Ohio START Foundations 1: Introduction to START (6 Hours)
This is the first in a series of START foundational trainings. Through participating in this training, staff will gain foundational knowledge on the history and evolution of the National START Model, including the values and beliefs that shape service delivery for children and families affected by parental substance use disorders and child maltreatment. Additionally, staff will be introduced to the Essential Components and Fidelity Standards of the National START Model with an understanding of how these are used to support implementation and ongoing fidelity monitoring in their local jurisdiction.  This training is designed and REQUIRED for local child welfare leadership (e.g., director, administrator, START supervisor, etc.).  Administrators and supervisors from Behavioral Health providers that have already been identified as a local START partner should also attend. This is a required training for new cohorts and local leadership who have not yet attended.

Ohio START Foundations 2: Hiring and Supervision of Family Peer Mentors (6 hours)
START Family Peer Mentors (FPM) are individuals in long-term recovery with experiences that sensitize them to the child welfare system. Pairing a FPM with a child welfare worker is an essential component of the START model, and FPMs are key members of the START team in each community. The training is 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 provides 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.  This training is REQUIRED for PCSA START administrators and supervisors and Hiring Agency administrators and supervisors (if applicable).  Caseworkers and family peer mentors should NOT attend.

Ohio START Foundations 3: Behavioral Health Treatment Provider Strategies (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.  The one day may be offered in 2 half-day sessions, both are required to receive credit. This training is REQUIRED for PCSA START Supervisors and BH treatment provider clinicians and staff.   START local teams are encouraged to attend together and will have the opportunity to discuss how the strategies will be implemented in their community.

Ohio START Foundations 4: Child Welfare Practices (6 Hours)
In this final foundational training on the START model, participants will learn about START practices, including a START Toolkit review, family engagement, child safety and placement, working intensively with families, responding to relapse, building parental capacity, transition planning, and case closure. This training supports front-line practice of the START model building on knowledge and supporting the newly formed worker/mentor dyad in their daily work.  This training is REQUIRED for PCSA Ohio START Supervisors, Caseworkers, Family Peer Mentors and non-children services FPM Supervisors and Service Coordinators.

Child Welfare 101 (3 Hours )
The training focuses on a basic understanding of child welfare rules, mandates and timelines and helps the family peer mentor and BH provider understand their essential role within the team. This training gives the FPM and BH 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.   This training is REQUIRED for Family Peer Mentors, non-children services FPM Supervisors, and BH treatment provider clinicians and staff.

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.  This training is REQUIRED for PCSA START caseworker, FPM, supervisor, non-PCSA FPM supervisor and any non-START staff that will take an active role in FTMs.

Impact of Trauma & Power of Resiliency (ACE & CTAC) (6 hours)
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.  This training is REQUIRED for PCSA START caseworker, FPM, supervisor, non-PCSA FPM supervisor and any non-START staff administering the CTAC and/or ACE.

Introduction to Motivational Interviewing (6 hours)
Motivational Interviewing is a guided style of communication Child Protective professionals can utilize to assist parents, caregivers and families in identifying reasons to and pathways toward change.  This is no small task, and correlationally, Motivational Interviewing is no small skillset.  It is a collaborative style of interaction that pays close attention to a person’s readiness to consider change and ambivalence about that change.  That is – a person’s conflicted reasons for moving toward change and for staying the same at the same time.  Motivational Interviewing attends closely to engagement and is well-matched to working with parents and caregivers that have been mandated to program involvement.  This six-hour training is framed for Child Protective professionals and provides necessary foundational introductions to the spirit, core skills and framing of Motivational Interviewing.  It may stand alone as an introduction, but is best considered as the START toward building skills that may reduce the directive burden for the Children Services professional – and is a prerequisite for available follow-up trainings to better support use of Motivational Interviewing skills.

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. This workshop is designed to educate participants on the levels of severity for substance use disorders, the ability to identify signs and symptoms, to determine the appropriate interventions and/or referral to treatment. Participants will become familiar with the assessment process, treatment levels of care, Medication-Assisted treatment and realistic expectation of aftercare, relapse and/or recovery.  This training is REQUIRED for PCSA START caseworker, FPM, supervisor and any non-START staff administering the UNCOPE.

Substance Use Disorders 101 (3 hours)
This training provides an opportunity to learn information regarding substance use, definitions and classes of different substances and medications utilized for stabilization and support recovery. It will provide an overview of the impact on the brain, family roles and recovery process.  This training is REQUIRED for PCSA Ohio START Supervisors, Caseworkers, and Family Peer Mentors.


Family Toolkit: Genograms, ecomaps, and more! (3 hours)
Participants will obtain useful information in terms of assessment tools and techniques that promote engagement, build rapport, and gather information critical to accurate diagnoses and understanding of both individual and familial experience within the family system and as part of the larger culture. Participants will learn how to effectively engage individuals and families with experiential activities using these tools. Participants will better understand what the process and information obtained reveal about family development and family dynamics. Participants will also develop methods for helping families develop awareness of their own processes, development, and current functioning to promote insight and to identify appropriate opportunities for growth and change in their clients.

Introduction to START for New Staff (2 hours)
This introductory course provides staff new to the Ohio START program with the basics necessary to begin working with families. It includes a brief review of key aspects of START including eligibility, timelines, roles and responsibilities, and engaging clients and family serving agencies. Staff will also need to complete the full day Foundations 4 training when next available. This is not intended for anyone that has already attended Foundations 4.

Introduction to START for Behavioral Health Providers (2.5 hours)
Ohio START utilizes an innovative approach to serving families who are affected by child maltreatment and caregiver substance use disorder (SUD). This child protection model requires cross-system collaboration to achieve effective outcomes of increased sobriety and reduced out of home care. In this training, participants will learn how Ohio START provides child protection services to families who are experiencing caregiver SUD. Key components of the Ohio START model will be reviewed, focusing on the intersection of child protection and behavioral health systems. The training will provide an overview of the safety risks and treatment needs of families served by Ohio START. Additionally, strategies to develop and maintain effective cross-system partnerships will discussed.

Motivational Interviewing Refresher (3 hours)
This half-day refresher deeply reviews and then expands on the Core skills introduced in the prerequisite all-day training.  This expansion begins with a more complex exploration of the four Core Skills outlined by OARS, and introduces the fifth Core Skill, Informing and Advising.  These five Core Skills are then considered within the acknowledged power imbalance inherent to child protective work – that is, blending the person-centered foundation of Motivational Interviewing transparently with the authority and responsibilities of the caseworker.  The central message about incorporating Motivational Interviewing into child protective work – that this collaborative and guided style of communication offers the opportunity to both support real change for parents and families while also lessening the directive burden for the caseworker – is supported throughout.

Motivational Interviewing Practical Application Practice (1.5 hours)
These 90-minute skill-refresher and support learning communities begin with a review of the core skills introduced in the all-day training.  The greatest emphasis, though, is given to hearing from participants about experiences using Motivational Interviewing skills in the field.  These experiences, both successes and challenges, are discussed as a group and then explored with any skill-based adaptations expected to provide immediate practical use in work supporting parents, caregivers and families.

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.

The Role the Family Plays in Human Trafficking: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Join us to discuss the role the family plays in human trafficking. At times family members and foster parents have been the driving force behind keeping someone out of a trafficking situation. Other times, they are the cause. In this session we will help you better understand human trafficking, how to spot it and what to do when you do. We will go over the basics but focus on familial trafficking specifically. We will share an updated screening tool that will help you identify youth and families that may need additional resources. Finally, we will end with a discussion on how we might move from a reactive to a preventative approach with the family to ensure the best option for a family member is not to offer access to their child for sex or labor in exchange for drugs, rent or other things of commercial value.

Trauma and Addiction – Fire and Ice (6 Hours)
Although there are a multitude of factors that influence the on-set and progression of addition, there remains a consensus among mental health professionals that there is a strong correlation between trauma and the disease of addiction. As such, the marriage between an individual’s traumatic experiences and substance use often creates significant challenges as witnessed by social service professionals. This training will underscore the relationship between traumatic experiences and substance use disorders. The curriculum will also address the barriers commonly identified when servicing persons who confront the disease of addiction and have a history of trauma. Specific research-supported paradigms will be offered to assist professionals who serve this population.

Trauma Informed Family Engagement: Understanding the impact of implicit bias and structural racism (6 hours)
Join us to explore the cultural and historical context of trauma, learn about systemic and structural racism in the US and uncover our own implicit bias. This training helps participants understand the nature of social diversity with respect to race and the current inequities in our systems of care, providing clear standards of ethical practice and professional conduct. We will unpack the potential impact of those issues on our engagement with clients, families and colleagues. In the morning, we will consider how to apply SAMHSA’s six guiding principles for trauma informed care, including trauma informed engagement practices; explore the power of associations on our perceptions; and use a metaphor to understand systemic racism. In the afternoon, we’ll start with a learning simulation about the Racial Wealth Gap; explore our own implicit bias; and work in small groups to reflect upon our learning and create personal and program strategies for trauma-informed engagement.

Trauma-Informed Resiliency-Oriented Supervision (3 hours)
Ohio START cases are very complex, multi-system involved and highly traumatized. Thus, our workers are exposed to a high level of secondary traumatic stress in addition to the typical stress of dealing with BH and SUD clients and their families. 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 therapeutic relationship that the provider has with the family. We will also address supervisory strategies to monitor and prevent SES symptoms related to resilience promotion. Small group breakouts will be used to promote and model reflective discussions around resiliency components and promotion. This session will inform supervisors of the most common risks and ethical issues in home and community-based services. They will also be able to identify and address symptoms of secondary traumatic stress with both formal monitoring and resiliency oriented reflective supervision techniques.

Your Autonomic Nervous System: ANS User Manual (3 Hours)
In this highly interactive and practical program participants will learn how the autonomic system works through the lens of Polyvagal Theory. We will learn about the qualities of each of the states of the nervous system. First, we’ll apply it to ourselves through self-assessment, then we’ll explore activities to support down-regulation, when necessary, and then we’ll identify tools that will support ongoing, stable connections, which makes it less likely to be adversely affected by the stress of our jobs and our lives. We will include a wide variety of exercises for each of the states so you will have options for whatever your individual needs are. This is an experiential session, so be prepared to participate and dress comfortably. You will also be asked to complete the ProQOL and bring it along for small groupwork. Once you have worked through this material related to yourself, it will inform your engagement with both your co-workers and your clients.

Youth Suicidality: Safety Planning and Lethal Means Counseling (3 Hours)
This virtual workshop will explore current issues and concerns around youth and young adult suicidality. We will identify critical elements in suicide safety planning and examine the importance of counseling on access to lethal means. Safety plans are designed to support suicide prevention by providing action steps an individual can take when feeling suicidal. Intentionally reducing access to lethal means can contribute to whether a person at risk for suicide lives or dies. We will identify practical skills and strategies that can immediately be implemented with current clients.


OMHAS Integrated Peer Training (40 hours)
In order to become an Ohio START family peer mentor, individuals must be in long term recovery with a direct lived experience of substance use disorders.  FPMs must must complete the 11 eBased Academy courses and complete a 40-hour, peer-services training to become family peer mentors for Ohio START.

Become an Adult Peer Supporter | Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (

OMHAS Integrated Peer Training for Supervisors (4 hours)
Supervisors must attend the four-hour, in-person training, OMHAS Effective Supervision of Peers training, for those supervising FPM with Ohio START.

While not required, PCSA supervisors of the family peer mentors may also complete the 16 hours of E-Based Academy courses specific to peer services.  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

Peer Support Supervision | Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (


National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare:
Home | National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (

OMHAS Opioid Online Learning Series
Opioid Online Training Series | Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (

Updated 1/1/2024