their own perspectives.


Crystal is a recent MSW graduate of the University of Toledo with a 4.0 GPA.  She currently enjoys
spending time at home with her soon-to-be  two-year old daughter,  Jaycee Lynn as she prepares to transition from years of academic life into professional employment.