Research

Research News

Our faculty and students are engaged in important research seeking to solve the world’s most pressing problems. Each year, faculty and students make important contributions to the field which result in them participating in a wide-range of research projects, publishing peer-reviewed articles, and presenting important findings at conferences.

Research Brief: Food for a Long Life, Year 1 Achievements

Food for a Long Life promotes healthy food knowledge, access, and consumption among preschoolers and their families in food deserts in Columbus, OH and Lynchburg, VA. More information can be found on their website at u.osu.edu/foodforlife/home and a PDF outlining Year 1 achievements can be found by clicking here.

 

Research Brief: EPIC Program

Enhancing Permanency in Children and Families (EPIC) is a program that uses evidence-based and evidence-informed practices to reduce child abuse and neglect among families involved with the child welfare system who have substance use problems. This program is being developed through a collaboration of The Ohio State University College of Social Work, Fairfield County Job and Family Services, and Pickaway County Job and Family Services.

Click here to view a PDF with full details.

 

Research Brief: Age-Friendly Columbus

Central Ohio’s 65+ population is expected to double in the next 30 years. This poses a great opportunity for the region to provide easy access to services, amenities, and opportunities to ensure we can all thrive as we age. Age-Friendly Columbus is a project to strengthen the quality of life for people of all ages across Franklin County and Central Ohio. After a year-long research and assessment phase and a year-long strategic planning phase, Age-Friendly Columbus is now in the implementation phase to make changes happen in our community. The Ohio State University College of Social Work will act as the administrative arm and collaborative partner for the Age-Friendly Columbus initiative during the 2018-2020 implementation period.

Click here to view a PDF with full details.

Dr. Michelle Kaiser’s Research Featured on CBS 10-TV, Columbus Dispatch Shows a Third of Families Struggle to Get Enough Food

Congratulations to Dr. Michelle Kaiser whose research was featured by CBS 10-TV, Sunny 95 radio, and other media and websites recently. Kaiser’s research finds that a third of households – double previous estimates – struggle to get enough food in a Columbus area. Check out the video and other story links.

CBS/WBNS 10-TV

The Columbus Dispatch Story

Sunny 95 radio

Ohio State Research Story

In 2016, Kaiser was honored with The Ohio State University’s highest teaching award, the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. She was chosen out of more than 3,000 Ohio State faculty members. Ohio State’s Alumni Magazine also featured Kaiser’s research in a special report on food insecurity. Click here to check out her story. For more information about Kaiser, click here. 

 

 

College of Social Work Awarded $3 Million Grant to Address Substance Abuse in Ohio: Grant to support regional partnerships in Fairfield and Pickaway Counties

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.

 

 

Research Brief: New American Initiative

As immigrants are a growing part of the Central Ohio community, it is important to identify and educate the immigrant community on the services available to successfully integrate them into our community. In the spring of 2017, the Columbus City Council began discussing new laws that would prohibit arresting or denying public services to immigrants in the city based on their immigration status. CSW will work to analyze what gaps exist in local social-service networks and how they could be filled to best help new Americans, including immigrants and refugees.

Click here to view a PDF with full details.

Research Brief: Evaluating Ohio START

The Ohio State University College of Social Work will partner with the Ohio Attorney General’s office to evaluate Sobriety, Treatment and Reducing Trauma (START) in 14 Ohio counties affected by the opioid crisis. The CSW will examine what elements 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. Four CSW faculty members will evaluate Ohio START: Bridget Freisthler, Katie Maguire-Jack, Alicia Bunger, and Susan Yoon.

Click here to view a PDF with full details.

Research Brief: Leaders in Research in the Fight Against the Opioid Epidemic

The College of Social Work is at the forefront in the fight against the opioid epidemic in Ohio with multiple research collaborations, grants, and community partnerships. The College of Social work is involved in a variety of studies to understand the impact of the opioid epidemic on individuals, families, and communities. Additionally, we are studying new, novel solutions to address opioid misuse and addiction. These studies include:

  • Opioid Overdoses and Medical Marijuana Availability
  • Changes in Rates of Child Abuse due to Opioid Overdoses
  • Identifying Neighborhood Conditions related to Opioid Overdoses
  • Evaluation Ohio START (Sobriety, Treatment, and Reducing Trauma)

Click here to view a PDF with full details.

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 

HECAOD Named University Academic Center

Congratulations to the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery (HECAOD), which has been named an academic center at The Ohio State University. Ohio State’s University Senate approved the HECAOD’s proposal to be established as an official academic center in its January 21, 2016 meeting, following approval by the Council on Academic Affairs on October 21, 2015. Academic centers at the university are non-degree granting educational units engaged in research; instruction; or clinical, outreach or related service. The HECAOD serves as the premier alcohol and drug misuse prevention and recovery resource for colleges and universities across the nation. It is a collaboration among Ohio State’s College of Social Work, College of Pharmacy, Office of Student Life and Student Wellness Center, Generation Rx Initiative and Collegiate Recovery Community. The HECAOD is funded by a $2 million grant from The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. For more information, click here.