Category Archives: News & Events

COLUMBUS, OHIO — The Ohio State University College of Social Work is pleased to announce that it has received a $3 million grant to address substance abuse problems in Ohio—one of the largest grants ever awarded in the college’s 100 year history.
Congratulations to Drs. Bridget Freisthler, Katie Maguire-Jack  and Susan Yoon who secured the grant, which is funded by the Children’s Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The grant will support regional partnership intervention activities in Ohio’s Fairfield and Pickaway counties to reduce child abuse and neglect among families who have substance use problems. For Pickaway County, 100 percent of substance-involved families were due to opioid (including heroin) misuse, while 58 percent of all substance-involved cases in Fairfield County involved opioids.
As part of the grant, College of Social Work faculty Freisthler (l), Maguire-Jack (r) and Yoon, along with public child welfare administrators, have selected three strategies for the Enhancing Permanency in Children and Families (EPIC) program. The evidence-based or evidence-informed strategies to be included are: (1) family drug treatment court and medication-assisted treatment; (2) peer recovery supporters; and (3) parenting and support for kinship providers. These interventions are intended to holistically provide supports to families involved in the child welfare system due to substance abuse in order to get parents into treatment and increase permanency and well-being for children.
In addition to the College of Social Work, key partners of the project include Fairfield County Job and Family Services (also called Fairfield County Children Services), Pickaway County Job and Family Services (also called Pickaway County Children Services), Pickaway County Juvenile Court and Prosecutor’s Office, Fairfield County Juvenile Court, Berger Health System, OhioGuidestone and Integrated Services.
“We are very excited about this collaborative opportunity and the funding to implement evidence-based interventions for families affected by opioid use in the child welfare system,” said Professor Bridget Freisthler, College of Social Work project lead. “The effects of the opioid crisis on children whose parents are misusing or abusing substances have often been overlooked as solutions have primarily focused on reducing overdose deaths. This award will provide much-needed financial support for services for these children and families.”
EPIC will involve collaboration with a wide range of family-serving agencies, including, child welfare agencies, substance abuse treatment providers, health and mental health agencies, courts, schools, law enforcement, and other service organizations. These professionals will be cross-trained in order to provide better services across systems that interact with these families. This means that child welfare workers will become more knowledgeable and trauma-informed about substance use issues, the peer recovery supporters will understand the child welfare system and processes, the kinship caregiver supporters will understand both the child welfare system and substance use disorders, and the family drug court coordinators and medication assistance treatment providers will have a thorough understanding of child welfare.
“Pickaway County is very excited to partner with Fairfield County and Ohio State with EPIC,” said Joy Ewing, Director of Pickaway County Job and Family Services. “A significant portion of our child welfare caseload involves substance abuse and this grant will provide much needed resources for those families affected by substance abuse.”
Kristi Burre, Deputy Director of Protective Services at Fairfield County Job and Family Services, added “Children traumatized as a result of their parents’ drug abuse are often the invisible victims of the opioid epidemic. It has had a critical impact on our local protective services and our ability to service and manage co-occurring substance abuse and maltreatment concerns with Fairfield County families.”
The College of Social Work has developed a long-standing and deeply ingrained culture of applied research and scholarship that permeates all aspects of its programs, informs its community service and engagement, and contributes to the greater good of the profession, society and the world. This regional partnership opportunity is reflective of its commitment to working with communities around developing solutions for complex problems.
About the College of Social Work
First accredited in 1919, the College of Social Work is the oldest continuously accredited public social work program in the country. The College–through excellence in teaching, research, and service–prepares leaders who enhance individual and community well-being, celebrate difference, and promote social and economic justice for vulnerable populations. The college fosters social change through collaboration with individuals, families, communities, and other change agents to build strengths and resolve complex individual and social problems. As an internationally recognized college, it builds and applies knowledge that positively impacts Ohio, the nation, and the world. The college’s vision is to “embrace difference, seek justice, and be the change.”

For more information about the grant or for interviews, contact:
• Ohio State College of Social Work: Frankie Jones-Harris, Communications Director, at 614-330-2206 or jones-harris.1@osu.edu.

• Pickaway County Job and Family Services Contact: Nick Tatman, Children Services Administrator, nicholas.tatman@jfs.ohio.gov.

• Fairfield County Job and Family Services Contact: Kristi Burre, Deputy Director for Protective Services, Kristi.Burre@jfs.ohio.gov.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

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.

 

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

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 

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 the lead-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.”

This year, Davis also received the Community Psychiatrist of the Year Award from Ohio State’s Division of Public and Community Psychiatry, which honors faculty who have  provided excellence in public and community psychiatry education to its residents and or medical students. Dr. Dale Svendsen presented the award to the team (Davis, Ellen deFrance, Staci Swenson, Dr. Ernesto Ortiz-Cruzado) who were chosen for their efforts in putting together the integrated behavioral health and physical health care educational program for the residents at PrimaryOne Health.

To read more about their MEDTAPP work at PrimaryOne Health, click here.

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.

 

 

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.

Warren Keith CSWCheck out this unique research by Drs. Keith Warren and Nathan Doogan (PhD ’14) 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.”

New York Magazine also wrote the story “When Ex-cons Change Their Vocabulary, They Stay Out of Jail” on its Science of Us website.

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