About

News & Events

College of Social Work Partners with Ohio Attorney General’s Office on Pilot for Families Harmed by Parental Opioid Abuse

The Ohio State University College of Social Work is pleased to announce its new partnership with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in the creation and funding of a new pilot program that will help families harmed by parental opioid abuse.

Ohio START (Sobriety, Treatment, and Reducing Trauma) is an intervention program that will provide specialized victim services, such as intensive trauma counseling, to children who have suffered victimization due to parental drug use. The program, to be initiated in 14 Ohio counties, will also provide drug treatment for parents of children referred to the program.

College of Social Work’s Drs. Bridget Freisthler, Katie Maguire-Jack, Alicia Bunger and Susan Yoon will be directly involved in evaluating the effectiveness of Ohio START.

According to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, 50 percent of children placed in foster care in 2015 were placed due to abuse and neglect associated with parental drug use. Ohio START will bring together child protective services, peer mentors, the courts, and behavioral health and treatment providers to work closely with families whose children have been abused or neglected due to parental addiction in Athens, Clermont, Clinton, Fairfield, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Hocking, Ross and Vinton counties.

Child welfare workers will partner with a certified peer mentor to meet with each family once a week to ensure the safety of the child and provide support to parents. If a child can safely stay in the home during this process, the child can do so with the oversight of caseworkers. Otherwise, kids will have regular visitation with their parents as they undergo drug treatment, which will be paid for by Medicaid or private insurance. Family reunification will occur after parents have a minimum of six months of documented sobriety.

As part of their evaluation, College of Social Work faculty will examine what elements of the Ohio START pilot are most successful in parents regaining sobriety, maintaining treatment, and reducing future recurrence of child abuse or neglect. Unique to this initiative is a particular focus on improving the well-being of the children affected by parental opioid use. Expected results are the availability of more substance abuse-related services and resources for families in the child welfare system.

“We are very excited to be collaborating with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office on this important project,” says Professor Bridget Freisthler. “The opioid crisis has been especially harmful to families and young children, yet few counties have the resources to provide additional interventions and services to this vulnerable population. By funding this project, the Attorney General’s Office recognizes that the youngest victims of this epidemic need additional support to enhance their safety and well-being.”

The program will primarily be funded through a $3.5 million Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office which will be shared among the counties over two and a half years. These grant funds will be specifically spent to help county child welfare agencies identify children who have been victimized due to parental drug use and provide them with specialized treatment for any resulting behavioral or emotional trauma. The grant will also fund victim services for parents with underlying victimization that may be contributing to their addiction.

Casey Family Programs, which partnered with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to develop the Ohio START program, is providing an additional $75,000 for the pilot program. Both grants will be administered by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio.

For more information about the pilot, contact Professor Bridget Freisthler at Freisthler.19@osu.edu.

For media inquiries, contact Frankie Jones-Harris, Communications Director at the College of Social Work, at 614-330-2206 or Jones-Harris.1@osu.edu.

READ & WATCH MORE

Ohio Attorney General Press Release

CBS 10-TV News Clip 

ABC 6 TV WSYX News Clip 

FOX 28 News Clip 

Dr. Tamara Davis Receives Ohio State’s Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award

Congratulations to Dr. Tamara Davis who has been selected as one of four recipients of the 2017 Ohio State University Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award. Davis serves as the College of Social Work’s associate dean for academic affairs. The announcement was made on March 27, at PrimaryOne Health, a federally qualified health center on Parsons Avenue in south Columbus. It’s just one of the field sites where Davis’ Medicaid Technical Assistance and Policy Program (MEDTAPP)  Program trains MSW students to provide behavioral health services in an integrated care model to diverse populations living in underserved communities of Columbus.  Many of her students and program staff attended the award ceremony.

“Tamara has been a champion of diversity in the college since she joined its faculty in 2005,” said College of Social Work Dean Tom Gregoire. “This award reflects a career of commitment to diversity, and one that is expressed through teaching, scholarship, and service.”

In addition to the MEDTAPP service, research and training endeavor which has prepared 67 students to work with diverse individuals in culturally relevant practice, Davis is co-author of a study that explored the experience of LGBTQ students across all of Ohio State’s campuses. This report made far ranging recommendations that have influenced the university’s current and prior Provost’s effort to create a more inclusive campus community leading to changes in its university physical and cultural environments and curricula.

Davis was nominated by colleagues Adriane Peck and Stacey Saunders-Adams.

“I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Davis. “I work alongside some really special people who share my commitment to diversity. I thank them for helping to sustain and advance our work towards reducing service inequities and health disparities.”

Diversity Working Group Publishes New CSW Online Resource

College of Social Work faculty members Dr. Sharvari Karandikar and Dr. Katie Maguire-Jack knew that they were working with students and colleagues of diverse identities every day. To reflect this and the college’s commitment to fostering a welcoming environment for everyone, they facilitated the publishing of a new resource on the CSW website, Our Commitment to Diversity.
This page highlights the college’s ongoing effort to hold conversations on contemporary issues such as immigration and racial justice, and to build cultural competency among CSW faculty, staff and students. It is also home to a new Cultural Events Calendar, which features holidays, religious festivals, and cultural celebrations observed by the those studying and working at the university, and in the surrounding community.
Visit the new page documenting Our Commitment to Diversity, and the Calendar of Cultural Events and Holidays.

 

 

Drs. Anderson-Butcher, Bunger Named 2017 SSWR Fellows

Congratulations to Dr. Dawn Anderson-Butcher and Dr. Alicia Bunger—both have been named 2017 Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Fellows.

SSWR Fellows are members who have served with distinction to advance the mission of the Society—to advance, disseminate, and translate research that addresses issues of social work practice and policy and promotes a diverse, equitable and just society.

The SSWR Fellowship has been established by the Society to honor and to recognize current SSWR members for their individual accomplishments, leadership and contribution to SSWR as a scientific society. SSWR Fellows serve as role models and mentors for those pursuing careers in social work research and will continue to actively advance the mission of the Society.

For more information about Anderson-Butcher, click here.

For more information about Bunger, click here.

To learn more about the SSWR Fellowship Program, click here.

Prisoners’ Words May Predict if They’ll Stay Clean: New Study by Drs. Keith Warren, Nathan Doogan

Warren Keith  CSWCongratulations to Dr. Keith Warren and Dr. Nathan Doogan (PhD ’14)–their unique research recently caught the attention of New York Magazine and is posted on its Science of Us website in the story “When Ex-cons Change Their Vocabulary, They Stay Out of Jail.”
The Ohio State University also featured their research in the article “Use your words: Written prisoner interactions predict whether they’ll clean up their acts. Residents in peer-driven rehab less likely to reoffend when word choices change.”

For more information on Warren, click here.
For more information on Doogan, click here.