Motivational Interviewing: Practical Application Practice

Motivational Interviewing is a particular way of arranging conversations to assist people in talking themselves into changes that grow from their own ideas and values.  This guided style of communication blends well and aids with most professional relationships that target change, and we know that change is not easy. This is true for nearly all change for nearly everyone, including professionals that are beginning to incorporate the spirit and techniques of Motivational Interviewing into practice.  This follow-up to the Ohio START Introduction to Motivational Interviewing training is formatted as part-refresher and part-learning community, designed to guide practical application ideas and skills about incorporating MI into your professional skillsets.    *Completion/attendance of the Ohio START all-day Intro to Motivational Interviewing Training is a required prerequisite.

Professional Learning Community (PLC): Motivational Interviewing for Supervisors

This 1-hour Professional Learning Community (PLC) for supervisors will meet monthly and have a rotation of three motivational interviewing focused topics per quarter. The topics will be repeated three times from January through September to allow the learning and discussion to evolve. Supervisors who attend will be asked to practice the new skills and return to future sessions to learn, share and continue to hone their skills. The rotation of topics will allow supervisors who join later in the year the opportunity to learn from the facilitator and their colleagues. (Pre-work: 4 hr prerequisite & OhioSTART MI training or Ohio MESA, possibly short survey) Length: 1-hour monthly (4th Wednesday at 9AM Eastern)

  • 3 Topics delivered each quarter (Q1-Q3 2022):
    • The Art of Supervision
    • Motivational Interviewing Assessment – Supervisory Tools for Enhancing Proficiency (MIA-STEP) and other supervisory tools
    • Supervising and Coaching staff on Motivational Engagement and Interviewing

Screening and Intervention of Substance Use Disorders (UNCOPE) (6 hours)
This workshop will assist participants with how to use the evidence-based screening tool (UNCOPE), interpret the results, provide feedback to the parent and offer recommendations to seek further assessment for treatment services. Participants will also become familiar with the assessment process, treatment levels of care, Medication-Assisted Treatment and realistic expectations for aftercare, relapse and/or recovery. This training is required for Ohio START caseworkers, family peer mentors, non-START CW staff responsible for administering the UNCOPE, suggested for CW supervisors and optional for CW administrators, BH administrators, supervisors/service coordinators.

Trauma and Resilience: Identifying Children, Parents and Families at Risk (6 hours)
Children Services caseworkers must be able to systematically identify trauma exposure in children, as well as be able to identify the associated behaviors that may be present for the children they serve. This training includes an overview of the trauma screen tool that was selected as part of the OhioSTART initiative, the Children’s Trauma Assessment Center Trauma Screening Checklist (CTAC). We will also look at how to assess the trauma exposure of their parents, using the Adverse Childhood Experience survey (ACE). Although we know that we are often working with multi-generational trauma, we struggle with how to recognize and deal with the impact that the parents’ trauma has on their parenting skills and their attachment with their children. This workshop will explore the ways in which generational trauma effects parenting, how trauma interferes with healthy attachment, and what trauma informed behavior management looks like. Use of these tools will allow caseworkers, peers, and other service providers to develop a better understanding of how trauma affects children and their families.

Family Team Meetings (6 hours)
One of the key ingredients in the Ohio START program is Family Team Meetings (FTMs). The purpose of the FTM is to involve the family, extended family, informal and formal services and support providers in the development of the least restrictive plan for family stability and youth permanency. Engaging families and their extended support systems in a shared-decision-making process is a core aspect of the FTM process. The FTM is neutrally facilitated and utilizes a guided format for identifying strengths, needs, and for plan development. System mandates and other legal limitations are discussed up front with the family. This training will describe the core principles, components, and skills needed to successfully facilitate FTMs.

Ohio START Foundations 1: Creating a Collaborative Governance Structure, Presented by Children and Family Futures (6 hours)
Training components specific to this strategy included: using universal screening tools for substance use and trauma screening, developing protocols for quick access to treatment, and information sharing with treatment partners and courts.

Ohio START Foundations 2: Family Peer Mentors, Presented by Children and Family Futures (6 hours)
The training focused specifically on the family peer mentor recovery support process along with hands-on examination of the structure and support that needs to be in place for recruitment, hiring, training and preparation of the family peer mentor, including: clarifying the family peer mentor function and role, preparing the way for working with team members, and providing supervision and support. The training provided Ohio START teams an opportunity to assess their implementation and receive hands-on technical support to develop an action plan for moving their program forward.

Ohio START Foundations 3: Behavioral Health Treatment Provider Strategies, Presented by Children and Family Futures (6 hours)
Partnerships between child welfare and treatment providers, both substance use and mental health, are key to the success of the START model. START local teams will have the opportunity to discuss how the strategies will be implemented in their community. This is a one day training focusing on treatment provider strategies within START that support behavioral health treatment and child welfare outcomes. This training is REQUIRED for PCSA START Supervisor and Administrators, BH administrators, BH Supervisors/service coordinators, and Hiring BH Agency Supervisor (if applicable), and suggested for PCSA START Workers.

Ohio START Foundations 4: Case Management, Presented by Children and Family Futures (6 hours)
This interactive workshop will explore the “nuts and bolts” of START practice throughout the life of a case. Outcomes for families in START have shown higher rates of parental sobriety, less reliance on foster care and a decreased incidence of repeat child maltreatment and return to out-of-home care compared to non-START families. The START model achieves these positive outcomes by using a variety of best practice strategies found to be effective with families with co- occurring substance use and child maltreatment. This training will review these key practices, including the cross-system collaboration necessary to deliver comprehensive family-centered services, increased oversight and monitoring, shared decision-making, and strategic information sharing.

OMHAS Integrated Peer Training (40 hours)
Individuals in recovery with a direct lived experience of substance use disorders take a 40-hour, in-person, peer-services training to become family peer mentors for Ohio START.

As a part of the training process, individuals must complete 16 hours of E-Based Academy courses prior to the in-person training. E-Based Academy course may be accessed at
E-based Academy Pre-Course Work that must be completed includes:

  1. Introduction to Peer Recovery Support
  2. History of Addiction for Peer Recovery Supporters
  3. Ethics and Boundaries for Peer Recovery Supporters
  4. History of the CSX Movement for Peer Recovery Supporters
  5. Helpful Tips for Peer Recovery Supporters Entering the Workforce
  6. Health and Wellness in Peer Recovery Support
  7. Cultural Competence in Mental Health and Addiction Recovery
  8. Human Trafficking Training for Peer Recovery Supporters
  9. Supervision for Peer Recovery Supporters
  10. Trauma Informed Care in Peer Recovery Support
  11. Ohio S-BIRT: An Introduction to S-BIRT and Motivational Interviewing

OMHAS Integrated Peer Training for Supervisors (4 hours)
Supervisors of the family peer mentors should also complete the 16 hours of E-Based Academy courses specific to peer services and the four-hour, in-person OMHAS Effective Supervision of Peers training. The 16 hours are the same courses on the E-Based Academy that are prerequisites for the family peer mentors. Supervisors may take the on-line courses at

Supervisors must also attend the four-hour, in-person training for those supervising FPM with Ohio START.

Child Welfare 101 (6 Hours)
The training focuses on a basic understanding of child welfare rules, mandates and timelines and helps the peer supporter and SUD provider understand their essential role within the team. This training gives the peer supporter or SUD treatment provider the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the child welfare system and how they can assist their client by supporting their engagement in the child welfare case plan.

Engagement Skills – Motivational Interviewing (6 hours + prerequisite online)
Participants use the theory and practice exercises from the online course to further develop skills. Participants demonstrate their ability to employ strategies for resolving ambivalence and dealing with resistance; identifying traps in helping; applying principles of motivational interviewing to avoid pitfalls; identifying change talk and how to operationalize individual goals. Motivational interviewing skills are applied in case studies and participants received feedback through peer and self-evaluation. It is highly recommended that Ohio START caseworkers and family peer mentors attend this training together.

Using Motivational Interviewing in Everyday Practice (online course)

This course teaches the use of Motivational Interviewing (MI) – a widely used evidence-based practice for helping people to resolve ambivalence about change by evoking motivation and commitment. Engagement methods and strategies are taught, stressing the critical aspects of motivating and empowering individuals to recognize their own needs, strengths, and resources for taking an active role in changing their lives for the better. Five (5) continuing educational credits, or contact/clock hours are provided with successful completion of the course and post-test.

Break the Cycle: Understanding and Treating Generational Trauma (6 hours)
This workshop will explore how trauma is passed down from generation to generation, through the changes in one’s own genetics but also through environmental and behavioral factors. The interplay of these phenomena and exploring common behaviors will be discussed; moreover, participants will understand these responses as adaptations to traumatic events. The connection between trauma and addiction will be examined, recognizing it as a normal response to the adversity experienced in childhood. We will explore pathways to healing, including effective trauma treatment strategies for families and individuals, including various motivational, short term, mindfulness-based, and insight focused interventions, allowing for the cultivation and expansion of one’s resilience capacity.

Ohio START 101
When county ready to begin serving families. This training will provide an overview of the START program, critical elements of program fidelity, implementation recommendations and other information critical to successful implementation of the START program. Will also include training for using the Needs Portal for collecting data for the Ohio START Evaluation.

Family Peer Mentors 101 – TBD

Substance Use Disorders 101 – TBD

Joyful Together (3 hours + 6 monthly 1 hour consultation sessions)

The Joyful Together training is a half-day, 3-hour training. Joyful Together® is an attachment, play-based model that seeks to build resiliency in children, caregivers and families by infusing joy throughout everyday activities. Joyful Together is an applied trauma and toxic stress informed intervention.  Each attendee will receive a Joyful Together® practitioner manual, and each participating agency will receive five copies of a Joyful Together® parent edition to add to their libraries.  To complement the half day training, the two training session cohorts will each receive six monthly consultation sessions that includes reflective supervision and coaching as key mechanisms to facilitate continued learning and successful implementation to fidelity into a program, practice, or intervention. Participants will receive continuing education credits (CEUs)- three CEUs for the basic three-hour training and nine CEUs for staff who also participate in consultation.

Nurturing Parenting Facilitator Training (3 days – 18 hours)
The three days will focus on incorporating the philosophy, skills and strategies of nurturing parenting. How to use program materials, videos, assessment tools, program activities, family home practice assignments, and seven steps of fidelity. This training includes lecture presentation, videos, written material and trainee participation. The Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery program will be highlighted and is built on relational development. The impact of substance use, mental illness and trauma on parenting, the parent-child relationship and children can be devastating. The Nurturing Programs are designed to promote a high level of participant initiative through active, participant-directed exercises and discussion topics. The Nurturing Programs use these exercises and topics to support, promote and enhance nurturing in participants’ lives and relationships.

START 101 (under development)
When county ready to begin serving families. This training will provide an overview of the START program, critical elements of program fidelity, implementation recommendations and other information critical to successful implementation of the START program. Will also include training for using the Needs Portal for collecting data for the Ohio START Evaluation.

Other Optional Online Training

National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare:

OMHAS Opioid Online Learning Series