The Northwest Ohio Regional Prevention Plan communicates the Regional Prevention Council’s strategies and funding requests for preventing child abuse and neglect in the 16 counties of Northwest Ohio.
The plan also summarizes the factors affecting child abuse and neglect in Northwest Ohio and the most pressing needs for families, which were identified during the needs assessment process.
Service Needs in Northwest Ohio
The work group identified the following prevention-related service needs in Northwest Ohio:
- Increase the availability of high quality and affordable childcare
- Improve transportation for socially isolated families and/or reduce transportation-related barriers to access services
- Improve access to mental health and substance abuse services and/or services that reduce the underlying risk factors for poor mental health and substance abuse for both adolescents and adults.
Another important need identified for families in the region is for improved access to healthcare, especially to pediatric specialists. However, healthcare is not a service for which the Regional Prevention Council can request funding for child abuse and neglect prevention from the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund.
Prevention Strategies for Northwest Ohio
Based on the needs for services identified in the region, the Regional Prevention Council chose prevention strategies and funding requests designed to meet those needs.
Awareness Campaign Targeting Families Impacted by Substance Abuse Issues
This strategy is intended to help meet the need for improved access to and availability of mental health and substance abuse services. The campaign will provide information to the general public regarding the awareness of substance abuse and how this issue links to child abuse and neglect.
It will help individuals recognize and refer parents who are struggling to appropriate services. The awareness messaging will also be intended to eliminate the stigma associated with receiving services to help normalize seeking help for substance abuse issues.
Trauma-Informed Consultations in Childcare Settings for Early Childcare Providers
This strategy is intended to help meet the need related to quality and availability of childcare providers. Trauma-informed consultants would work onsite to train childcare center staff members to better understand and problem-solve challenging child behaviors and refer children who have experienced trauma to services.
The trauma-informed consultants also would help childcare centers to provide family-focused technical assistance to parents and childcare providers, as well as reinforcing best practices through modeling and activities with children.
Parenting Support and Education for Vulnerable and Isolated Families
This strategy is intended to improve access to services for socially isolated families with transportation barriers through a home visiting program that provides evidence-based parent education. Furthermore, traditional parent education programs are provided, and can either be offered as individual, in-home services, or as part of larger, group-based settings, based on the preference of the family participating.
Another part of the plan identifies a goal to engage parents as partners and advocates on the Northwest Ohio Regional Prevention Council. The council will ensure parental involvement by providing a stipend and travel vouchers to parents recruited to participate in council and work group meetings.
Additionally, a liaison for the Regional Coordinating Entity will talk to the parent before meetings to make sure the parent feels comfortable discussing agenda items and providing input.
Parents also will be invited to provide input about services and awareness campaigns at focus groups.