Common Ground Banner    
 October 2012
In This Issue
Skill-Building TOT
Regional News
OCWTP Initiatives
Evaluating Training
Trainer Tips
Youth Voice
Workshop Approval

Quick Links

 To register, contact

Debra Sparrow


Presentation Skills

October 18-19, 2012

June 3-5, 2013


Curriculum Development

November 28-29, 2012

April 3-4, 2013


Culture & Diversity



Transfer of Learning

April 9, 2013



December 11, 2012

May 16, 2013


Classroom Performance

Systems (CPS)

on request



Skill-Building Series 


Are you looking for new and effective ways to incorporate TOL strategies into your learnings? Do you want to learn more about "coaching" ?   Then this Skill-Building TOT series is for you.


The first "block" of the series is a two-hour GoToMeeting Learning Lab.  This is followed by a one-hour coaching session.  One month later,  you will submit a revised content outline and receive feedback about the improvements you've made. 


The Skill-Building Series is being offered twice:


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

Tuesday, May 14, 2013       

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM


Contact Debra Sparrow to register. Registration is limited



E-Track Assistance


There are two new ways to access E-Track support:


- Call 614-437-2516

- Email


Please remember to check out the E-Track Facilitator Training Page first, but if you can't find your answer, call or email and ask for help.  We don't want you to miss out on the benefits of E-Track.


Field Experience Requirement


Attention Caseworker and Supervisory Core trainers: Your field experience form is due November 13, 2012.  For more information on what qualifies as field experience, please click here or contact Lois Tyler


Call for Presenters


The Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services and the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, is seeking presenters for Ohio's 2013 Opiate Conference: Turning the Tide Together. The event will take place on April 29-30, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency located in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Interested trainers can complete the Proposal Submission Form.


Trainer Orientation Materials


We are in the process of revising our materials for prospective and new trainers.  If you have suggestions for improving these materials, please send them to Kelley Gruber.


Congratulations to Dr. Denise Goodman, who was selected to receive the Distinguished Career DGoodman Award from the OSU College of Social Work. This award is given to alumni for exceptional professional achievements, initiatives, or leadership. In addition to training for the OCWTP, Denise is a consultant for the Annie E. Casey Foundation and trains nationally and internationally.




Kudos to 2012 National Center for Adoption Law & Policy Champion Award Winners Betsie Norris and Dauntea Sledge.


BNorrisBetsie  received the "Individual" award for her tireless efforts in adoption advocacy. Betsie is the Executive Director of Adoption Network Cleveland and co-author with Jayne Schooler of Journeys After Adoption: Understanding the Lifelong Process.


DSledgeDauntea received the "Youth" award as a strong advocate for youth in foster care. He is the President of the Franklin County Youth Advisory Board, and Media Spokesperson for the Ohio Youth Advisory Board. He is an active member of the Ohio Chapter of Foster Care Alumni of America. 


rtc map



SEORTC is very pleased to have Carmen Mitchell join them as their new Office Manager/ Technical Support Specialist.


CORTC congratulates Julia Harrison as the new Director of Performance Improvement and Evaluation (PIE) Division with Franklin County Children Services (FCCS).  The Professional Development Department, which includes the CORTC, will be coming to the PIE Division with Ms. Harrison.  CORTC also bids farewell and congratulations to Linda Hoffman on her retirement, and welcomes Carlos Craig as the new software specialist.


ECORTC has had several staff changes over the year, and wanted to re-introduce staff and their roles: 


Pamela Barnett serves as Training Coordinator, scheduling mostly Foster and Adoptive Caregiver Training. She is part-time at the RTC and you will typically find her there all day on Mondays and Tuesdays and Fridays from 9AM to noon.


Darla Cordery is the new name of Darla Gorscak, who was married recently.  She is ECORTC's Clerical Specialist whose duties include conference planning, trainer curricula support, and assisting in the day-to-day operations of the RTC.


Debbie Schott joined ECORTC as Clerical Specialist in March 2012. Her primary focus is on trainer support, handouts, and extensive E-Track help desk activities.


Brian Wear serves as ECORTC's Director. In addition to that role, Brian schedules the majority of staff training for the RTC, facilitates trainer contracts, and does the fiscal management.


SWORTC is pleased to announce  the regional training center will remain at 420 Wards Corner Road in Loveland, Ohio, through September 30, 2015.


NWORTC welcomes Nicholas "Nick" Toncic, who replaces Percilla Shelmon-Brown on the RTC staff.  Nick comes to the RTC from the Lucas County Workforce Development Agency, where he served as a Program Coordinator for youth services.



Recommendations to Improve Permanency for Foster Children  Recommendations from the Ohio regional permanency forums co-sponsored by ODJFS, Casey Family Programs and PCSAO


Postcards From The Soul

Foster Care Alumni of America's (FCAA) book of postcards sent to FCAA from current and former foster youth


Child Welfare Outcomes

Data collected by ACF between 2007 and 2010


Making Healthy Choices

A psychotropic medication guide for youth in foster care   


Human Trafficking Commission

Commission re-convened by Attorney General Mike DeWine 


SACWIS resources:


-SACWIS Knowledge Base

-SACWIS Webinars   


ideas Editorial Staff


  Kelley Gruber

  Susan Yingling


We would love to hear from you!  Send your submissions to Kelley Gruber or Susan Yingling.


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



Fall is a time for reflection and preparation.  The OCWTP took time to reflect and prepare for the current fiscal year at its annual strategic planning retreat last month.  A summary of the retreat discussion can be found in this issue.  In addition, you can find information on the importance of training evaluation, tips for training Generation Y, and insights from one of our foster care alumni trainers.  Enjoy, and as always, we welcome your feedback.

 Moving OCWTP Initiatives Forward


OCWTP staff held their annual planning retreat in September. The objectives of the retreat were to:

  • Review the past year's accomplishments
  • Assess what is working or needs improvement
  • Develop strategies for taking specific initiatives forward

Specific initiatives discussed during the retreat include:


Linking Practice Training with SACWIS


The OCWTP is partnering with ODJFS SACWIS staff and county SACWIS super users to link OCWTP practice training (in this case, the CAPMIS Tool Kit) with the SACWIS system. The framework of the pilot includes:

  • A CAPMIS Tool Kit session trained by an OCWTP trainer and a CAPMIS/SACWIS Learning Lab trained by a county SACWIS super user
  • Integration of the ODJFS CAPMIS Field Guide and county-specific quality assurance issues

The intent of this project is to improve application of CAPMIS knowledge and skills, as well as quality of documentation in SACWIS, ultimately resulting in better decision-making on behalf of families and children. The OCWTP is working to create a seamless learning experience for county staff, and help send the message that "best practice" includes both applying OCWTP practice content on the job and fully using SACWIS.




The OCWTP plans to build coaching into a series of training interventions in high priority areas that address all levels of learning. Coaching interventions have been successful because they allow individuals or small groups to develop or enhance identified skill sets from a strengths-based perspective in a safe learning environment. The OCWTP has prioritized coaching supervisors to maximize resources and enhance system-wide outcomes. The OCWTP would also like to further explore coaching for caregivers.


Supporting PCSAs as Learning Environments


There are a number of ways the OCWTP can support PCSAs as learning environments, including:

  • Conducting Comprehensive Learning Assessments - a county-specific process to assess and meet learning needs, and promote transfer of learning strategies
  • Building the OCWTP as a "learning community" by increasing our own knowledge and skills about how to help PCSAs be learning environments
  • Increasing the resources and tools available on the OCWTP website, such as the new Priority Training Page which helps supervisors and staff identify learning opportunities by topic and by level of learning

Supporting Supervisors


The OCWTP can support supervisors beyond traditional classroom learning by:

  • Offering a series of building block trainings on clinical supervision, based on the experience of the supervisor
  • Providing opportunities for supervisors to network across the state and learn from each other
  • Offering "just-in-time" resources to supervisors
  • Helping supervisors use BIC and ROM (SACWIS reporting systems) to monitor and improve casework practice
  • Promoting coaching for supervisors, and exploring the idea of an "orientation to supervision" coach
  • Expanding the traditional definition of supervisor to include staff who have supervisory responsibility for caregivers, such as foster care licensing specialists 

Building Partnerships


The OCWTP will continue to grow its relationships with stakeholders and consumers. Targeted groups include:

  • Partnership for Ohio Families' technical assistant teams. These ODJFS teams include SACWIS staff, Technical Assistance Specialists, and policy staff who provide assistance directly to counties.
  • Youth in foster care and alumni of the foster care system. OCWTP continues to identify naturally occurring opportunities to use their expertise to improve our products and the delivery of our products.
  • ODJFS Technical Assistance Specialists (TAS's). RTC staff will continue to participate with TAS's in county CPOE 9 reviews. In addition, RTC staff are interested in regular meetings with TAS's to exchange information and discuss trends in training needs.

Evaluation Surveys


Help keep OCWTP evaluation response rates high! Here are four things you can do to encourage learners to complete OCWTP evaluation surveys:

  • Know the new E-Track evaluation survey process and be prepared to answer questions.
  • Remind participants to complete the online evaluation survey after the session. Remember, evaluation surveys are in their E-Track To Do list.
  • Refer participants to the new name tents, new idea catchers, and new posters that explain the E-Track evaluation process.
  • Personalize the process by letting participants know how you as a trainer benefit from their feedback.

OCWTP evaluation data is used in a variety of ways, including:

  • Regional Training Centers monitor participants' experiences with the learning intervention, including reaction to content, the trainer/coach, and the facilities.
  • IHS monitors trainer/coach performance, and uses data as feedback to developers of standardized curricula.
  • ODJFS uses data when responding to the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) and other state and federal requests for information about Ohio's training system.
  • Trainers and coaches assess reactions to their performance and content.
  • Key stakeholders determine value of OCWTP training interventions.

Your support is critical to the success of the online E-Track evaluation process.   While it may be tempting to collect feedback from participants at the end of the session, we ask you not to do so.  We want to make sure participants only have to provide feedback one time, and it is necessary to the sustainment of our program for the feedback to be collected in E-Track.


Once participants complete the on-line surveys, you can view and print the Session Survey Results by running a report. You can run the report any time after the training; however, participants have seven days after the session ends to complete their evaluations, so you might want to wait until then to view survey results.


Section 4 of the  Facilitator Training Page will walk you through how to run the Session Survey Results report. However, if this is your first time accessing the Facilitator E-Track Training Page, you will want to complete the training materials in order, as they build on one another. You can practice in the E-Track test environment using either the printable PDF desk reference or the video screen capture.


If you have questions about the E-Track Evaluation process, please contact Kyle Hoffman, or Pam Quigley, or talk with regional training center staff. 




With Boomers retiring at the rate of one every ten minutes (nearly 64 million by the end of the decade) the workforce is shifting. Gen Y'ers, aka Millennials, are changing how things are done. Their influence is likely showing up in the training room, too.


Gen Y'ers have been described as having diverse cultural, economic, and geographic backgrounds, which means your training participants likely come from a different background than you and have had very different experiences from each other. As a result of the technology they have grown up with, they have the ability to rapidly sort through and digest information. This characteristic might allow you to move through material faster, but they are just as quick to tune-out if they can't see how your training material applies to them directly.  Gen Y'ers prefer experiential learning and interactive communication rather than lectures, and they enjoy working in groups. They are in constant communication with friends and family (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, texting) and expect regular feedback.


Keeping in mind these are stereotypes, here are some tips to adapt your training to meet their learning preferences:

  • Assure content isn't based on assumptions of shared experience and give participants an opportunity to talk about their differences
  • Point out the relevance of new concepts or skills early in the introduction and be specific 
  • Provide ample time for group discussions, small group activities, simulations, etc.
  • Incorporate games to trigger the multimedia sensory stimulation
  • Keep your pace lively and divide your material into shorter segments with built-in review
  • Acknowledge contributions and provide detailed feedback when participants share in a discussion or participate in an activity
  • Consider offering your training as distance learning (Contact your RTC or an IHS staff person if you are interested in this option - we'd love to help you make this a reality) 



Meet Foster Care Alumni Trainer Amanda Dunlap 


Amanda is a licensed social worker with a bachelor's degree in Social  Work from The Ohio State University. She was adopted from the foster care system, and has actively advocated locally and nationally for systemic changes for over  five years. She enjoys sharing her experiences from foster care and adoption in training with staff and caregivers to influence change in child welfare practices.


We asked Amanda to share her ideas for foster care reform: 


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


"Something that I think is important to focus on is lifelong connections.  Youth need positive role models who can be in their life while in care and continue the relationship when they age out."


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


"Many youth today age out of the system without the resources they need to help them succeed. Vital to their success is a connection to someone after care they can trust and can go to for help. This is why it is critical for workers and caregivers to realize the importance of allowing youth the opportunity to make these connections while in care."

What about this issue do you want caseworkers/foster parents/adoptive parents to know?

"I want people to know that it can be hard for youth to age out and feel like they have no one or no support. While they are in your care they can start to build these relationships with the people around them. Naturally occuring opportunities to develop relationships present themselves at places like church or work, so it is important to give youth these experiences.   You never know who can turnout to be a lifelong connection - maybe a coach, employer, member of the church, or older sibling.


I had a supportive adult in my life who helped me out with applying to college. The process was long and scary and I was unsure of what to do. With the help of this person, I was able to get enrolled in college and find local scholarships to help me out financially. I owe so much to this person because without them I am not sure I would be where I am today."


Do you have any creative ideas regarding how this information might be shared in a workshop setting?

"Yes, through an activity.  The trainer could have trainees draw a picture/outline of three people they had a good relationship with during the ages of 14-19. Inside the picture of the bodies, have them list one important memory or lesson they shared with that person. Organize the participants in pairs, then, have them share their responses with one another. Each person then takes scissors and cuts one person out of their partner's picture and says 'unfortunately you were not given the opportunity to make a lifelong connection with that person and therefore did not get to learn that lesson or have that memory.' This is a very dramatic visual and reminder to trainees that these individuals can have a very big impact on a youth's life."


OCWTP Workshop Approval Process


How do you get a new learning (workshop) approved and entered into E-Track?


The steps:

  • An RTC identifies a training need in their region and contacts you to develop a learning to meet that need.
  • You develop content based on the information provided by the RTC.
  • The RTC submits the proposed learning to the Trainer Development Work Team for review. IHS reviews it at this time for CEU credit as well.
  • Work Team members submit questions/suggestions to the RTC, and the RTC brings the compiled list of questions/suggestions back to you.
  • Based on the feedback, you and the RTC work together to make the revisions, then the RTC re-submits the revised learning to IHS.
  • IHS verifies all Work Team questions were addressed and then enters the learning into E-Track.

During the review process, the Work Team is looking for: 

  • A title that clearly indicates the learning topic
  • A description of how you gained your expertise specific to the learning topic
  • A brief description of the learning that will give potential participants a good understanding of what to expect
  • A list of the competencies that are addressed with some depth in the learning
  • Applicable categories and sub-categories from the Classification Table (These are used by participants to search for appropriate learnings)
  • Information on how the learning directly relates to the audience (caseworkers, supervisors, caregivers, etc.)
  • Transfer of learning activities that will help participants apply the information to their jobs/caregiver roles
  • How the learning addresses diversity
  • Learning objectives that describe what a participant will know and/or be able to do after the learning
  • References from credible sources that are current or seminal works
  • An agenda detailing the main themes and sub-points and containing descriptions of key terms, activities, discussion topics, etc. so reviewers have a solid, in-depth understanding of the content and methodology