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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

New Ohio children’s services model aims to promote family healing

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Monday, February 5, 2024   

A first-of-its-kind social work model aims to provide struggling Ohio families with personalized attention and resources.

Mike Kenney - director of strategic initiatives with the Public Children Services Association of Ohio - said the goal is to ensure families dealing with substance use disorders, neglect, domestic violence and other issues have the opportunity to heal and keep their children safe.

He added that the Practice in Action Together, or 'PACT,' model is collaborative and malleable.

"What we heard from the families and workers was, 'We don't need more rules or more processes,'" said Kenney. "'We need a model and framework that gives us the space to strengthen our relationships between workers and families.'"

A 2023 study of more than 100 caseworkers and families found the top caseworker behaviors linked to positive relationships with families included showing respect, listening and being vulnerable.

A group of local agencies statewide has been selected by PCSAO to begin implementing PACT - including Athens, Belmont, Ashtabula, Champaign, Fairfield, Morgan, Perry and Trumbull counties.

The PCSAO's PACT Kinship Care Advocate Celia Wilson explained that families often have specific reasons for not being able to care for kids.

She recently used PACT to help a kinship-care family, where an individual had agreed to raise his teenaged niece and nephew, but couldn't afford proper clothing for them.

"The PACT model would say, 'What resources can I provide to this uncle,' right?" said Wilson. "So that he can meet the needs of the two children that he's agreed to take care of in a loving way."

Around 100,000 Ohio grandparents are currently raising grandchildren. Wilson said kinship caregivers can also include aunts and uncles, older siblings, and family friends or neighbors.

To report suspected abuse or neglect of a child, call toll-free 855-OH-CHILD.




Disclosure: Public Children Services Association of Ohio contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Family/Father Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, Mental Health. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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