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Eight counties embark on effort to elevate family healing

Eight counties embark on effort to elevate family healing

Today, PCSAO is proud to announce the launch of a new shared practice model called PACT, Practice in Action Together.

This model was identified by the association of county agencies as a key component for modernizing Ohio’s children services agencies in December 2020. “PACT will be revolutionary for public children services agencies as the model focuses on ‘how’ we strengthen relationships between caseworkers and families, elevate healing, and achieve equity while meeting state and federal mandates,” said PCSAO Executive Director Angela Sausser. “PACT was developed for and by caseworkers, supervisors and agency leaders working alongside families, former foster youth, academics, and other experts.”

Eight county agencies have been selected as champions for change to begin implementing PACT. “PCSAO’s board of trustees has committed initial funding to build internal implementation capacity that will be needed to provide technical assistance, coaching and facilitation for these counties,” Sausser added. “This includes engaging Kaye Implementation & Evaluation as a research partner.”

Participating county agencies include:

  • Ashtabula County Children Services
  • Athens County Children Services
  • Belmont County Job & Family Services
  • Champaign County Job & Family Services
  • Fairfield County Job & Family Services
  • Morgan County Job & Family Services
  • Perry County Children Services
  • Trumbull County Children Services

“When I presented an overview of the PACT model at a meeting, staff immediately reached out afterward to share that this is exactly the type of work they’ve been longing to focus on,” said Wendy Shields, Deputy Director in Athens County, a selected participating county. “I knew this was what our new and long-term caseworkers needed – to focus on healing and relationships in their daily practice.”

A family advocate and member of the design team, Celia Wilson, said, “PCSAO recruited diverse family voices like mine to help develop this model alongside caseworkers and leaders. I am personally and professionally excited to see PACT put into action.”

PCSAO’s director of strategic initiatives, Mike Kenney, is leading the project. He praised the directors of selected agencies as thought leaders committed to improving outcomes for children and families. “After two years of listening to families, caseworkers and leaders on the journey to co-designing PACT, we believe that this model will result in hope for success and shared dignity between workers and families,” Kenney said. “Relationships are the leading indicator of positive outcomes for families and children. PACT is designed to help caseworkers and families build meaningful relationships through behavioral change and with a relentless focus on family-centered values.”

Learn more.