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Dean Tom Gregoire Sets Tone For New Academic Year: Value Not Knowing

What advice is College of Social Work Dean Tom Gregoire giving students to start off the 2017 academic school year? Here’s a snippet:

“Value not knowing. If we have another problem in our society today, it’s that too many people are too certain. And frankly, my greatest capacity to be harmful to other people is when I’m absolutely certain. Not knowing is powerful.”

Check out the entire podcast here.

 

 

Karandikar Honored with Outstanding Advisor Award from Ohio State’s Office of Student Life

Congratulations to Dr. Sharvari Karandikar who received The Ohio State University’s Outstanding Advisor Award from the Office of Student Life. Karandikar was honored with this award in acknowledgement of her exceptional leadership for Sankalpa, a registered Ohio State student organization. She has gone above and beyond her duties as an advisor and has helped facilitate growth and development in the group’s members.

At the college, Karandikar serves as an associate professor. She began her career practicing as a social worker for sex workers and victims of sex trafficking in Mumbai, India. During her PhD program in Social Work at University of Utah, and through her work at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai and later at the Ohio State University, she has focused her research efforts on issues related to the female sex workers and victims of sex trafficking particularly on gender-based violence, health and mental health issues. Karandikar’s current research relates to sex work and sex trafficking in Asia, egg donation, international gestational surrogacy, medical tourism and its impact on women.

For more information about Karandikar, click here.

Faculty Conducts Research for City of Columbus to Assess Services for Immigrant Population

The College of Social Work is pleased to announce a new collaboration with the City of Columbus which will help ensure that immigrants and refugees have access to local social-service networks.

The college’s Drs. Arati Maleku, Cecilia Mengo, Sharvari Karandikar, Njeri Kagotho and Bridget Freisthler (not pictured) will be engaging in research to assist the city in identifying gaps in formal and informal service systems for Columbus’ immigrant population.

Faculty efforts will help bolster the New American Initiative, led by the City of Columbus, in making it a welcoming city. They are charged with conducting an in-depth assessment of needs, formal, informal and volunteer services available in Central Ohio for new Americans. To fulfill this goal, the team will undertake a community-based participatory research project using multi-method research approaches to map human service provision, barriers, access and utilization of services in Central Ohio. An exhaustive list of formal and informal service providers across Central Ohio will be included in the study to understand the scope of current services available to new Americans. The report will include a service map highlighting services and volunteer organizations available, accessibility and location of services, barriers to accessing services and recommendations for service improvements.

The collaboration was announced shortly after Dean Tom Gregoire, of the College of Social Work, provided testimony to Columbus City Council at the request of Council President Zach Klein regarding the college’s work.

The research will culminate with an in-depth report to the City of Columbus with the faculty’s findings and recommendations by November 2017.

“As new Americans ourselves, we are excited to conduct this research and contribute to the city’s effort for assisting new Americans,” said Associate Professor Karandikar, project lead. “We look forward to accomplishing this task in a timely manner and really appreciate the mentorship and guidance offered to us by Dean Gregoire, Associate Dean for Research Bridget Freisthler and Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Community Engagement Lisa Durham throughout this process.”

To read the research brief, click here.

To read the original media announcement, click here.

 

Kaiser Awarded for “Follow the Tomato” class, Franklinton Gardens Honored

Dr. Michelle Kaiser and Nicholas Stanich

Congratulations to Dr. Michelle Kaiser! She is the 2017 recipient of the Emerging Service-Learning Award for her “Follow the Tomato” course.

The “Follow the Tomato: Community-Based Food Strategies to Address Social and Environmental Injustices” course was also featured in the Association of Public & Land Grant Universities (APLU) Challenge of Change report on page 117. The report focuses on the effort to solve global food and nutrition security challenges.  For more background about the challenge and Ohio State’s involvement, click here.

Special thanks to Dr. Vicki Fitts who helped co-teach the course for two years.

Franklinton Gardens was also selected to receive OSU’s 2017 Excellence in Community Partnership Award. Special thanks to Kaiser and Nicholas Stanich, Director of Franklin Gardens, for their work there.

Last year, Kaiser was honored with The Ohio State University’s highest teaching award, the 2016 Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. She was chosen out of more than 3,000 Ohio State faculty.

For more information about Kaiser and her work, visit:

Alumni Magazine Feature

Faculty Page

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