Advocating for safe children, stable families, and supportive communities
37 West Broad Street, Suite 1100
Columbus, OH 43215 — 614-224-5802

2020 Conference Workshops and Information


If you missed our conference, or just missed a workshop, you can find slide decks, handouts, and other information from all of our workshops below using the “Slides” and “Handouts” links at the end of each workshop description.

Conference Logo

If you have questions about our conference, contact Cassandra Freeland.

PCSAO thanks our generous sponsors, whose support helped keep registration fees low.

Continuing education training credit is being processed and will be available in the coming days and weeks to registered participants whose attendance can be verified.

Wednesday, Sept. 16 | 9-11:30 AM

Welcome and Keynote


Join Denise Goodman for the opening keynote address, “There is a Silver Lining! What COVID Has Taught Us.” Denise is a well-known state and national trainer whose insight into foster care, kinship care, and adoption are helping to reform children services practice across the country. She will discuss how child welfare has had to be nimble during the current pandemic. To keep children safe, reunite teens with their family and support caregivers has required new tactics, new partnerships. Her keynote will focus on lessons learned that can inform our work as we move forward to meet future challenges. Learn more about Denise.

Following the keynote, get your bearings for the day with all of the information you will need, along with a showcase of some of this year’s PCSAO Awards recipients. There will be a break from 9:45 to 10 a.m. during which participants will transition from the plenary to their selected workshops, below.

Leaning into Father Engagement: The Benefits of Exploring Paternal Families in Child Welfare Family Search and Engagement Work

Engaging fathers and other paternal family members is an essential part of family engagement practice. Encouraging fathers to lean in can have substantial positive impacts for the child. This workshop will cover strategies to involve fathers at the front door, including intensive search and engagement practices. Beyond that, we will discuss extending the opportunity of involvement to the entire paternal family tree. We will explore how their involvement in the decision-making process from the beginning of services can lead to positive outcomes. This workshop will include a discussion on alleged fathers and strategies for engaging them and their families when paternity has not yet been established. We will also explore what it looks like to build a strong foundation of natural supports utilizing both maternal and paternal family members.

Presenters: Lorie Bricker, Rick Dencer

Target Audience: Caseworker

Training Credit: Approved for 1.5 CEU hours

Expanding Child Welfare Prevention Services in Ohio through the Family First Prevention Services Act

Participants will learn what it means for Ohio to implement prevention services through the Family First Act. This will include the process used to develop the Title IV-E prevention plan. It will also include initial information included in the plan, including the definition of a candidate for foster care and case pathway/workflow diagram. Finally, it will also include plans for implementation.

Presenter: Alexandra Citrin

Target Audience: Supervisor/Manager, Caseworker

Training Credit: Approved for 1.5 CEU hours

Does My Youth Have, Want, or Need Permanency?

Learn more about Youth-Centered Permanency Roundtables (YCPRT) and how 10 Ohio counties are using them to increase youth engagement and implement effective permanency planning. Explore the implementation journey, which began in 2012 as traditional Permanency Roundtables (PRT) and evolved into a youth-driven model. This informative session will be followed by an engaging discussion pertaining to what is missing, what is working, and what can still be improved upon with Ohio’s implementation and practice.

Presenter: Tracy Cook

Target Audience: Supervisor/Manager

Training Credit: Approved for 1.5 CEU hours

Wednesday, Sept. 16 | 11:45 AM-12:45 PM

Self-Care and Maintaining Professional Boundaries

Self-care is an essential practice in social work profession. Unfortunately, it’s often something we work with our clients on but fail to implement ourselves. The importance of self-care will be explained in this training. The facilitator will encourage participants to consider how setting professional boundaries with clients, co-workers, and themselves is an important self-care strategy. Participants will engage in self-reflection and assess their own self-care practices while also considering new ones.
Slides | Handouts

Presenter: Jorie Schwartz, LISW-S

Target Audience: Caseworker

Training Credit: Approved for 1 CEU hour

Intersections: When Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Meet

Many families impacted by domestic violence have multiple, complex, intersecting issues. In the past, we might have referred to these as co-occurring issues. But the language of co-occurrence often doesn’t provide us with a sense of how these issues interact. For example, listing the family’s issues is not as powerful as explaining how the domestic violence perpetrator interfered with his partner’s recovery, for example. Listing that the family has experienced both domestic violence and mental health issues is not as useful as describing how the perpetrator’s violence has produced anxiety in the survivor and aggression in one of the children. Using an intersections framework, versus a co-occurrence framework, we increase perpetrator accountability, improve our ability to assess the family, and our ability to partner with adult survivors. This course will provide guidance in how to understand the intersections and make them work for us in our practice.
Slides | Handouts

Presenter: Heidi Rankin

Target Audience: Caseworker

Training Credit: Approved for 1 CEU hour

Skills for Implementing New Practices in Child Welfare Settings

Although there are many evidence-based interventions for children and families, they can be challenging to implement in child welfare settings. Successful implementation depends on a thoughtful long-term plan tailored to the unique needs of families, workers, agencies, and systems. This workshop will introduce a structured implementation planning process for administrators and supervisors who lead and manage change within their organizations. Presenters will draw on current implementation science and practice in child welfare settings to introduce the four phases of implementation: 1) exploration of interventions and their compatibility, 2) preparation through planning and outreach, 3) implementation, and 4) sustainment. Through large-group and small-group activities we will cover key considerations and strategies for addressing barriers at each phase. Participants will develop a sample implementation plan that they can take back to their agencies. The presentation team includes implementation trainers, researchers, and a PCSA leader with experience in the field.
Slides | Handouts

Presenters: Alicia Bunger, Fawn Gadel, Marla Himmeger, Rebecca Phillips

Target Audience: Director/Administrator/Supervisor

Training Credit: Approved for 1 CEU hour

Wednesday, Sept. 16 | 1:30-3 PM

Understanding the Consequences of Closing IPV Cases Too Early

This presentation is designed to increase awareness of the potential burden and risk placed on protective parents and their children experiencing domestic violence when CPS cases are closed too early, thinking that divorce or custody litigation will solve the problem. Empirical evidence supports what protective parents and domestic violence professionals have long asserted – that family courts frequently deny true claims of adult partner or child abuse and instead punish protective parents who seek to protect children from a dangerous other parent.
Slides | Handouts

Presenter: Sally Dine Fitch, MSW and Michaela Deming, Esq

Target Audience: Caseworker

Training Credit: Approved for 1.5 CEU hours

Ohio Case Law and Legislative Update

This workshop will review recent Ohio court decisions and legislative updates that clarify, modify, or amplify Ohio judicature in the child welfare and adoption arenas. The session will include a PowerPoint presentation summarizing and analyzing recent decisions and legislation. Attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions about the current state of Ohio law in these areas, and to contribute to the discussion with personal perspectives and case insights. In addition, the workshop will enable participants to analyze and discuss current trends, both in Ohio law and in the context of the national perspective, and to predict future trends.
Slides | Handouts

Presenters: Megan Heydlauff, Jennifer Goldson

Target Audience: Attorney/Legal

Training Credit: Approved for 1.5 CLE hours

Collaborative Community Court Teams: Implementing Plans of Safe Care

The increase in infants and young children entering foster care because of substance use disorder necessitates the development of coordinated, comprehensive, family-centered systems of care. This training offers lessons to improve policy and practice for implementing the requirements of the amended Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) regarding infants and their families in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2016. It will include lessons learned from three Ohio Quality Improvement Center for Collaborative Community Court Teams (QIC-CCCT) who worked to enhance capacity to appropriately implement the provisions of CARA. The teams were able to enhance and expand their capacity to collaborate to address the needs of infants, young children, and their families/caregivers affected by substance use disorders and prenatal exposure, and to sustain effective partnerships, programs, and procedures implemented to achieve goals.
Slides | Slides

Presenters: Latonya Adjei-Tabi, Gail Barber

Target Audience: Director/Administrator/Supervisor

Training Credit: Approved for 1 CEU hour

Wednesday, Sept. 16 | 3:30-4:30 PM

Cross-Reporting for Humane and Human Services: A Species- Spanning Approach to Safer Families and Communities

This workshop will explore the compelling links that connect animal cruelty and neglect with domestic violence, child abuse, child sexual abuse, and elder abuse. Animal abuse is often an indicator of interpersonal, family and community violence. Professionals in multiple disciplines are actively re-examining the complex motivations behind acts of animal cruelty, advancing public policy reforms, implementing programs and using interventions to help the victims of violence. This presentation will discuss the importance of developing interdisciplinary teams and cross-system collaboration that allow for early intervention in family dysfunction. It will also describe new strategies, public policy, research, and programs to prevent family violence and to respond to its human and animal victims.
Slides | Handouts

Presenters: Vicki Deisner, Esq., Janet Hoy-Gerlach

Target Audience: Caseworker

Training Credit: Approved for 1 CEU hour

Team Decision Making’s Next Chapter: Evolving Toward an Evidence-Based Prevention Strategy

Team Decision Making (TDM) is a fidelity-based family teaming model that focuses on the critical moments in a family’s life when their child faces a potential move—away from home, from placement to placement, or a return home or to another permanent family. Born and nurtured in Ohio, this teaming model has delivered positive outcomes for over 25 years. This session will review TDM’s defining elements and research on the model, including the results of a randomized control trial evaluation recently concluding in Missouri. It will end with a discussion of how to use outcome-focused advocacy to win support for the implementation of TDM within public systems.
Slides | Handouts

Presenters: Patricia L. Rideout

Target Audience: Director/Administrator/Supervisor

Training Credit: Approved for 1 CEU hour

Influencing Public Policy Through Rules

To effectively influence public policy in child welfare, it is critical that children services leaders understand how policy decisions are made and develop effective relationships with policymakers. A rule is a communication of the law established by an administrative agency. Collectively known as the Ohio Administrative Code, rules have the effect of law. It is important that public children services agencies and other children services stakeholders engage in the rule-making process to ensure that rules reflect legislative intent, support best practice, and do not place an undue burden on local agencies. This workshop will provide an overview of Ohio’s rule-making process, resources for monitoring and commenting on rules, and strategies for influencing rules.
Slides | Handouts

Presenters: Mary D. Wachtel, Shelby Cully

Target Audience: Director/Administrator

Training Credit: Approved for 1 CEU hour

Child Victims’ Rights in the Criminal Justice Process

The Marsy’s Law constitutional amendment went into effect in 2018, providing Ohio’s victims, including child victims, with concrete and enforceable rights in the criminal justice process. Ohio’s child victims have the right to safety, protection, privacy, and to have a voice in the legal process. Child victims also have the right to use attorneys or other representatives, such as family members and professional advocates. This year, those rights will be further strengthened with implementation legislation. Many aspects of the implementation legislation for Marsy’s law are specific to child victims and will change the way child victims experience the criminal justice process. This workshop will provide constitutional and legislative updates, and implementation tip including a case example.

Presenter: Elizabeth Well

Target Audience: Attorney/Legal

Training Credit: Approved for 1 CLE hour

Thursday, Sept. 17 | 9-11:30 AM

Welcome and Keynote


Join Karen Vadino for a brief keynote address called “You Can’t Quarantine Laughter.” People are suffering in so many ways right now. Laughing, playing, and being silly become so important. They are the best ways to feel “normal” at least for a little while. There is truly nothing funny about what’s happening right now, but laughter can give us exactly what we need in order to survive the tough stuff. We are grieving, and laughter replaces what we lose when we grieve. Learn more about Karen.

Following the keynote, get your bearings for the day with all of the information you will need, along with a showcase of some of this year’s PCSAO Awards recipients. There will be a break from 9:45 to 10 a.m. during which participants will transition from the plenary to their selected workshops, below.

The Ethics of Being an Ally to the LGBTQ+ Community *

Join the facilitators for an interactive discussion about the ethics involved in being an LGBTQ+ ally at your agency or organization. Learn about the LGBTQ+ families and communities and developing safe spaces for clients who identify as LGBTQ+. The training includes information sharing, reflective exercises, and interactive activities to help participants become more informed and effective allies.
Slides | Handouts

Presenters: Jorie Schwartz, Angela Fry

Target Audience: Caseworker

Training Credit: Approved for 1.5 CEU hours

Navigating with Kinship and Adoptive Families: Overview of OhioKAN

In July 2019, Ohio passed House Bill 166 requiring a statewide kinship care navigator program for all kinship caregivers as defined in ORC 5101.85. ODJFS worked with Kinnect to develop and implement the Ohio Kinship and Adoption Navigator Program (OhioKAN). This workshop will provide participants an opportunity to learn more about the OhioKAN model and program implementation. Participants will understand the services provided, how families can access services, and how they can refer a family. Participants will understand what a family may experience when interacting with a Navigator. Finally, participants will understand the program’s process to maintain fidelity and how it is being evaluated for effectiveness.
Slides | Handouts

Presenters: Julia Donovan, MBA, Veronica Burroughs

Target Audience: Caseworker

Training Credit: Approved for 1.5 CEU hours

Transforming Treatment Foster Care

In 2019, PCSAO engaged a diverse stakeholder group to improve Ohio’s treatment foster care system. With the Family First Act’s goal of reducing the number of children placed in congregate care, Ohio will need more treatment foster homes where children and youth with behavioral health challenges can be placed. These resource families can be recruited and managed by private agencies or by public agencies. Learn about the work of the stakeholders and their initial recommendations, including three new tiers of treatment foster care; the range of supports and training that will be needed; recruitment and retention strategies; interaction with birth families; professionalization; and more.

Presenter: Gretchen Clark Hammond, PhD

Target Audience: Supervisor/Manager

Training Credit: Approved for 1.5 CEU hours

Thursday, Sept. 17 | 11:45 AM-12:45 PM

Enhancing Empowerment for Survivors of Human Trafficking

It is crucial to support juvenile survivors of human trafficking through services that make them feel safe and respected and move them to self-sufficiency. This training will focus on understanding and addressing the complex needs of survivors of human trafficking. To improve outcomes for survivors, caseworkers must be able to develop trauma-informed, gender-specific, and culturally appropriate service plans. Recognizing that no single agency can address the complex needs of survivors, this training will also describe how to utilize a multi-disciplinary team approach to service planning. Caseworkers should be able to utilize a survivor-centered and strength-based approach to encourage independence and reduce re-traumatization. In addition to lecture, this training will utilize case studies and small group discussions to identify strategies caseworkers can utilize to support youth who have experienced this form of victimization.
Slides | Handouts

Presenter: Bhumika Patel

Target Audience: Caseworker

Training Credit: Approved for 1 CEU hour

Managing Remote Teams and Working Out Loud in Child Welfare

Agencies know it is essential to have a plan for managing remote employees and their work as working remote has become more prevalent and is a major part of our “new normal”. Learn how to improve upon your plan to keep workers connected, organize resources, improve performance, conduct check-ins, ensure compliance, and more. Because remote work relies on technology, it is important to know what’s available and how it can help. Collaboration is a key aspect of social work. We will also take a closer look at “Working Out Loud” and how teams can continue to work collaboratively, share ideas, explore service planning options, and preserve relationships experienced in the office. Join us to learn more about what the future of remote social work could look like, the value of technology to enable social work anywhere, and how working out loud can have a ripple effect across organizations.

Presenter: Rich Bowlen

Target Audience: Director/Administrator/Supervisor

Training Credit: Approved for 1 CEU hour

The Courts and Child Protective Services: Current Projects of the Supreme Court of Ohio Subcommittee on Responding to Child Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency

This workshop will provide an overview of the exciting updates coming out of the Supreme Court’s Subcommittee on Responding to Child Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency. The subcommittee’s workgroup chairs will share project updates in the areas of: Child in Need of Protective Services Legislation, Quality Hearings, and Court Oversight responsibilities related to FFPSA Qualified Residential Treatment Facilities. Lastly, Supreme Court representatives will share other programming news in the areas of Court hearing texting project, Dual Status Youth project, QIC/CCCT regional trainings and expansion project, Abuse, Neglect, Dependency mediation, Cornerstone/Redbook training, Family Dependency Treatment Courts, Tech Grants, and Ohio CASA. This workgroup will also provide ample opportunity for questions and participant feedback.
Slides | Handouts

Presenters: Megan Heydlauff, Matthew Puskarich, Michelle Edgar, David Edelblute, Denise N. Cubbon

Target Audience: Attorney/Legal

Training Credit: Approved for 1 CLE hour

Thursday, Sept. 17 | 1:30-3 PM

Ethics and Professionalism: What Can We Do and Not Do? *

Ethics and professionalism are a joint effort of all participants in child welfare. Using the concepts contained in the ethical codes of law and social work, participants in this training will look at situations that give rise to ethical and professional questions in child welfare. Participants will work together to focus on improving the ethics and professionalism of those who work in child welfare and ultimately the outcomes of children and families.

Presenter: John Everett

Target Audience: Attorney/Legal

Training Credit: Approved for 1.5 CEU hours

Beyond SOGIE 101: Integrating SOGIE into Existing Assessments and Conversations with Youth and Families to Improve Engagement and Service Delivery

A foundational understanding of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE) is the first step in providing affirming engagement and supports to youth and families. At times diverse SOGIE is an underlying catalyst to situations that result in child welfare involvement. Incorporating SOGIE questions and conversations into every investigation and assessment is necessary to identify the unique needs of LGBTQ+ young people and their families. Only then may child welfare and community service providers work collaboratively with youth and families to improve safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes. This workshop will provide child protection staff an opportunity to prepare and practice questions and engagement strategies needed to further assess youth and families challenges and needs as they relate to the youth’s diverse SOGIE.
Slides | Handouts

Presenters: Jennifer Croessmann, LSW, Kori Sewell, Leah Love

Target Audience: Caseworker

Training Credit: Approved for 1.5 CEU hours

Trauma-Informed Supervision: Provider Resilience 2020

Child welfare cases are complex, multi-system and involve high levels of trauma. Thus, PCSA workers are exposed to a high level of secondary traumatic stress in addition to the typical stress of dealing with childhood abuse and neglect. This newly updated session will address the supervisory relationship as a parallel process of promoting resilience, providing both support to the provider and a roadmap for the supportive relationship that the provider may have with the family. We will also address supervisory strategies to monitor and prevent secondary trauma symptoms in relation to resilience promotion. Small group breakouts will be used to promote and model reflective discussions around resiliency components and promotion.
Slides | Handouts

Presenter: Bobbi Beale

Target Audience: Supervisor/Manager

Training Credit: Approved for 1.5 CEU hours

ShadowBox: An Innovative Approach for Promoting Critical Thinking and Best Practice in the Child Welfare Workforce

This workshop will demonstrate ShadowBox, an innovative training approach for promoting critical thinking and best practice. ShadowBox was developed for use in high-stakes domains such as firefighting, law enforcement, and military operations, and has been adapted for use in child welfare. It uses real child welfare cases to allow learners to directly compare their decisions and rationales with those of a panel of skilled practitioners. Small group discussions encourage peer-to-peer learning and connect lessons learned in scenarios with local practice. We will present findings and lessons learned from implementing ShadowBox in two different counties (Cuyahoga County, OH and Jefferson County, CO). Representatives from counties who have implemented ShadowBox will share their experiences and lessons learned. We will inform participants about the available ShadowBox Startup kit, which includes access to 23 child welfare training scenarios.

Presenters: Jan Flory, Laura Militello

Target Audience: Director/Administrator/Supervisor

Training Credit: Approved for 1.5 CEU hours

Thursday, Sept. 17 | 3:30-4:30 p.m

LGBTQuarantine: The Impact of Staying Home When Home Feels Unsafe

In the spring of 2020 as schools closed, state governments started issuing stay-at-home orders, and the world dealt with the news of the COVID-19 pandemic, LGBTQ+ youth faced a unique challenge, as many of them were forced into 24-hour contact with unsupportive families or with family members to whom they were not yet “out.” A demographic with high rates of anxiety, depression, and suicidality, the mental health of quarantined LGBTQ+ youth has been a huge concern. Even as states have reopened, the mental health implications of the pandemic are far and wide. This session will explore the ways in which LGBTQ+ youth have been affected by stay-at-home orders and how this experience mirrors the isolation often felt by LGBTQ+ youth in situations unrelated to the pandemic.
Slides | Handouts

Presenter: Amanda Erickson

Target Audience: Caseworker

Training Credit: Approved for 1 CEU hour

Recruiting and Supporting the ‘Vital Few’ Caregivers

The Chronicle of Social Change project “Who Cares” reminds us that we have details on the youth coming into care but know little about the caregivers who serve as a resource for these children and their families. What we do know nationally is that in some states only 5% will still be serving in 5 years. Only a “vital few” are able to sustain and provide placement stability and assist with family reunification. This workshop will explore the policies, practices and culture changes needed to increase Ohio’s caregiver’s willingness and ability to become part of this “vital few.” We look at what it means for families to be a primary intervention for treatment vs. a placement bed. Workers will examine their own ability to encourage this and explore the policy and practice upgrades needed.
Slides | Handouts

Presenters: Dot Erickson-Anderson, Bobbi Pedersen, B.A, Georgetta Lake, LSW

Target Audience: Caseworker

Training Credit: Approved for 1 CEU hour

Partnerships in Motion: Implementation of Ohio Accelerated Safety Analysis Protocol (ASAP)

Ohio’s child welfare professionals are faced with increasingly complex and dangerous issues and are forced to make high stakes decisions with little information about a family. ODJFS has partnered with 10 Ohio counties to provide expertise and support on identified highest risk situations. Among other strategies, ASAP puts “more sets of eyes” on high-risk cases. It also provides additional support, guidance, and coaching to Ohio’s front-line child welfare workforce.

Presenters: Jacqueline Morris Bell, Holly Dobias, Elyssa Wanosik, Alexandra Hokans

Target Audience: Caseworker

Training Credit: Approved for 1 CEU hour

Top of Page

Presenter Biographies

Latonya Adjei-Tabi

Latonya Adjei-Tabi oversees implementation of Statewide System Improvement Program, a project seeking to protect the safety and welfare of children in the family dependency treatment court system while giving parents the tools they need to become sober, responsible caregivers. After graduating from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Latonya obtained a Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant license to increase her understanding of addiction. She later earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

Gail Barber

Gail Barber serves as a Senior Program Associate with the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare at Children and Family Futures. In this role, she serves as an advisor and technical consultant to states, counties, tribes and regions across the country in issues related to substance abuse, child welfare and the courts, providing and coordinating various levels of technical assistance.

Bobbi Beale

Bobbi Beale, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist and a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Innovative Practices, part of the Begun Center at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Beale has over 25 years of practice and expertise in trauma, resilience, system of care and behavioral health treatments for children, youth and families, specializing in Intensive Home Based Treatment and Adventure Therapy. She spends most of her time training, consulting and providing technical assistance across Ohio to support behavioral health providers of youth and family services.

Jacqueline Morris Bell

Jacqueline Morris Bell is the Ohio ASAP Manager at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. She holds both a graduate and undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University and has nearly 30 years of child welfare experience. She has experience in Screening, Intake, and Ongoing, along with a variety of multi systems collaborations that worked preventatively with children and families. Andrea Hall-Miller has worked at Lorain County Children Services for 20 years. She started her career as an intake worker for 7.5 years before becoming a supervisor. She was a supervisor for 8 years in the Direct Services Department. In 2016, she became the Continuous Quality Improvement Manager and oversees the ASAP program at the agency. She has her MSSA and LISW-S.

Rich Bowlen

Rich is dedicated to improving the lives of caseworkers and social workers. In his role as Northwoods’ Child Welfare Evangelist, he is an advocate for children and families and excels in applying progressive administrative plans to successfully meet the needs of abused, neglected, and maltreated children.

Lorie Bricker and Rick Dencer

Rick and Lorie serve as Coaches for the 30 Days to Family program with Kinnect. Collectively they support 9 of the 16 counties where the same program operates. Prior to his work with Kinnect, Rick was a Child Support Supervisor and spent 9 years working in Community Mental Health. Lorie has worked in Child Welfare for over 12 years in various roles including: caseworker, CASA, Disability Services and Victim Services

Alicia Bunger

Alicia Bunger is an Associate Professor at the College of Social Work at Ohio State University. Her research examines implementation of evidence-based interventions and the role of collaboration across systems for improving service access and quality.

Veronica Burroughs

Veronica Burroughs currently is Project Manager for the Kinship and Adoption Navigator Program at ODJFS. Prior this work she was with the Supreme Court of Ohio, managing federal grants to assist juvenile courts in handling cases related to child welfare. She also has worked in multiple roles at private child serving agencies, worked with children and adults with mental health and substance use disorders, and has experience teaching and training adults.

Alexandra Citrin

Citrin is an expert in child welfare policy and practice and its effect on communities of color, LGBTQ+ youth, and immigrant families. She has been deeply involved in working with states and national partners to around Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) including leading the CSSP team providing intensive technical assistance to states developing and implementing prevention activities through FFPSA. Her policy expertise includes child welfare system and finance reform, health care, and immigration—with a focus on using frontline practice—knowledge to inform equity-focused policymaking. Prior to joining CSSP, she was a family advocate at the Center for Family Representation, Inc. in New York, where she engaged in direct practice with parents and families involved in the child welfare system.

Tracy Cook

Tracy Cook, has over 5 years’ experience in the child welfare field. As a YCPRT Coach, Tracy works with counties throughout the state of Ohio to improve the performance of YCPRT’s and also begin implementation within additional counties. Through Tracy’s child welfare work she has developed the ability to advocate for a child’s best interest and the need for permanency. Tracy has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Cleveland State University (OH).

Jennifer Croessmann, LSW

Jennifer Croessmann is a social program administrator for the Cuyahoga County Department of Health and Human Services. Jennifer has worked in child welfare for over twenty-three years. Jennifer led groups in team decision making meetings to plan for child safety, permanency and well-being for 13 years. Jennifer has previous experience as a direct services child welfare caseworker. Ms. Croessmann is a licensed social worker. She has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in psychology from Baldwin-Wallace College and a Master’s Degree in Social Services Administration from Case Western Reserve University, where she attended as a child welfare fellow.

Denise Navarre Cubbon

Denise Navarre Cubbon was elected Lucas County Juvenile Court Judge in November, 2004. She became the Lucas County Administrative Judge in April, 2007 and in 2009 was appointed to serve on The Supreme Court of Ohio Advisory Committee on Children, Families & the Courts. Prior to taking the bench, she served as a Lucas County assistant prosecuting attorney for 23 years, assigned to the juvenile division, criminal division, and senior protection unit. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toledo College of Law, Toledo, Ohio.
Debra Copeland is the Court Improvement Program Analyst at the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Shelby Cully

Shelby Cully has been in the field of child welfare for more than a decade as a mediator, GAL, parent attorney; and an attorney, legal manager, and now chief counsel for her agency. She devotes a portion of her time and attention meeting with caseworkers to help them prepare for court and other legal matters. She is a tremendous support and mentor for her colleagues and others involved in the CSB process.

Vicki Deisner, Esq

Vicki Deisner is an attorney with over 25 years experience in the non-profit sector and over 5 years working on the issue of the link between animal and human violence. Vicki worked to pass Ohio legislation including pet protective orders in 2014, bestiality and felony cruelty of animals in 2016, and is currently working on legislation that would require human and humane professions to cross-report animal and human violence. Vicki conducted cross-reporting workshops for multiple professions in Cleveland, Toledo and Columbus in 2019, and will repeat this workshops in Athens, Cincinnati and Dayton in 2020. Vicki works with several domestic violence taskforces around the state, provides continuing education training to domestic violence and social service professionals, and co-authored The Link Between Interpersonal Violence and Animal Abuse published in 2019 in the Society Register.

Michaela Deming, Esq

Michaela Deming is Policy Director/Staff Attorney for the Ohio Domestic Violence Network. A Moritz Merit Scholar from the OSU Moritz College of Law she has served survivors in Ohio as a practicing attorney, mostly in the family courts, in cases involving domestic or sexual violence, particularly when child maltreatment is also a concern. She is member of the Supreme Court of Ohio Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence, a foster parent and a Guardian ad litem.

Holly Dobias

Holly Dobias has worked in the Family Based Care Department at Lorain County Children Services for 10 years supporting foster parents and finalizing adoptions as an assessor. She has also worked as a Direct Services Worker as part of the One Worker Model at Lorain County Children Services for 9 ½ years before becoming the ASAP Coordinator in the CQI department in July of 2019. Holly has an MSSA and is an LISW.

Julia Donovan, MBA

Julia Donovan serves as Kinnect’s OhioKAN Program Director. Prior to joining Kinnect, Julia served as the Employment Services Director at LEAP for the past eight years. During her time at LEAP, Julia re-designed programs and services to exceed budget expectations. created a regional job coach training model and sat on the board of the Employment Collaborative of Ohio. Prior to LEAP, Julia worked in several nonprofit management roles including development and volunteer management.

David Edelblute

David Edelblute is the Manager, Children and Families Section of the Supreme Court of Ohio. Prior to this position, he was a court administrator for over 20 years, and spent 11 years working for a nationally leading non-profit youth development organization prior to that. In his current role, he works with all of Ohio’s juvenile, probate and domestic relations court and provides oversight to the Court’s work addressing domestic violence issues. He received his undergraduate degree from Denison University and received a Master of Science degree in Human Development and Family Science from the Ohio State University.

Michelle Edgar

Michelle Edgar became the magistrate in the Fairfield County Juvenile and Probate Court in 2013, where she hears abuse, neglect, dependency cases, private custody and juvenile delinquency matters. Magistrate Edgar graduated from Capital University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and attended law school through the evening program at Capital University Law School graduating with her Juris Doctor. She began teaching continuing education courses for The Ohio Supreme Court in 2011, and continues to advocate for the children of Fairfield County and Ohio from her position on the bench and her work on these committees.

Amanda Erickson

Amanda Erickson has been with Kaleidoscope Youth Center since 2017, focusing on advocating for LGBTQIA+ youth across Ohio through education for youth-serving professionals including teachers, social workers, and more. Amanda has a Bachelor of Science in Education from Bowling Green State University and spent two years post-college as a Peace Corps Volunteer educating teachers in Vanuatu, in the South Pacific. Since returning stateside, she has worked in education and programming in the local non-profit sector.

Dot Erickson-Anderson

Dot Erickson-Anderson, LSW. Dot has served with the Ohio Family Care Association since its beginning. She helped to create 3 private agencies in Ohio and was a primary caregiver (adoption, foster, kinship, bio) for 35 years in Virginia, Washington DC and Ohio’s public, private child welfare and juvenile justice foster care systems. Her specialty areas: Teen Parents, Disrupted Adoptees, Deaf Youth, Unruly/Delinquent Youth, Family Reunification, Permanency Planning & Working with Primary Families.

John D. Everett

John D. Everett is an attorney in the City of Kettering, having worked as a prosecutor for 20 years. He is a trainer for Ohio Child Welfare Training Program, a frequent speaker for Ohio CASA and has developed training programs for the Ohio Supreme Court and various local agencies. He is on the editorial board of the ABA Children’s Rights publication and a member of several juvenile justice committees. Mr. Everett earned a B.A. in history from Kenyon College and a J.D. from University of Dayton School of Law. He is married and has 2 children.

Sally Dine Fitch, MSW

Sally Dine Fitch, MSW, LSW Ms. Fitch has 43 years of experience working with women, children and families who have experienced abuse and is a nationally and internationally recognized trainer. Currently, she consults on a VOCA grant – Linking Systems of Care for Ohio’s Youth; working to build Ohio’s capacity to meet the needs of children and youth who have been victimized. As co-director of the OCWTP she oversaw curriculum for child sexual abuse, domestic violence and human trafficking.

Jan Flory

Jan Flory, MSW, has extensive experience examining child welfare practice and decision making through various roles in public and private child welfare agencies. She held the position of Deputy Commissioner for Child Protection in New York City. Earlier in her career, Ms. Flory held state- and county-level positions in Ohio. Ms. Flory is a thought leader in adapting ShadowBox for child welfare through the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s On the Frontline initiative.

Angela Fry

Angela Fry, MSW, LISW-S, graduated from The Ohio State University with a BSSW and MSW. She has worked at several agencies in Columbus, Ohio. The bulk of Angela’s work has focused on trauma and abuse. Angela is currently an Associate Professor in the Social & Human Services program at Columbus State Community College.

Fawn Gadel

Fawn Gadel has served as the Director of Ohio START at the Public Children Services Association of Ohio since July 2017. In this role she has provided oversight to the program as it expanded from 14 to 46 counties in Ohio. She began her career at the Family and Youth Law Center where she most recently served as the Associate Director and Clinical Supervisor.

Jennifer C. Goldson

Jennifer C. Goldson is senior attorney and clinical supervisor of the Family and Youth Law Center (FYLaw) at Capital University Law School. She has been an attorney for twenty-four years, with her practice focusing primarily in the area of family law. Prior to joining FYLaw, she was in private practice for twenty-two years, and was the first staff attorney to Judge Dana S. Preisse in the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Domestic Relations Division and Juvenile Branch. Ms. Goldson was a member of the Barrister Leadership Program and was also selected to participate in several community leadership programs, including the Wexner Heritage Program and Leadership 21. She currently serves as co-chair of the judicial subcommittee of the Family Law Committee of the Columbus Bar Association and on the board of Jewish Family Services, where she was recognized as Board Member of the Year in 2017 for her work in starting the monthly pro bono legal clinic there.

Denise Goodman, PhD, MSSA

Denise conducts workshops and provides consultation throughout the United States and Canada on topics related to foster care, adoption and kinship care. She served as a senior consultant with the Annie E. Casey Foundation from 1992 to 2018. In that capacity, she worked with state and local sites on systemic reform, including Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. In addition, Denise has worked to reform the practice of foster care, adoption and kinship care, reducing the use of group care and helping agencies find permanent families for children and youth who have been waiting the longest. She is currently continuing this work as a Senior Fellow with Case Commons. Denise earned her MSSA from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and her PhD in social work from The Ohio State University. She has received recognition for her training from the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program including the Linda Pope Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award for Training, OCWTP Award of Excellence, the Northeast Ohio Regional Training Program Trainer of the Year and the North Central Regional Training Program Trainer of the Year. In addition, Denise was inducted into The Ohio State University College of Social Work’s Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Alumni in 2012 and was the North American Council on Adoptable Children’s (NACAC) Child Advocate of the Year for 2015. She currently serves as the president of the board for NACAC.

Gretchen Clark Hammond, PhD

Gretchen has worked in human services and addiction treatment since 1999, specializing in long-term and residential services for women and children. In 2012, she became the CEO at Mighty Crow Media, LLC. Her company provides grant-writing, development, training, project implementation, evaluation, and other management services to organizations working in human services and public health. Her career has involved working at Amethyst, Inc. and Pfizer, Inc.

Megan Heydlauff

Megan McCombs Heydlauff is a Senior Attorney at the Family and Youth Law Center at Capital University Law School. Her role focuses on the coordination of adoption, child welfare and permanency-related projects and initiatives. She is also an adjunct professor at Capital University Law School and teaches the Summer Adoption Law Institute and the Interdisciplinary Child Welfare Institute. Prior to joining FYLaw, Ms. Heydlauff worked as an associate attorney in private practice, focusing on family law, adoption, and estate planning. Ms. Heydlauff is a graduate of Denison University and she received her law degree from Capital University Law School with a concentration in Children and Family Law.

Marla Himmeger

Marla Himmeger has been working with PCSAO as Program Manager for Ohio START since April 2017. She retired December 2012 from the Ohio Department of Mental Health, after serving as Program Administrator for the ODMH Early Childhood Mental Health Program since 2000. Prior to working at ODMH, Ms. Himmeger worked in the field of child welfare for 20 years at the district and state levels after working at the county as a caseworker and supervisor.

Janet Hoy-Gerlach

Janet Hoy-Gerlach is associate professor of social work at the University of Toledo, and has extensive experience as a social work practitioner in the public mental health services system and is an avid advocate for the inclusion of human-animal interaction considerations within social work practice. Janet is on the board of Toledo Humane Society (THS), where she developed and supervises MSW internship placements that facilitate benefits of human-animal interaction. She helped to develop the ProMedica Hope and Recovery Pet program, which places THS shelter animals as emotional support animals. Janet has presented nationally and internationally on the therapeutic roles of animals.

Sarah Irvin

Sarah Irvin has been with PCSAO as the Ohio START AmeriCorps VISTA since September 2019. She recently graduated from the University of Kent with an MSc in Social and Applied Psychology. Sarah volunteered as a graduate research assistant for the Kent Educational Psychology Service where she supported research to improve mental health and resilience among British primary students.

Georgetta Lake, LSW

Georgetta Lake began her career in 1970s with Youth Advocate Services. She became one of the first treatment foster parents in Ohio. Georgetta became a treatment parent with Parenthesis Family Advocates and developed and administered a Foster Care Agency, Passages, with a focus on care for African American children. She has been an active local city council member in her community. She currently is a kinship parent for a 4-year-old.

Leah Love

Leah Love is the Youth Acceptance clinician and advocate with Chosen Affirming Family Program at Kinnect. She works closely with the youth and family navigating the youth’s identity journey to increase understanding and build affirming relationships. Leah also provides psychoeducation, Family Finding, and network building services for LGBTQ+ youth who enter foster care. Leah has an undergraduate degree in Applied Science and a Master of Science in Social Administration, with her license in Social Work. Her professional career includes experience in juvenile justice, Alcohol and Drug treatment, working with individuals experiencing homelessness, adult corrections, and mental health treatment.

Laura Militello

Laura Militello, MA, is a Senior Scientist for ShadowBox LLC. Ms. Militello has extensive experience applying Naturalistic Decision Making principles to design training to support decision making in complex environments. She has collaborated with the Annie E. Casey Foundation through their On the Frontline initiative since 2011. Emily Newsome is a Research Associate for ShadowBox LLC. Ms. Newsome has five years of experience adapting the ShadowBox approach to domains including nursing, military, and child welfare. Ms. Newsome is the project leader for adapting ShadowBox to child welfare in collaboration with the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Jennifer Millisor

Jennifer Millisor has been with PCSAO as The Ohio START Program Manager since October 2019. Previous to this position, Jennifer worked in Child Welfare in Hamilton County, Ohio as a Project Manager and Assessment Manager. While at Hamilton County Jennifer implanted Ohio START in 2018.

Bhumika Patel

Bhumika Patel joined PCSAO in March 2018 to serve as Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator and work with children services agencies in improving the response to child trafficking in Ohio. Prior to joining PCSAO, Bhumika served as Coalition Specialist in the Anti-Human Trafficking Program at The Salvation Army of Greater Cincinnati. Bhumika attained her MA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Cincinnati and her BA in Women’s Studies from Agnes Scott College.

Bobbi Pedersen

Bobbi Pedersen has fostered with Parenthesis Family Advocates (1980s), Franklin County Children’s Services and the Buckeye Ranch. Bobbi has adopted 8 children and fostered all ages – from teens who are deaf, young kids with extreme medical problems, teens with immigration problems and everything in between. She strongly works with the children’s families to keep ties and reunification. Bobbi has severed on several state committees and understands agency issues and concerns.

Rebecca Phillips

Rebecca Phillips is a doctoral student at the College of Social Work at Ohio State University. Her research focuses on strategies for addressing worker stress and burnout, and implementing effective interventions in child welfare systems.

Matthew Puskarich

Matthew Puskarich has been the Harrison County Probate/Juvenile Judge since February 2003. Prior to taking the bench, he was the Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney and a former Jefferson County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. He is a past President of the Ohio Association of Juvenile Court Judges and has served on its executive board for many years. Judge Puskarich is an Otterbein University graduate (1988) and received his law degree (1991) from the Wake Forest University School of Law.

Heidi Rankin

Heidi Rankin has over 20 years of experience in the domestic violence field. She has worked in crisis counseling, program and policy development and advocacy in both the United States and Canada. Heidi received a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in domestic violence from University of Colorado. As Associate Director of the Safe & Together Institute, she oversees the training of staff and faculty, manages Certified Trainers, and presents nationally and internationally.

Patricia L. Rideout

Pat Rideout is the former director of Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services, and a longtime senior consultant with the Annie E. Casey Foundation. She currently supports Team Decision Making implementation in numerous states as a consultant with the National Council on Crime and Delinquency’s Children’s Research Center. Sharon Meyer retired recently from Lucas County Children Services, where she served in many roles including ongoing supervisor and TDM facilitator.

Jorie Schwartz, LISW-S

Jorie Schwartz has been a licensed social worker in Columbus for more than 20 years. She is a graduate of the MSW program at OSU and has worked primarily in the areas of community mental health and school-based prevention. She has worked as a field coordinator and community lecturer in the College of Social Work at OSU and is currently a full-time faculty member in the Social and Human Services at Columbus State Community College.

Korie Sewell

Kori Sewell received her Bachelor of Art’s in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Akron in 2000 and began working in the child welfare system. She currently serves as a Case Review Supervisor at the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services where she also leads the agency’s LGBTQ2S Safe Identification Team and works as a co-lead on a grant from the QIC out of Baltimore, MD on improving outcomes for LGBTQ2S youth touched by the child welfare system.

Karen Vadino

Karen Vadino draws from her extensive experience in human services to form the foundation of her unique and distinctively humorous approach to life and work. She is a motivational speaker, humorist, trainer and consultant with over 30 years of experience in the field of chemical dependency, both as a licensed clinician and as a certified prevention specialist. She has also served as a clinician and supervisor in group homes and a children’s psychiatric hospital, and as a part-time college instructor at several colleges. For the past 20 years, Karen has been a nationally recognized speaker and trainer sharing her inimitable insights with thousands of people – adults and youth – each year. Karen has been described as “one of those rare people who can make you laugh and cry in the same moment.” Regardless of the topic, Karen’s workshops and presentations are humorous in nature, reflecting her own insightful approach to dealing with life’s daily challenges. She is well known for her “Vadinoan Theories,” including her exhortation to “release your dolphins” and her firm belief that we should never wait until we are entirely happy before we laugh.

Mary D. Wachtel

Mary Wachtel, PCSAO Director of Public Policy, brings 25 years’ experience advocating for children and families, including administrative and legislative advocacy and building grassroots support for issues. She is skilled in distilling complex policy issues for policymakers and the public in order to create understanding and support for issues.

Elyssa Wanosik

Elyssa Wanosik, MPA, is the Family Preservation Manager at Fairfield County Protective Services. She has worked in child welfare for the past 13 years as an intake and ongoing caseworker, intake supervisor, and currently manages the intake and adult protective services units in Fairfield County. Elyssa has a Bachelor of Science from Baldwin Wallace University and a Master of Public Administration from The University of Akron.

Elizabeth Well

Elizabeth Well is the Legal Director at Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center. Elizabeth has appeared in courts around the state, working alongside criminal justice system officials to ensure that crime victims’ rights are upheld during the criminal justice process. Elizabeth has trained thousands of professionals around the state and helped to develop the Victims’ Rights Toolkit, a first of its kind online legal resource for victims.

Christopher Woeste

Christopher Woeste is OCVJC’s Deputy Legal Director. Chris argued the first victim-initiated appeal of a Marsy’s Law issue. In addition to victims’ rights work, Chris has also worked on Title IX and immigration cases related to sexual assault and domestic violence. Chris graduated from George Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in political science focusing in public policy and The Ohio State University with a master’s degree in public policy and a juris doctorate.

Top of Page

Explanation of Training Credits and Evaluation

PCSAO is pleased to offer continuing education training credit to licensed social workers, attorneys, and E-Track users. Registration is not transferrable, and only those registered for the conference are eligible to receive credit.

E-track Users

Attendance in workshops will be tracked by PCSAO’s conference production partner, Mills James, using the attendee list on Zoom and random polls to which participants must respond in a timely fashion. After the conference, E-Track training credit will be provided via an upload to your E-Track account as supplemental credit. (Note that supplemental training is different from approved OCWTP credit training, but still counts toward your annual ongoing training requirement.) You do not need to take any action in order for this training to appear in your account so long as you include your accurate E-Track login ID when you register. Confirm your E-Track login here. (Never provide your E-Track password.) Please allow six weeks for the training credit to appear in your account.


Conference participants will complete their workshop evaluations via online survey. Participants will receive the link both during the workshop (in the chat box) as well as in an email after the conference. Please help us improve future conferences by completing your evaluation.

Training Records

Training credit will be uploaded automatically to E-Track as supplemental training for conference participants who provide an accurate E-Track login ID. Social work CEU hours will be reflected where appropriate. Social workers must be sure to include their complete license number to receive credit.

Training Certificates

A PDF training certificate will be emailed to each participant reflecting the number of training hours and the number of social work CEU hours where appropriate.

Non-E-Track users

If you are not an E-track user, Training Credit Certificate(s) will be e-mailed to you within ten (10) business days of the conference.

CEU Credits

As a provider under the the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage & Family Therapist Board, PCSAO is pleased to offer the following credits toward required hours of continuing education:

The licensee is responsible for complying with board regulations for each license. Credits are currently being applied for, and information will be updated when credit is approved.

CLE Credits

Selected workshops may earn Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits. The Supreme Court of Ohio is currently reviewing our application. The workshops submitted for CLE are listed as “CLE credit applied for.”

Important Note about Attendance

Participants must attend their workshop(s) from beginning to end to receive training credits. It is important that attendees log into Zoom using the name with which they registered so that information matches our records. Our production partner, Mills James, will be using various methods to determine participation and will make the final determination as to who is awarded credit.