Common Ground Banner February, 2015
Learn, Network, and Have Fun at the
2015 OCWTP Trainer Conference!
Technology , technology, technology!


Most likely, every participant comes to training in with a phone, tablet, and/or laptop. How can we harness all of this technology to better engage participants and increase their learning? How can we design our presentations so the information sticks? If you've asked yourself these questions don't miss the 2015 OCWTP Trainer Conference. You'll learn how to incorporate technologies into your presentations and much more!


In addition to the fun and interactive workshops, you'll have an opportunity to network with OCWTP staff and fellow trainers. Stop by the RTC booths to say "Hello!", introduce yourself, or drop off your resume and join us as we celebrate you and the positive impact you've had on Ohio's PCSA staff and caregivers at the lunch and awards ceremony.


Also, did we mention there will be prizes? Visit the E-Track booth to learn how you could win an IPad mini!

Skill Building and Technology: Powerful Partners in the Learning Environment   
March 2, 2015
Crowne Plaza Columbus North
6500 Doubletree Avenue
Columbus, OH 43229
Visit the conference webpage to learn more about the event and get instructions on how to register.

Please contact Debra Sparrow, 614-233-2223, with questions or registration assistance.

The deadline to register is February 27, 2015. We will NOT cancel the Conference due to any weather related issues. If there are poor weather conditions in your area, please use your own judgment regarding travel.

An Important Date is Fast Approaching...
Betsie Norris
Adoption Records Opening Day! Be a part of this historic event.

Adoption Network Cleveland (ANC) is hosting a celebration in Columbus the evening of Thursday, March 19, 2015 as part of "Opening Day" when Ohioan's, adopted between 1964-1996, can first apply for their original birth certificates. The celebration continues the following day on March 20th when ANC is also planning a mid-day ceremony with the Ohio Department of Health. Adoptees will hand over their notarized Adoptee Records Request form to the Division of Vital Statistics to request access to their original birth certificates.

This celebration is the result of a 25-year effort led by Betsie Norris, founder and Executive Director of Adoption Network Cleveland, to provide access to original birth certificates for all Ohio-born adoptees. In 2013, Betsie, an adult adoptee, launched a campaign called "ROAR" (Restore Ohio Adoptee Rights). It is the signature name behind the grass-roots organization formed to implement the campaign. A major breakthrough occurred when Governor John Kasich signed into law Substitute Senate Bill 23 on December 19th. This new law gives 400,000 adults adopted between 1964 and 1996 access to their original birth certificates.


Jean Strauss chronicled Betsie's tireless journey leading to this historic event in an all-inspiring, powerful documentary entitled, "An Adoptee ROARed in Ohio: The Betsie Norris Story". Jean also created another video, "Walking Through Ohio's New Adoption Records Laws". Click here to access both films. 

For more information, visit the Adoption Network Cleveland. Find answers to frequently asked questions here. 

Foster Care Alumni Corner
Lamar Graham, Photo courtesy of Casey Family Programs
Congratulations Lamar Graham!
Lamar, an Ohio Child Welfare Training Program trainer, was recently awarded the Casey Excellence for Children Award! According to Casey Family Programs, this annual award honors exceptional individuals who improve life outcomes for vulnerable children and families across America. This award recognizes outstanding individuals and leaders in child welfare who have demonstrated distinguished work, exceptional leadership and relentless dedication in improving child welfare systems in America. Award winners are selected from among a group of outstanding nominees in five categories: birth parents, alumni of foster care, foster parents, kinship caregivers, and child welfare leaders.


In speaking with Lamar, he described this experience as a "real joy!" Joined by his younger brother, he accepted his award last month in Seattle. 

His nomination reads: 

An alumnus of foster care, Mr. Graham is director of the Heart to Heart Food Pantry for First Community Church. There, he has greatly increased volunteers at the food pantry as well as local business donations. In addition, he has created a welcoming atmosphere - with music, recipes and cooking demonstrations. Mr. Graham has also worked on initiatives to support foster youth in higher education and is a highly regarded and inspiring foster alumni trainer for the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program. In his spare time, Mr. Graham works at a recreation center, organizing basketball and volleyball and movie nights for local youth. He also teaches Sunday school and mentors other youth, including his foster brothers.

Click here to view his video and the photo gallery from the event.


purple-graphic-fireworks.gif Kudo's to OCWTP Trainer Sarah Shendy!


OCWTP trainer Sarah Shendy, who trains on Islamic culture, is an officer with the Copley, Ohio Police Department and an Ohio Peace Officer Trainer. Sarah has been selected to serve on a state-wide group looking at police officer training in light of the recent issues with law enforcement and civilians in Ohio and across the country. Click here to read an article describes this group and their intent.

We are very proud that Sarah was asked to be a member of this group. 

Trainer Tips

Using E-Track as a PARTICIPANT


You most frequently use E-Track from the Admin portal, where you log in as a facilitator. When you wish to enroll in a training, you use the EveryOne Login. You can also get to this Login from the OCWTP homepage; just click the Log into E-Track link under "For Trainees".  To help you enroll in the Trainer Conference, search by code using TC15. All trainer conference sessions will come up for your consideration.


E-Track software was recently updated and new features are available to participants, including the ability to reprint certificates from training history! We've also tweaked searching for available sessions. A new Quick Start Guide for Everyone was created to reflect current information. As always, feel free to contact your E-Track team with questions or for help using E-Track: or 614-437-2516. 

OCWTP Trainer Feedback Survey

Here's a look at the newly revised OCWTP Trainer Feedback Survey. After each learning activity you'll have the opportunity to inform our system (e.g., tell us what went well and what did not, highlight your positive experiences, or suggest improvements to make our system better). Whether it's a link in an email, QR code, or paper form; RTCs will make the survey available to you. Your ongoing feedback is essential in making sure we provide quality and effective learning activities for Ohio's staff and caregivers.

Thank you for helping us make the OCWTP great! 

Snow, Ice, and Slush! Oh My!

As you all know, Ohio weather can be unpredictable. The safety of you and your classroom participants is of the upmost importance to us. If the weather forecast is questionable, please contact the RTC as far in advance as possible.

Trainer To-Do's

If you've been around the OCWTP for any amount of time, you've no doubt heard it referred to at some point, as a Comprehensive, Competency-Based Inservice Training system, or CCBIT. In a CCBIT system competencies are key. Like the sun in the solar system, everything in a CCBIT system (including the Individual Training Needs Assessment and Individual Development Plans) revolves around competencies, therefore it's crucial that you understand what they are and how they work.

From Around the OCWTP
The Latest News, Updates, and Announcements
Our sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Gregory Keck

Dr. Greg Keck passed away on January 23, 2015. Dr. Keck was the founder of the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio, was an esteemed professional in the field of adoption, particularly attachment and bonding.


Dr. Keck was dedicated to his practice but also dedicated to teaching. Even though he presented at conferences and seminars all across the country and around the world, he very much wanted to give back to child welfare professionals in Ohio.  


He trained for the OCWTP beginning in 1987. He trained at several of the Regional Training Centers and appreciated the ability to train in Akron and Cleveland because it kept him close to his practice. Dr. Keck always drew a large crowd for his trainings because of his engaging presentation style, the experiences he shared, and his witty sense of humor. 


His expertise in adoption and attachment will truly be missed.
Resources for OCWTP Trainers
Several times a day emails will come across my computer helpful and relevant information for our OCWTP trainers and coaches. The link below opens to what I hope will be the beginning of an ever-growing library of tools. Check out the resources tagged NEW! to see what's been added this month.
Learning Opportunity for Caregiver and Adoptive Parent Trainers


Sensory Smart Strategies for Real-Life Challenges

Friday, April 17, 2015

Dayton, OH


Click here for more information. 

Upcoming OCWTP Learning Opportunities for Trainers

Presentation Skills Training of Trainers

  • March 19-20, 2015 - CORTC
  • April 15-16, 2015 - CORTC
  • May 14-15, 2015 - TBA
  • May 28-29, 2015 - NWORTC
  • June 11-12, 2015 - NEORTC (contact Jodie Hembree to register)
Curriculum Development Training of Trainers
  • March 12-13, 2015 - CORTC
OCWTP Trainer Conference 
  • March 2, 2015 - Crowne Plaza Columbus North, 6500 Doubletree Avenue, Columbus, OH 43229
Culture and Diversity Training of Trainers (self-directed process with an OCWTP staff member)


For more information or to register contact Debra Sparrow.
If you have suggestions for articles or feedback on the Common Ground we'd love to hear from you!