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 June 2013
In This Issue
New Learning Outline Form
Applause & Recognition
Featured Article - Human Trafficking
Ohio's Differential Response
TIPS from the RTCs
2013 Trainer Conference Summary
Trainer Tips
Youth Voice
Regional News

Quick Links

New Learning Outline

and Review Form


Good News! The OCWTP recently revised the Learning Outline and Review Form.  The revision includes incorporating the outline into the review checklist.


There are two primary goals in revising this form:


  1. Trainers have clear guidance about the outline information required when learnings are submitted for approval          
  2. The review process is more streamlined and redundancy has been eliminated


We hope you will find this form user-friendly and easy to follow. It is our assumption that the form will be filled out and submitted electronically.


Following are your options for receiving training on how to fill out the new form:


A.     Visual/audio instructions:


Learning Outline and Review Form-Training Module 1 - This module provides instructions for the first section of the form which collects information for entry into E-Track.
Learning Outline and Review Form-Training Module 2 - This module provides instructions for information required in the content outline for review and approval of the learning.
B.     Written instructions: 




Trainer Bios Needed


Please take a few minutes to update your trainer bio. The following information should be included to meet the requirements of the CSWMFT 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 preferred to note the year started (ex. 1998) rather than years of experience (ex. 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 or Debra Sparrow




Annual Report 


Check out the 2012 OCWTP Annual Report 





The OCWTP would like to acknowledge Dawn Alsept as the winner of the 2013 Rising Star Award. Dawn began training for the OCWTP in early 2011, when she worked as an after-hours caseworker.   WORTC, who facilitated her trainer application, was impressed by her energy, motivation and unique perspective. Currently, Dawn trains a number of workshops she developed as well as standardized workshops and she also coaches!   Dawn continues to be creative and engaging, and shows a true commitment to the OCWTP.


Dawn Alsept and Ronna J 


Ronna Johnson's passion, expertise and ability to provide practical tips and hands-on practice is why she was selected to win the 2013 Linda Pope Award.   Ronna Johnson has been a trainer with the OCWTP since 2003. She has used her 33 years of experience as an RN and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner to teach foster caregivers how to provide care to foster children with medical needs. Ronna's coaching has helped keep siblings together in placement and even saved the life of a child, who's caregivers were able to recognize signs of distress and get immediate medical attention. Ronna truly does reflect "the values and principles of providing high quality, ethical and family-centered training."



Congratulations to Dale Curry, OCWTP trainer and TOL expert, who was promoted to full professor at Kent State University.



Pam Severs and

Mary Kay Hawkins

retire from IHS


Pam joined IHS in 2004, bringing over 35 years of experience in child welfare casework, consultation and training. Prior to joining IHS, Pam was a master trainer for the OCWTP, training both Caseworker Core, Assessor workshops, and consulted on the development of various curricula. She is primary or co-author of numerous standardized workshops including Caseworker Core and post-adoption workshops. Her attention to detail and her ability to take the theoretical and make it practical are what made Pam such a valuable member of the IHS curriculum development team. Pam also significantly contributed to the OCWTP with the development of the CAPMIS toolkit and she spearheaded the CAPMIS/SACWIS initiative. This initiative benefited greatly from Pam's ability to bring various viewpoints together to work toward a common goal.


Mary Kay has been with IHS since 2009, when she retired as the Director of Professional Development for Franklin County Children Services (FCCS) and the Director of the CORTC, housed at FCCS. While the CORTC Director, Mary Kay was a champion for many innovations, such as the UPP program, and keeping the OCWTP on the cutting edge.  She brought her coordination and collaboration skills with her to IHS. These skills helped her lead the effort to support child welfare executives, including developing and coordinating the executive coaches program, and collaborating with PCSAO on web-based trainings for executives.  Mary Kay's ability to bring ideas and people together and usher projects through barriers has helped solidify the collaborative nature of ODJFS, PCSAO, RTCs, IHS, and the county public children service agencies.


Their leadership and unique skills will be greatly missed!





Pam and Mary Kay both wanted to express their appreciation and ongoing support of the OCWTP:


Dear friends and colleagues,


As many of you know, I'll be retiring from IHS on June 30th. You can imagine the mixed emotions that go with that! It has been my honor to work alongside the most talented and dedicated colleagues and trainers in child welfare. Jim and I are headed to our new home on Tellico Lake, TN and while we are so excited, we'll miss you all. I'm humbled to have been a part of such great work. Cheers to you.


--Pam Severs



Dear OCWTP colleagues and friends,


I am retiring in June 2013 after having a wonderful career in child welfare of 44 years. My life has been made so much richer by my association with OCWTP and having met and worked with such extraordinary people. Throughout my career, I have met countless amazing individuals, all working to make a better world for children and families. Thank you for the honor and privilege of serving and working with all of you over the years.


--Mary Kay Hawkins




The National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), is a national representative, longitudinal survey of children and families who have been the subjects of investigation by Child Protective Services. NSCAW examines child and family well-being outcomes in detail and seeks to relate those outcomes to experience with the child welfare system and to family characteristics, community environment and other factors. 

The Ohio Commission on Fatherhood, a state-wide commission that seeks to help fathers become better parents, partners and providers, has a new e-newsletter. To receive it, go to the Commission's website and click on "join our mailing list."



The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse website has added a new topic area under "Support Services for Youth in the Child Welfare System: Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents: Services for Victims." There are 10 new programs rated and reviewed.


The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) has released In-Depth Technical Assistance (IDTA) tools and products developed by states working to meet the needs of families affected by substance use disorders who are involved, or at risk of involvement, with the child welfare system. Read the NCSACW's Final Report to learn more and access the tools.


The Ohio Attorney General's Office recently hosted a series of safety summits and convened a Foster Care Advisory Group to make recommendations for improved care and safety of foster youth. Read the Foster Care Advisory Group Recommendations. Excitingly, legislation is in the works to enact some of these recommendations.


Innovations in the Field of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention: A Review of the Literature 

presents the results of a Chapin Hall study designed to identify promising programs and examples of successful collaboration across state agencies for improved methods of service.



The Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio recently posted five free, brief videos on their YouTube channel. The videos address sibling rivalry, pre-adoptive expectations, the impact of trauma on child development and maintaining a peaceful emotional climate.


Digital Stories from the National Resource Center for Permanency & Family Connections (NRCPFC) are a great resource to use in trainings to connect real-life scenarios to important practice issues. They can help participants gain perspective by highlighting the role they have in supporting youth as they make important life transitions.


The Children's Bureau's program on Child Abuse and Neglect and its Child Welfare Information Gateway, along with FRIENDS, the National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP), and the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), recently released:

The Guide is produced each year to support service providers in their work with parents, caregivers and their children to prevent child maltreatment.

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.  


Hope you are enjoying your summer! This issue provides some great information about Human Trafficking and Differential Response in Ohio.  There is also information about the newly revised Learning Outline and Review Form that you don't want to miss!

Human Trafficking


If you follow the national, state or local news, odds are you've heard the term "human trafficking." In the last several years, as the topic of human trafficking has been explored by the media, it has been subject to a countless number of "truths." What we now know, is that human trafficking occurs in every state in the US. It occurs in both urban and rural areas, in our churches, schools, restaurants, nail salons, factories, and rural farms. Some of its victims may be from other countries, but thousands are men, women, and children of this country.


Ohio Revised Code 2929.01(AAA)(1) defines Human Trafficking as a scheme or plan to: 

  • Subject a victim(s) to involuntary servitude
  • Compel a victim(s) to engage in sexual activity for hire
  • Compel a victim(s) to engage in a performance that is obscene, sexually or nudity oriented
  • Compel a victim(s) to be a model or participant in the production of material that is obscene, sexually oriented, or nudity oriented.

Federally, any child under 18 years of age involved in commercial sexual exploitation is a victim of trafficking, even if no force or coercion is present.


The majority of sex trafficking victims are women and children. They may be trafficked on the streets, in brothels, truck stops, hotels, or even from their own homes. Age of recruitment generally occurs between 11 and 14, but victims as young as five have also been discovered. Labor trafficking victims include men, women and children. Sometimes entire families have been forced into slave labor.


Human trafficking can be big business. Traffickers can make "easy money" off their victims, more money than most people earn in a year. It's also a tax free and relatively risk free source of income for the trafficker. Traffickers control their victims with threats and physical, psychological, and emotional abuse. They restrict the victims' time and associations and generally keep them housed in a locked building chosen by the trafficker. Traffickers brainwash victims into believing the trafficker is the only one that cares about them, and law enforcement and social service professionals cannot be trusted.


Human trafficking can also be a "family business." Parents may sell or trade their children to others in exchange for goods such as food, shelter or drugs. Naively, family members may also persuade their children to comply with other individuals who falsely promise a better life for the children or their family.


According to Stop Human Trafficking Dayton, the state of Ohio has:


  • An estimated 783 total legal and illegal foreign born persons at-risk of trafficking
  • 3,022 undocumented persons at risk for human trafficking
  • 1,078 children in Ohio who are currently presumed to be trafficked
  • 3,016 domestic children at high risk of being trafficked in Ohio
  • 1,070 runaways at-risk for child sex trafficking


The United States has committed countless resources toward the eradication of human trafficking. Here in Ohio, public and private agencies are also addressing the complex issues surrounding human trafficking. The "Safe Harbor Act" also known as the Human Trafficking Act of 2012, focuses on child victims of human trafficking and makes it clear that child victims will be offered services. As a result, Ohio child protection agencies have a major role in responding to youth involved in human trafficking:


  • Screening reports for possible sex and labor trafficking
  • Asking questions designed to assess whether trafficking has occurred
  • Knowing unique dynamics involved in child trafficking
  • Recognizing indicators of child trafficking
  • Ensuring that child survivors have a safe place to live
  • Linking survivors and their families to needed services
  • Educating parents, caregivers, and other service providers about human trafficking

Training will be vital in order to help child welfare professionals offer quality services to child trafficking victims and their families or caregivers. The OCWTP has already developed an on-line training and web page for caregivers, What Caregivers Need to Know about Human Trafficking. In June, a distance learning course is being developed for caseworkers, titled, What Child Welfare Professionals Need to Know about Human Trafficking.


As trainers and coaches for the OCWTP, we need you to be adequately informed about human trafficking. Regardless of what you currently train or coach, it's very likely you will encounter questions about this topic. To learn more about human trafficking, go to:


Ohio AG Human Trafficking Commission


Polaris Project Ohio


Polaris Project USA


Ohio's Differential Response


Do you ever wonder what Differential Response is like in Ohio? Are you looking for ways to improve your understandig of Differential Response? If you want an update on Ohio's Differential Response, the Differential Response Resource Document for OCWTP Trainers and Coaches is for you.


The Differential Response Resource Document educates OCWTP trainers and coaches on Ohio's Differential Response System so they are informed about practice foundations, can answer basic questions and can direct training and coaching participants to appropriate resources. This document provides information on the following:

  • What Differential Response is in Ohio
  • The two pathways: Alternative Response and Traditional Response
  • Ohio's implementation plan
  • Ohio laws and rules governing Differential Response
  • Differential Response Leadership Council
  • PCSA support of Differential Response
  • Websites containing tools and materials related to Differential Response


Tips from the RTCs


This edition's tip is from Dale Hotaling, Director of WORTC:



Make every effort to keep your scheduled date with the RTC. We might have 25 people counting on you for the training you arranged with us. If you need to cancel please talk to a person at the RTC as soon as possible. Voice mail and e-mail will not be sufficient.  

2013 Trainer Conference


To all the trainers and coaches who attended the 2013 Trainer Conference - thank you so much! To those who were unable to make it this year, read below to catch up on what you missed. We hope to see you all at the 2014 OCWTP Trainer Conference!


While participants checked in and mingled with fellow trainers, they also had the opportunity for one-on-one     E-Track instruction. The conference opened with remarks from Lisa Wiltshire, Bureau Chief for Adult & Child Protective Services, who shared information about current ODJFS initiatives. Participants then had the opportunity to participate in an interactive exploration of values conflict in the training room. This session was led by OSU professors Robin Post and Elizabeth Wellman and students of the InterACT Theatre Project for Social Change. The actors and participants continued this exploration in an afternoon workshop. Here is what attendees had to say:  


"The overall point was to identify and focus on ourselves and that point was well-taken"


"I learned that purposefully taking multiple perspectives in situations provides the space and insight needed to address topics in a way that leads to learning"


"This was such a unique way to engage the audience"


"What a great tool........very interactive and fresh!" 


At lunch, Brian Wear, ECORTC Director, and Scott Britton, PCSAO Assistant Director, showed their appreciation for trainers and coaches while providing initiative updates. Michelle Bruce, WORTC Coordinator, and Jeanne Bennett, NEORTC Manager, presented the 2013 Trainer Awards (to find out who won, read the "Kudos" section of this newsletter). Immediately after lunch, trainers and coaches had the opportunity to talk to, and share materials with, representatives from all eight RTCs.


In the afternoon, those who didn't continue on with the InterACT students chose to attend either Addressing Diversity in the Learning Environment, presented by Leslie  Ahmadi and Beth Ann Rodriguez, or Ethical Dilemmas in the Learning Environment, presented by Jayne Schooler. Both were well received, as evidenced by comments such as:


"The input by the trainers and other participants was very helpful"


"Extremely rich discussion....learned many new things"


"I learned a lot and particularly liked the LEARN handout and the discussion around the visible and invisible characteristics of a person" (Read the Trainer Tips article for information about LEARN).  


In general, participants called the Conference "great." One participant even stated, "This was the best conference we have ever offered!" 





At the 2013 OCWTP Trainer Conference, Leslie Ahmadi and Beth Ann Rodriguez introduced the mnemonic LEARN in their workshop, Addressing Diversity in the Learning Environment. This mnemonic was developed by Berlin and Fowkes (1983) to help parties, who may see the issues from different cultural worldviews, come to an agreement. Leslie and Beth Ann adapted it to the Child Welfare framework:


Listen with empathy and humility to the individual's perception of the issue(s)


Explain your perception of the issue(s)


Acknowledge and discuss similarities and differences (including non-negotiables)


Recommend a plan of action


Negotiate an agreement to the plan


Trainers are encouraged to share LEARN with participants and help them see it as a useful tool for caseworker and foster caregivers, whether they are communicating with birth families, or each other.  


Adapted from: Berlin, E.A. & Fowkes, W.C. (1983). A teaching framework for cross-cultural health care. Western Journal of Medicine (139), 934-8.




Focus on Permanency


Olena Sowers is a native of Ukraine, a table tennis pro, and, yes, a young adult who aged out of foster care. She enjoys every opportunity to share her experiences with caseworkers and foster caregivers, in the hope of affecting systemic changes for youth in care. Below, Olena shares her ideas about the need for a stronger focus on permanency.



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


I find permanency to be an important area related to foster care. Permanency is important for youth in care because they often feel they do not have safe, secure, and stable relationships with their foster parents or other adults. From personal experience, I know the importance of having an adult in your life with unconditional commitment. For youth in care, permanency isn't just about adoption, reunification or legal guardianship. It is about having a connection. Workers must also remember the importance of sibling relationships and help maintain connections even if the siblings reside in different homes.


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


This area needs reform because there are too many foster youth who never achieve permanency. Each year, many foster youth who age out of care are not prepared for independent living. Like me, many youth find it difficult to attend college with no guidance about financial aid options, no place to live, limited or no skills in financial management and no positive role models. The first year I lived in the dorm at Ohio University, I had nowhere to go during winter and summer breaks. Everyone else seemed to go home to their parents. It would have been reassuring to know I had these supports, these permanent connections.


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


I want caseworkers, foster parents, and adoptive parents to know the importance of making sure every youth can establish stable relationships with positive adults who can provide lasting connections, because no one wants to be alone. I also want caseworkers and foster/adoptive parents to understand that permanency does not necessarily mean adoption. The important thing is having a "connection," a sense that the youth will be included in family decisions and participate as a family member in things like family vacations.


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


One idea is to create activities that would put caseworkers and foster parents in the shoes of a youth who has not found permanency. For example, they could role play helping a youth find housing, a job, or apply for financial aid. They could also role play how they could help a youth who needs a home for the holidays.  


Olena Sowers has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Ohio University. She is currently attending graduate school at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology for her Master's Degree in Forensic Psychology. Olena works at a title company and co-trains workshops developed by the National Resource Center for Youth Development. She plans on receiving her Ph. D. in Forensic Psychology in the future and would like to foster and adopt children someday.  



 rtc map





ECORTC had staffing changes effective April 10, 2013. Pamela Barnett is no longer with ECORTC, she has been reassigned to Guernsey County CS. She did a great job over the past year scheduling Foster Training and they wish her the best in her new position.


Darla Cordery will take over scheduling Foster Parent Training for ECORTC's 10 counties. Debbie Schott will take the lead on staff scheduling. Their titles and assigned duties are still in the development stage.


Also, a reminder to trainers...when coming to ECORTC, you now have your own parking spot close to the sidewalk! Please park there so you don't have to carry your training equipment as far.


Darla's son Eric Gorscak, a scientist working for Ohio University, was part of a team that recently discovered the oldest fossils to date of a hominid! The fossil, discovered in Tanzania, Africa, sheds new light on the split between old world monkeys and apes.


Brian Wear's two children, Lauren and Mike, graduated from High School on May 26, 2013 and moving into the next exciting phase of their!




CORTC is pleased to welcome back Marchelle Vaughn, who retired from CORTC in 2009 with 30 years of service.  Marchelle is the sub-contract adoption coordinator, the position previously held by Mikki Holmes. She is employed by United Methodist Children's Home (UMCH) and works at CORTC 20 hours per week. 


New trainings to support Franklin County initiatives include:

  • Critical Incident Debriefing Training, developed in collaboration with Patty Harrelson.  This much-needed content area that will be offered agency-wide.  
  • Baby Brain Science - Basics and Baby Brain Science: Part Two: Applications, part of the Zero to Three initiative.  




NEORTC is proud to honor Ronna Johnson, RN, BSN, CPNP, as NEORTC's 2013 Trainer of the Year.  Ronna Johnson has been a trainer with the OCWTP since January, 2003. Ronna has 33 years of experience as an RN and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with 29 of those years spent within the child welfare system. Her focus has been on improving the care of children with complex mRonna Johnsonedical and developmental needs by training and supporting their caregivers.  As a foster and adoptive parent for children with special needs herself, she works hard to support caregivers in their efforts to provide exceptional care.  One foster parent said, "She does a great job of engaging the class in discussion and sharing personal situations that could be helpful to others in the class." NEORTC finds it is a pleasure to work with Ronna not only because of her strong knowledge base, but also because she has a very positive outlook and is easy to work with. Ronna is a trainer who is 110 percent committed to the OCWTP and 110 percent committed to her learners, we at NEORTC could not ask for anything more.  Congratulations Ronna!