In This Issue
TrConference20162016 OCWTP Trainer Conference


April 4, 2016

              Register today! 

Visit our website for more information!
"Just tell me what do. What is the right answer?"
Stacey Saunders-Adams, IHS

Have you ever heard the above statements from participants in your workshops? Do you experience frustration as you try to help them think critically about important issues and cases in training?

If so, you are not alone. Very few situations in child welfare are black and white. Every situation requires critical thinking and consideration of each child and family's unique characteristics. As a trainer, it can be challenging to prompt participants to recognize that the correct response to their question or scenario depends upon critically considering unique case circumstances when applying the content of the training. Participants often express frustration because a trainer will not just tell them exactly what to do. Trainers must be skilled at facilitating this critical thinking while keeping participants engaged and supporting best practice.

We invite you to join us on our journey to promote critical thinking in child welfare at this year's trainer conference, Passport to Learning. You will have an opportunity to travel to a variety of destinations, where you will build skills in facilitating critical thinking for staff and caregivers in light of key child welfare decision-making criteria and processes.

Survey_ResultsOCWTP Trainer Survey Results 
Dilya Limes, IHS

Thanks to all who participated in the OCWTP Trainer Survey!

The OCWTP Trainer Survey was created by the Common Ground ad hoc group to invite trainers to share their feedback and suggestions on how to improve Common Ground and identify the need for future professional development opportunities. We received 75 responses with great input from trainers that will guide the Trainer Development Work Team in delivering needed information and providing support to OCWTP trainers. 
The Trainer Development work team met earlier this week to discuss the survey results and action steps to implement suggested strategies. Based on the data and recommendations from the Common Ground ad hoc group, the Trainer Development work team decided: 
  • Keep Common Ground as the newsletter title.
  • Continue using the current layout and design of the newsletter.
  • Ensure that each issue of the newsletter includes information relevant to trainer skills and trends in the child welfare field.
  • Create a new section, New OCWTP Trainer.
  • Offer quarterly trainer development opportunities featuring content areas identified in the survey.
Stay tuned for more information!

Click here to read the OCWTP Trainer Survey Report. 
EvaluationsBig Changes to Evaluation Survey
Kyle Hoffman, IHS

The OCWTP continues to improve the evaluation surveys in an attempt to collect better feedback from participants about learning content, trainers, and the training system.
Generic Staff/Caregiver survey items were revised effective January 1, 2016. This survey is routinely used for over 2,400 learning sessions each year. Be sure to look closely at your E-Track evaluation survey results to see how the items have changed, and let us know if the new information is helpful to you!

Preservice paper-and-pencil surveys were revised and the new surveys will be in place across the state February/March 2016. Preservice evaluation surveys were used for over 1,500 sessions last year, making Preservice the most-often trained standardized content in Ohio. Be sure to look at the new evaluation items after your training, and let us know if the information is helpful to you! 

Stay tuned - there will be many more revised evaluation surveys in 2016.

Click here to learn how to view and print session survey report.  

ITNAs_SupsAnother Leap Forward in Learning Needs Assessment
Christina L. Carter, IHS

In January 2016, the OCWTP launched its new Individual Training Needs Assessment (ITNA) for PCSA casework supervisors. Conducted entirely online via Survey Gizmo, the tool allows supervisors (in collaboration with their own supervisors) to identify their highest priority learning needs for the next two years. The RTC then creates an Individual Development Plan (IDP) in E-Track for the supervisor, including one objective for each identified high-priority need. Supervisors can link immediately from IDP objectives to learning opportunities designed to address them, and immediately enroll if they wish. They can also alert RTCs if they would like additional sessions scheduled, or even entirely new courses developed. 

While the Supervisor ITNA is new in 2016, the online Caseworker ITNA has been in use around the state for over a year. Over 3400 caseworkers have already completed online ITNAs and more are being added daily. RTCs study this data in aggregate to ensure the right types of learning interventions are scheduled at the right time and place to meet each county's unique training needs. RTCs also use the data to determine when new interventions need to be developed in a specific content area and to a specific level of learning. Finally, RTCs use the data to identify when it would be best for RTCs to co-sponsor interventions or deliver interventions virtually to use resources more effectively.   

Visit our website if you'd like to learn more about the ITNA/IDP process. 

NormalcyNormalcy and the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard
Kelley Gruber, IHS

In 2014, the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act was signed into law. This law requires states to implement a "reasonable and prudent parent standard" to support normalcy for children in care. 

Caregivers support normalcy by ensuring that a child's range of experiences is typical of the range of experiences of any child of the same developmental age. This includes such experiences as going to friends' homes, participating in after school activities, having a job, and managing a bank account. These experiences help children build relationships, develop skills, and prepare for adulthood (Juvenile Law Center, 2013). The Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard (RPPS) is characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain a child's health, safety, and best interests while at the same time encouraging the child's emotional and developmental growth (ACYF-CB-IM-14-03, 2014; ORC 5103.162, 2014).  

Normalcy and the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard: 
Foster Care Alumni Perspectives
Charlotte Osterman, IHS

"What's wrong with me spending the night at my friend's home?" "I missed the chance to work after school at a good-paying job. My foster mom said agency policy doesn't allow this type of activity for foster youth." "All my friends have a driver license - why can't I?" "I wanted to play in the school band, but there was so much red tape involved in getting permission as a foster kid, I just said forget it."

For decades, youth and alumni of the foster care system nationwide have felt left out of normal growing-up experiences, and have been seeking answers to these and other similar questions. Until recently, many had become accustomed to getting the same general response ("It's against agency policy") to their desire to participate in "normal" developmental activities.

Trainer Tips
Training_StrategiesTraining Strategies for Workshops with Small Groups

A majority of the workshops are designed to be delivered to a traditional training group size. However, sometimes trainers face the need to present workshops to a small group of participants. Conducting a workshop for small groups has its advantages and challenges. Some of the challenges may include lack of interactions and discussions which may result in covering training content faster than planned in the curriculum. However, training workshops for small groups can also present many opportunities for a trainer to take the content to a different level with more in-depth discussions, practice and transfer of learning activities (IHS, 2009). These types of activities can facilitate an active participation and promote a more dynamic training environment.

Various strategies can be applied when training workshops with small groups. The strategies outlined below are divided into two categories, one is for standardized and the other is for non-standardized workshops. Strategies for standardized workshops were adopted from the resource document, Strategies for Training Standardized Workshops with Small Groups, developed by the Institute for Human Services (2009). Strategies for the non-standardized workshops were submitted by OCWTP trainers David Zidar, Denise Goodman and Janie Rhoads. Thank you for your input and sharing your experience! Read more
Please contact  Dilya Limes if you would like to share your strategies in conducting workshops for small groups.  

CEUs_workshopsApproving Workshops for CEU Credits
 Sandy Parker, IHS 

As most of you are aware, during the last few years the OCWTP has made more deliberate efforts to ensure that caseworkers, caregivers, assessors, and supervisors receive the highest quality training we can provide. Part of that effort has included the process for reviewing and approving proposed workshops, as well as ensuring that existing workshops are reviewed, that content and references are current, and that the topics are still relevant to our trainees.

TrainerListTrainer To-Do List
                                                     Attention trainers,

The Trainer Development work team is establishing a quality assurance process to ensure all training participants receive the highest quality training. As part of this process, we will be focusing on regularly observing workshops, providing feedback and technical assistance to trainers and assisting trainers in revising workshop outlines. 

  • Workshop Observations
Workshop observation will be completed by RTC or IHS staff. This type of workshop observation will occur as a planned activity and is not completed as a response to issues or concerns. You will be notified in advance if your workshop will be observed and who will observe your workshop. During each observation the standard OCWTP Trainer Observation From will be completed and you will receive feedback from the observer. 
  • Workshop Outline Revisions
When was the last time you revised your workshop outline? We are living in a time of evolving information and trends, and training participants want to hear most up-to-date information. Updating your workshop content allows trainers to incorporate current information and updated training methods. During the workshop revision process, IHS staff members are available to assist you. Please contact Dilya Limes (for trainers with the last names A-M) and Beth Ann Rodriguez (for trainers with last names N-Z) if you would like to revise your workshop outline.

Do We Have a Current Trainer Biography for You?

We are working on updating OCWTP trainer biographies. You trainer bio is entered in E-Track and used to advertise learnings. If you haven't recently updated your bio, please follow the link to share information related to your education, licenses held and professional experience. Thank you in advance! 
Are you certified by Mental Health First Aid USA? 

The OCWTP Substance Abuse work team is looking for OCWTP trainers who are certified to teach the adult or youth Mental Health First Aid courses. Please contact Kristina Allwood or Dilya Limes for more information. 

Your Input Is Needed!

Please share your feedback and ideas about topics for future  issues of Common Ground by following this link 

RecognitionApplause and Recognition
Kudos to Katie Terry!

Katie (Kathleen) Terry, LISW-S, an OCWTP trainer, has recently published the article, A Wrinkle in the Fold: Inclusion of People with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Faith Communities, in the Social Work & Christianity Journal. Katie has been presenting workshops on Autism Spectrum Disorders since 2000, including the workshop, A Wrinkle in the Fold: Inclusion for Children with ASD in Church, at the North American Association of Christians in Social Work Convention in 2014. 

NewTrainersMeet New OCWTP Trainers

Vince Owens
Floater Supervisor, Franklin County Children Services 

Workshops: Caseworker Core Modules  
Stacey Bergstrom
Ongoing Supervisor, Fairfield County Job and Family Services

Workshops: Caseworker Core Modules
Jennie Vargas
Caseworker, Franklin County Children Services   

Workshops: Caseworker Core Module  
Ashley Bowers
Intake Supervisor, Franklin County Children Services 

Workshops: Caseworker Core Modules

Cherie Bridges Patrick
Clinical Supervisor and Clinical Lead for the Somali Outreach Program, Buckeye Ranch 

  • Through the Lens of Racial Inequity
  • Improving Child and Family Safety and Well-being: Working with Refugee Families
ResourcesResources for OCWTP Trainers
Check out the resources tagged NEW! to see what's been added this month.

RTCNewsFrom Around the OCWTP
The Latest News, Updates, and Announcements

               RTC News From Around Ohio 

Welcome New RTC Staff! 

SEORTC is pleased to welcome Joni McCune to our team! Joni joined SEORTC as a part-time office assistant. Joni retired from Ohio University and has an extensive background in customer service, office support, and business/finance administration. Joni also worked or Washington County Job and Family Services.  
TrainingCalendarUpcoming OCWTP Learning Opportunities for Trainers
So You Want to be a Trainer (9am-1pm)

May 6, 2016 - CORTC

Stand Up and Take Charge of the  
Learning Environment (9am-4pm)

April 11-12, 2016 - CORTC
June 8-9, 2016 - CORTC

Curriculum Development (9am-4pm)
March 14-15, 2016 - CORTC
May 9-10, 2016 - CORTC  

Strengthening Presentation Design to Enhance Learning (7 pm - 9pm)

May 10 & 17, 2016 - Go to Training

Culture and Diversity Training of Trainers 
Self-directed process with an OCWTP staff member

2016 OCWTP Trainer Conference 
April 4, 2016  
Crowne Plaza Columbus North
6500 Doubletree Ave
Columbus, OH 43229

For more information or to register please contact Debra Sparrow.

The Ohio Child Welfare Training Program | 1706 E. Broad Street | Columbus | OH | 43203