Coshocton team earns Friend of Recovery honor

| October 9, 2020
Since 2018 the Coshocton Collaborative Community Court Team has been working to improve plans of safe care for children and families impacted by substance abuse. The initiative was started when Coshocton was one of three sites in Ohio and only 15 in the nation to receive federal grant money.
“The mandate was to focus on prenatal to 12 months,” said Leondra Davis, family drug court and quality improvement coordinator, Coshocton Probate/Juvenile Court. “We looked at our demographics and the fact that we don’t have a birthing center and thought there was a population we were missing, so we expanded to include prenatal to age 3.”
The team’s job was to change the way services were provided to families impacted by substance abuse, strengthen relationships between community partners and become a trauma-informed community. They also had to identify families in need, connect them to services and monitor the outcomes.
Key partners on the team included representatives from Family Drug Court, Department of Job and Family Services, Coshocton Behavioral Health Choices, Allwell Behavioral Health Services, Family and Children First Council, Help Me Grow/County Board of DD, Coshocton County Health Department, Maternal and Child Health Clinic, First Step Family Violence Intervention Services, Coshocton County Head Start, Knox Community Hospital, Genesis Health Care Systems, and Women, Infants and Children.
“We’ve expanded since we started and included others that we missed initially,” said Doug Schonauer, CCE court administrator.
Over the course of the three-year grant, they also brought two guest speakers to town who specialize in their areas of concern and held a community stakeholders meeting. A training trip to California gave CBHC and Allwell new ways to look at their programs. CBHC was able to start parent child interaction therapy and child parent psychotherapy.
“Beth (CBHC’s director) learned about it in California and thought it could be a springboard to expand services here to parents and young children,” Schonauer said. “Her board was onboard, and we wrote a contract to support initial funding for training and development of the programs.”
CBHC now has a child therapy wing and expanded its medication-assisted treatment services. Allwell, according to Davis, also was able to expand its ability to treat substance abuse and learn how it can better help families.
“Families used to have to leave town for a lot of services, but now, other than residential treatment, they can get everything they need right here in Coshocton,” she said. “We can coordinate care and help build a system of trust and support.”
The hard work of Coshocton’s team was honored by the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board, which presented Friend of Recovery awards during a virtual ceremony on Sept. 30. The board annually recognizes individuals who promote recovery from mental illness and/or addictions by advocating hope, empowerment, education, self-help and employment or some other type of meaningful activity.
The Coshocton Collaborative Community Court Team earned the award for working to identify infants and toddlers impacted by parental drug abuse and connecting families to services.
“Mental illnesses and addictions are widespread problems,” MHRS Board executive director Misty Cromwell said, “but people can and do recover. And when people recover, the lives of their families, friends and neighbors are improved as well. We are so grateful to these individuals for the positive differences they have made in the lives of persons struggling with a mental illness and/or addiction.”
Schonauer said they didn’t know about the award until they received the invitation for the ceremony. Both he and Davis were pleasantly surprised to find out that Thomas Lynch, a case worker from children services, nominated them.
“It was nice to be recognized by someone who is close to this but not an everyday benefactor of it,” Davis said. “This tells me that people are hearing about and seeing the work we do, the need for it, and seeing the value of it. We are willing and ready to help anyone.”
The team has reached the end of its grant life but did receive an extension through the end of the year due to COVID-19. Right now they are working on marketing plans and sustainability for their programs.
“We want to make sure people know we are here to help and where they can go to get help,” Davis said.
Coshocton County’s team has served 86 adults and 99 children and received 291 referrals as of May 2020. Sixty-four percent of all adults and children referred to the program ended up enrolling in services.

Category: Business

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

Comments are closed.