Voting is now open for the following Ohio Council of Family Relations Advisory Board positions – Professional (1), Student Representative (1), New Professional (1), and President-Elect.
Voting will be open from Monday, November 9th – Friday, November 20th 2020. Please take the time to read through the nominee’s qualifications (see bios below) before casting your vote!
After reading the bios below, click HERE to cast your vote!
Anita works for the Ohio Department of Education in the Office for Early Learning and School Readiness where she serves as the Head Start State Collaboration Director. In this role she facilitates coordination and collaboration among the federal, state and local entities that serve Ohio’s most vulnerable children and their families. Her passion for education, families, and children has been expressed throughout her career in direct service and leadership roles within various government, non-profit, and school-based settings. Anita is a Licensed Social Worker with a master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary Leadership program at Creighton University. For the past year, Anita has served as a Professional Representative on the board of the Ohio Council of Family Relations. She is excited about the organization’s strategic plan and efforts to elevate the role of Family Life Education professionals in Ohio. Anita is seeking re-election for a three-year term so that she can continue to serve and help accomplish the goals of OHCFR.
I am an NCFR member and have had a CFLE credential since 1997. I currently sit on the CFLE National Exam Committee and have written book reviews and book chapters for NCFR.
Until July I was Professor of Social Work at the University of Akron but was “laid off” under the guise of the COVID emergency. I now have more time than previously although I continue to do research, write and publish.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Counseling from Grace College and a Master’s Degree of Social Work from The Ohio State University with an emphasis on substance use and mental health.
Currently I am the Director of Council for Union County Families and oversee family programming implementing the High-Fidelity Wraparound Process on a continuum of services serving about 80 at-risk youth and families annually. I guide family-level decision making, oversee family support grants, assist in the evaluation of a governance grant, and use local data to shape practice in Union County. I work part-time as a therapist under the supervision of a local private practice focused on trauma-based therapy models and Body, Mind, Spirit integration. Prior to this role I worked for Child Protective Services with an emphasis on families impacted by severe substance use disorders, poverty, and mental health diagnoses.
I currently serve on the Union County Drug Free Coalition, administer a nine-county wraparound collaborative, sit on the Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity committee for the Ohio Family and Children First Coordinator’s Association, run local Council meetings, sit on a SAMHSA grant governance board, am a Union County Big Brothers/Big Sisters Advisory Board member, and Bridges Community Action Partnership Board member.
My experience and knowledge of the impact of generational, developmental trauma and impact of systems stress and secondary trauma on families will be valuable as a OHCFR advisory board member. My strengths-based, multi-disciplinary approach and commitment to family models of social work aligns with the OHCFR mission.
I am interested in becoming an Advisory Board Member of OHCFR because I care very much about promoting positive outcomes for kids and families both as a professional and as a parent. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Philosophy from Bowling Green State University in 2008. Shortly thereafter I began my career in substance abuse prevention and earned the certification of Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist (OCPS). I served as a direct service provider and supervisor of prevention services for a community mental health agency for more than a decade. My work in this role provided me with an opportunity to develop content for the PAXIS Institute, with whom I am presently employed. As such, I am a co-author of PAX Tools, which is a recognized promising practice.
I believe I can offer many strengths to the OHCFR Advisory Board. As a Certified Prevention Specialist, I have knowledge and expertise to share with regard to the environmental conditions affecting Ohio’s youth and families and best practices for improving outcomes for persons across all ages. I am familiar with best practices for service identification and delivery such as community assessment, capacity development, planning and implementation, and evaluation. I have worked in and with systems of care and feel as though I can offer a unique and beneficial perspective to this valuable group of professionals who serve kids and families across Ohio.
I graduated in May 2020 from Kent State University; Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Case Management and a minor in Criminology and Justice studies. GPA of 3.511.
During college I gained insight and experience assisting a variety of customers while working at grocery and local retail stores. I interned at the Freedom House where I gained personal and professional skills while handling individuals in crisis. I have a strong interest in supporting healthy family dynamics. I look forward to attending graduate school to earn a Master’s in Social Work.
Strengths to bring to the OHCFR board – I strive to be inclusionary and an active listener. I am organized and interested in sharing all my resources. I am personable, relatable, and dedicated to this field.
I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Case Management and a Minor in Psychology from Kent State University. I graduated in 2018 with a 3.4 overall GPA. My professional experience is both broad and focused. I have worked in several disciplines in the Human Services field since 2009, all of which represent a unique family experience. I began my professional career in 2009 working with adults with Developmental Disabilities in residential settings as a direct care provider. That led me to working in vocational and supportive services for the same population as a Job Coach and Administrative Assistant.
Since then, I have had two Case Management internships at two different homeless shelters. Freedom house, a shelter for military veterans and Safer Futures, a shelter for individuals and families fleeing domestic violence. While finishing my degree, I found my current position as a Service Coordinator and Mentor for at risk youth in portage county with Family and Community Services, in conjunction with Ohio Means Jobs. In this role, I support youth participants in becoming more successful and employable as they navigate the difficult transition from adolescent to adulthood. As well as provide secondary Case Management. Lastly, I have started to become more involved in our election process and have been volunteering for the Board of Elections as a Poll Worker since the 2019 Election.
Strengths I would bring to OHCFR Advisory Board – The combination of my education and professional experience have allowed me to understand that no two families are alike. Additionally, I bring with me over a decade of experience serving individuals while understanding that they are a part of some family system. Over time I have learned to appreciate and respect the differences between families and understand that means every family requires a unique approach to their support. I have many ideas and still much to learn but I bring with me a positive approach and a willingness to do all I can to help.
I believe in addition to my education and professional experience, that my personal experience has given me a unique perspective. Having overcome my own childhood trauma and have used my resiliency as an opportunity to give back to my community and help others overcome situations like my own. Also, having been a caregiver for a family member from 2015-2018, I understand well the strain that illness or disability can add to a family.
Currently employed as a Rapid Rehousing Leasing Administrator at ICAN Housing and pursuing a Master’s in Human Development & Family Studies from Kent State University.
Strengths I can bring to the Ohio Council on Family Relations Advisory Board –
I believe that I would make a great addition to the OHCFR because of both my past and current educational experiences. I do have a great understanding of the human population through my bachelor’s in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Family Life Education. I do have a lot of passion for helping individuals and also families. So much that I have gone back to school to complete my Masters in HDFS which I am currently taking classes for. I also think I bring great knowledge to the board. Not only do I come with a background directed towards Human Development as well as Family Life Education, I also am well experienced with a unique population in which I serve, being the homeless. I have been with ICAN Housing for about a year and a half where I have been learning about, dealing with and serving the homeless population. I think having someone on the board who understand this population and who also is passionate about the development of humans, regardless of homeless status or not, would be a great asset.
Additional information to share –
I believe I would make a great contribution as a member serving on the board. I also think this opportunity would give me great experience as well. I am passionate about working in the helping field but I am also extremely passionate about exploring new opportunities. This opportunity would offer me both of those fulfillments I understand the importance of having a board and also having diversity within the board members. Coming from an employee that works for a nonprofit. I see how impactful board members can be. I bring great support to the advisory board and the board brings great opportunity to me.
President – Elect:
Carmen Irving is the Product Development Director for the PAXIS Institute. Carmen has her master’s degree in Human Development from Kent State University and is a Certified Family Life Educator and Certified Child and Youth Care Professional. Carmen currently serves as the Past President of the Ohio Council on Family Relations. She has been an OHCFR Advisory Board member since 2011. During Carmen’s tenure on the OHCFR Advisory Board she has led several state and national webinars, conducted face-to-face trainings, and launched a statewide needs assessment.
Carmen’s career has been devoted to empowering youth and strengthening families. Throughout Carmen’s career she has implemented evidence-based programs and has co-authored several curricula. Most recently, Carmen has championed PAX throughout the state of Ohio and co-authored the community-companion curriculum, PAX Tools. It is Carmen’s core belief that all children deserve nurturing adults who help support their success and development.
photo credit: https://actionnetwork.org/