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 February 2013
In This Issue
Skill-Building TOT
Applause & Recognition
2013 Trainer Conference
Quick Steps to Register for 2013 Trainer Conference
Trainer Tips
Youth Voice
Trainer Bios
Regional News
New Content Outline Form

Quick Links

 2013 Training of Trainers
 To register, contact

Debra Sparrow


Presentation Skills

June 3-5, 2013


Curriculum Development

April 3-4, 2013


Culture & Diversity

Contact Debra Sparrow


Transfer of Learning

April 9, 2013



May 16, 2013


Classroom Performance

Systems (CPS)

on request



Skill-Building Learning Lab for Trainers 


May 14, 2013 from 7-9:00 PM


As trainers, it is often hard to take time from busy schedules to concentrate on enhancing the learnings you offer - adding effective application exercises; including more child welfare specific examples; and texturing the training day to address differing learning styles. This learning lab is designed to help trainers do just that. Using an online meeting format, called Go-to-Meeting, the lab is designed so that trainers can participate from their home office using their own computer, internet connection and phone line - no travel involved.


The lab is designed for a two-hour Go-To-Meeting session and a one-hour follow-up telecoaching session to further refine your skills in finding ways to enhance your learnings. You will receive two-hours training credit.


Competencies Addressed:

660-02-001; 660-02-005 thru 0011; 660-03-004; 660-03-06 thru 011; 660-05-001; 660-05-004 thru 008


(614) 233-2223

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.



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.

ProtectOHIO Kinship Strategies


The OCWTP is collaborating with ODJFS and the ProtectOHIO Kinship Strategy work team to roll out ProtectOHIO training for Kinship Coordinators. You can learn more about ProtectOHIO by visiting the ODJFS website.



James Lacks and the ProtectOHIO Kinship Strategy Trainers



Call for Presenters







May 21-23, 2013.








Recent Awards


Congratulations to both Lisa Dickson, OCWTP trainer, and Betsy Smalley, IHS staff member, who won awards at the 2012 PCSAO conference.


Lisa Dickson Lisa was recognized as the Outstanding Child Advocate of the Year for her efforts to help child welfare and related agencies understand the importance of including youth voice. She has advocated successfully for, and worked on, a number of programs including the Ohio Youth Advisory Board, the Connecting the Dots Conference, and the OhioReach Initiative.  




Betsy was recognized for her outstanding leadership in the field of child welfare training and received the Dan Schneider Leadership in Training award. Betsy has more than 40 years of experience in child welfare, adoption placement, post-adoption services, and training. For 18 years, she has been a Training Manager for the Foster Care and Adoption Training Program at IHS.




New books by OCWTP Trainers:



Regina Kupecky teamed with her brother on their book The Mystery of Multiple Mothers. The book is described as a "cozy mystery that combines quirky Midwestern characters in a county where everyone (well, almost everyone) wants to help solve a murder."




Jim Still-Pepper's new book, Learning Bridges, is a compilation of activities that "bridge the gap" between people, leading to deeper conversations and stronger connections.  These fun and easy challenges are for any group of people trying to improve communication and how they work or live together.  





 Vince Stigliano

Staff from the RTCs, ODJFS, PCSAO, and IHS would like to sincerely thank Sandi Prestino and Vince Stigliano for their many years of service as OCWTP trainers.  Sandi and Vince have both been with the program since its beginning, and provided leadership to other trainers as the program grew.  We wish them happiness as they retire from the OCWTP trainer pool.


New Diversity Resources


A Three-Pronged Approach to Addressing Racial Disproportionality and Disparities in Child Welfare: The Santa Clara County Example of Leadership, Collaboration and Data-Driven Decisions.   Crystal Duarte Soderman and Alicia Summers, 2012


The Human Rights' Campaign's All Children - All Families initiative has released the fifth module of their training series designed to help agencies increase LGBT competence. 



Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their ChildrenNational Council on Disability, 2012.  


 new section of the Child Welfare Information Gateway website.  


Rural Child Welfare Practice. Child Welfare Information Gateway Issue Brief, 2012.




Data Resources


AFCARS: July 2012 preliminary estimates for FY 2011.


Tracking Child Abuse and Neglect: The Role of Multiple Data Sources in Improving Child Safety. Evidence to Action Brief. PolicyLab, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Fall 2012.    


Child Maltreatment. Children's Bureau, 2011.  



Resources for Addressing School Violence


compiled these online resources for parents, teachers, and others working with young children to help address the recent school violence. 


Safe Start Center has a series of blogs to address gun violence in schools.   


Defending Childhood: Report of the Attorney General's National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence.   



Additional Resources


OFC Deputy Director Jennifer Justice issues an e-newsletter the first Friday of each month. It has great information on current ODJFS initiatives. Click here to sign up


The new Administration for Children and Families' (ACF) website has been formally launched. The website includes  "The Family Room" blog that discusses new initiatives at the agency, success stories, and policy announcements.   


CWLA's Children's Monitor, Vol. 26, Issue 1: January 4, 2013, reviews the year from a child welfare policy perspective.  





As we work our way through the winter months, keeping ourselves busy with indoor activities, we look forward to spring and the wonderful things it brings - like the 2013 Trainer Conference! This issue provides information about the conference and how to register as well as trainer tips and resources related to diversity and inclusion. 

2013 Trainer Conference 2013trainerconf


Making the Best of Your Training Day: Skill Building for  Trainers 


The OCWTP is pleased to welcome performers from OSU's InterACT Theatre Project for Social Change as keynote presenters at the 2013 Trainer Conference on March 4, 2013, at the Crowne Plaza North in Columbus.


InterACT, led by Dr. Robin Post and Elizabeth Wellman, uses interactive theatre to engage participants in difficult discussions on diversity and inclusion.


In a recent On Campus interview, Dr. Post stated, "...I think (theatre) is a really good way to address issues of social change. It allows dialogue about difficult topics to take place in a safe setting." For the past seven years, InterACT has been using theatre to address such issues as ethical practices, inclusiveness and differences in faith as they apply to teaching and learning. Troop members perform a series of skits, and then stay in character after the performance to respond to the audience's questions.


InterACT's performance at the Trainer Conference will address diversity issues identified by OCWTP trainers. The theater students will present skits that demonstrate conflicts in a learning environment that are not handled optimally by the trainer. Through discussion and interaction with the performers, participants will begin to re-create the skits with more positive results.  


In addition to the InterACT performers, conference attendees will have the opportunity to participate in learnings facilitated by Beth Ann Rodriguez, Leslie Ahmadi and Jayne Schooler.   Beth Ann and Leslie will focus on strategies to address two questions all OCWTP trainers must answer when preparing learning outlines:

  • How do you identify, select and plan to address diversity issues that relate to your training topic?
  • How do you effectively respond to diversity and diversity issues in the training room?


The training will incorporate themes and strategies from the morning session and draw heavily on the OCWTP Guide How to Address Diversity Issues in Your Training.


Jayne's training will explore the ethics of addressing diversity in the learning environment. She will focus on the trainer's responsibility to identify and manage ethical dilemmas. Participants will work to identify strategies to cope with the cognitive dissonance learners experience when their values and beliefs are confronted.


As in past years, winners of the Linda Pope and Rising Star awards will be recognized at lunch. After lunch, a networking session will provide an opportunity for conference attendees to meet with representatives from each RTC.  


We are excited about this year's conference and hope you are too. Don't forget to register through E-Track by February 28th!




Quick Steps to Register for the 2013 Trainer Conference



In your Internet browser, navigate to:


Log into E-Track using your E-Track login ID and password*

Copy and paste the appropriate RED E-Track Learning Number into the "What Would You Like to Learn Today" section on your E-Track dashboard.


Register for the morning session:


Managing Conflict While Promoting Inclusion: Hot Moments in the Training Setting; 660-TC13-CNF2   




Register for one of the following afternoon sessions:


Managing Conflict While Promoting Inclusion: Hot Moments in the Training Setting Part II; 660-TC13-CNF3 


Addressing Diversity in the Learning Environment; 660-TC13-CNF1


Ethical Dilemmas in a Learning Environment; 660-TC13-CNF4



Check the "Code" radio button beneath that, and click the orange "FIND IT" button to the right. See example below:

Click "Enroll or View Available Dates for this Learning" from the left-side menu.


Click the Enroll Icon to the far left of the session details.


You are now enrolled and should receive an emailed enrollment confirmation within 24 hours.


Repeat the above steps to register for your second conference session. NOTE: If, after enrolling in your second session, you receive an error message saying, "This person is enrolled in another session with conflicting dates. Do you wish to enroll this person anyway?," simply hit the underlined "continue" in the center of the screen and you will be enrolled in the second workshop.


* If you need help registering in E-Track, follow the tutorials at: Information on determining your login ID and password are included in Section 1 of these materials.






All trainers have anxiety about addressing diversity issues in the learning environment. The following strategies to address these anxieties were compiled by The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center in Considering the Diversity Factor in Training: A Trainer's Handbook.


If you have doubts about your understanding of the intersect between diversity and your area of expertise, take comfort in the fact that no one knows all there is to know about a topic. When a participant poses a question in regard to diversity that you had never considered, use the opportunity to model self-awareness and openness. You can share with participants that you appreciate the insight and will use this as an opportunity to grow in your expertise.


If you are afraid you will lose control of participants or their emotional reactions will be too much, know that often the most significant learning comes from the tension created when beliefs are challenged. Rather than avoid emotional reactions, you can use them to aid the learning process. If tensions do feel too high, have participants take a "time-out" by journaling their feelings. If they want, they can then share what they wrote with one other participant.


If you are concerned that your evaluations could be negatively impacted, keep in mind that the most important measure of success is that participants have grown and learned from your training. While they still may be struggling at the end of training, ultimately they will be further along in their journey toward diversity competence.  RTC and IHS staff are aware of situations that can negatively impact evaluations and do not use the evaluation summaries as the sole determinate of a trainer's competence.



Meet Arlene Jones 



Arlene Jones Youth Voice




The OCWTP is proud to introduce Arlene Jones, another one of our dynamic, engaging foster care alums. Her experiences in care have stirred her to become a strong voice for other youth still in care. Arlene embraces the concept of "giving back." Through her training opportunities, she uses her expertise to help inform caseworkers and foster caregivers about the needs and issues of foster youth.  



Arlene shares her insights in the following interview: 




    What is one of your specific advocacy concerns as it

    relates to foster care?


One of my biggest areas of concern regarding foster care advocacy is the lack of normalcy for youth, created by agency policies and systemic barriers.


     Can you give some examples of why this area needs 



As an alumnus of Ohio's foster care system, I personally experienced issues relating to normalcy. I frequently went AWOL from placements to spend time with friends in their homes, attend sleepovers, school events, participate in club activities, and even have contact with my siblings. In fact, the lack of normalcy in foster care was so prevalent that I began referring to my siblings as "siblings," something I had never done prior to entering care. I had always referred to them as my brothers and sisters.


If our system was a true replica of a real family setting, perhaps we could see much better outcomes for our youth. I envision a system that is willing to let kids be kids and permits them to grow and develop in a fashion similar to kids not in care. It's okay to let us make mistakes and bad choices- we cannot learn if we are constantly being "saved." After all, growing up, none of us made right choices 100% of the time, yet we survived. We should change the status quo by becoming less reactionary and start implementing best practices in practical ways that do not involve additional red tape for foster youth. We should always remember that perfection is a moving target that we are obliged to chase if we are to be responsive to the children and youth entrusted in our care.


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


The primary things caseworkers, foster parents, adoptive parents, administrators, and directors should know is that foster youth want normalcy; they do not want overprotective parents; they want a system that is receptive and responsive to change. They want their voices heard.


There is so much improvement we can make within the current child welfare system provided that we see the difficulties as opportunities rather than barriers in achieving desired goals. We have to change the way we think and use our creative minds and critical thinking skills to bring about desired change. We need to take advantage of training opportunities to learn new approaches, and most importantly, listen to our youth.



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


In workshops, we hear much about what we can't do and touch on some things we can do. Perhaps it's time to focus more attention on all of the things we can. In other words, balance every "can't/don't" in a workshop with 2-3 "can's and do's."




 Arlene is a founding member and former Media Spokesperson for the Ohio Youth Advisory Board (O.H.I.O. YAB). She graduated from Wright State University in Dayton, OH and is planning to pursue an MBA in Public Administration at Ohio Dominican University. Arlene is employed at Franklin County Children Services as an ongoing caseworker. She is married, has three sons and is a kinship caregiver for her nephew. 

Trainer Bios


Please take a few minutes to update your trianer bio.  The following information should be included in order for the OCWTP to meet the requirements of the CWMFT board and keep our provider status:

  • University/College/Technical School attended
  • Year graduated
  • Major(s)/Degree
  • Current and previous experience in your area of expertise


It is prefered to note the year started (ex. 1998) rather than years of experience (ex. for 14 years). In addition, we ask that you limit your bio to 3-4 sentences. As all of you are OCWTP approved trainers, you do not need to state that in your bio.




Ms. Wanger, LISW, received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Spanish from Ohio University in 1998. Ms. Wanger has worked in all aspects of Intake with Franklin County Children Services where she has been employed since 1998. Currently she is an after-hours screener, providing crisis intervention, assessing risk to children and families, and locating alternative placements when necessary.


For more information, contact Lois Tyler


 rtc map





CORTC has had numerous staff changes in the past month:

  • Alison Rodgers, MSW LISW, is the new CORTC Director. Congratulations, Alison!  
  • Shawney Johnson, MSA, will move into Alison's previous position as Staff Training Coordinator.  
  • Joy Xaybandith accepted a position in FCCS' Volunteer Department. 
  • Shelley Weaver, BS, will move into Joy's position as Staff Training Coordinator.  Previously, Shelley was a Caseworker in the Kinship and Foster Care Programs.
  • Mikki Holmes has accepted a position with the Institute for Human Services as a part of the E-track Management Team.  The new Adoption Training Liaison will be announced soon.



In January, Debbie Huff joined 65 other doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists and social workers from the U.S. to travel to Honduras to provide health care to estimates of 3,000 to 5,000 children, youth, and adults.  She is a great example of the following quote: Always remember "to the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world." -Anonymous


NEORTC is also excited to welcome back Joy Roderick, who had a baby girl this past fall.  Joy covers caregiver trainings.  Staff and trainers are grateful for her return! 


NWORTC NewsTom Swindel


The OCWTP bids fond farewell to Tom Swindel who retired in December from Lucas County Children Services, after over twenty years as the NWORTC coordinator, then director. Throughout his career he carefully identified training needs of PCSA staff in the northwest region and creatively designed a variety of training interventions to meet those needs. He tirelessly advocated for the agencies in his region, and was one of the first to recognize the need to promote training in the areas of Human Trafficking and Trauma Informed Care. His collaboration, dedication and advocacy will be sorely missed. Staff wish him a happy retirement.   


NWORTC is pleased to welcome Rene King, the new Manager of Training and Development at Lucas County Children Services. Rene' began her child welfare career as an Investigation and Assessment Caseworker with Erie County Job and Family Services and has held other caseworker positions, including Supervisor of Intake at Ross County Children Services. She then served as Ohio's Differential Response Manager for American Humane Association, and is co-author of the Differential Response Primer Curriculum. She is also a former Adjunct Professor for Ohio University. Please join the OCWTP in extending a warm welcome to Rene.





On November 19, 2012, the Greene County Board of Commissioners voted to merge the DJFS with the CSB. Interim Greene County CSB director and longtime member of the OCWTP, Susan Alberter, continued with her planned retirement on December 31, 2012, with retired agency director Judy Englehart stepping in early January 2013. Judy will serve on an interim basis assisting combined agency director Beth Rubin, until a children services administrator is hired.




New Content Outline Form


Trainers, in response to your requests, we have developed an optional Content Outline Form that you can use when submitting your outlines to the RTCS for review. The next step is to pilot the form and we need your help. If you are currently working with an RTC on developing a new learning and would like to help us pilot the form, please let your RTC know. Thank you for your assistance!


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.