Family & Youth Conference 2014

The Family & Youth Conference is coming up on May 10th.  For the Youth portion, we will be doing an activity called Independent City.  Independent City is a simulated activity that will give youth and young adults the opportunity to learn the basic skills needed to live independently.  The youth will also learn how to overcome obstacles (some harder to overcome than others) and how to use community resources to help obtain what they need.  In the simulation, each youth will be charged with the task of meeting basic needs and paying bills for things they want and need.

Independent City is open (and free!) to Clermont County youth and young adults attending the Family and Youth Conference.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me at

ALSO….The FAST TRAC Youth are ushering in the New Year with a resolutions party.  So bring your New Year resolutions or just come to hang out and play games on Wednesday, February 12th 4-7pm at 1074 Wasserman Way in Batavia.


Trainings sponsored by FAST TRAC and co-sponsored by Child Focus, Inc. Training Center will be available throughout the year. Trainings will focus on the enhancement of necessary skills to successfully implement the FAST TRAC core areas and assuring that staff is culturally and linguistically competent. Trainings will also occur on topics that are recommended by FAST TRAC families and youth. All trainings are offered at no cost to Clermont County residents and those who work at FAST TRAC partner agencies, unless a fee is specified in the training description below. FAST TRAC hosts various events throughout the year for children, youth, families and the community.

Clermont FAST TRAC: Cross System Collaboration Training, Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 9:00am-2:00pm

Cross System Collaboration is designed to be an overview of the major systems of opportunity within  Clermont County.  Presentations from FAST TRAC, Department of Job and Family Services,  Children’s Protective Services, Developmental Disabilities, Juvenile Court  as well as Mental Health and Substance Use Services will be reviewed and discussed.    Cross System Collaboration will discuss the social, cultural and special needs population and how they can be served.
Register here:

Clermont FAST TRAC: Cross System Collaboration Training, Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 9:00am-2:00pm

Cross System Collaboration is designed to be an overview of the major systems of opportunity within  Clermont County.  Presentations from FAST TRAC, Department of Job and Family Services,  Children’s Protective Services, Developmental Disabilities, Juvenile Court  as well as Mental Health and Substance Use Services will be reviewed and discussed.    Cross System Collaboration will discuss the social, cultural and special needs population and how they can be served.
Register here:

Clermont FAST TRAC: Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Thursday and Friday, August 14th and 15th, 2014 9:00am-4:00pm

This is a FREE training for those who work in the county or live in the county. The cost of those out of county is just $100. This training is for clinicians.   Please see the information in the link about the steps needed to become “certified” as there are costs associated with certification.
Register here:

Clermont FAST TRAC: Social Skills Interventions and Supports for Children with Special Developmental & Behavioral Needs August 21, 2014 8:45am-12:00pm

Register here:


Youth Conference/Independence City 2014 Overview

On May 10th, we held our first annual Independence City.  Youth were put into a simulated life activity where they encountered different obstacles and learned how to overcome them.  Here are some obstacles the youth found:

  • A few were given a criminal record and were not able to get an apartment until they jumped through some hoops.
  • Some youth found that they needed a babysitter to watch their kid.
  • Others found that they didn’t have as much money as they thought when it came time to get groceries.

We hope that everyone gained a little something from this experience and we hope everyone had a lot of fun, too.  We are looking forward to holding it again next year.

The next event coming up is the family fishing event on June 27th from 6pm-9pm at the Mt. Carmel Social Club.  Please bring your family and friends.  Look for more info about the Cardboard Boat Regatta next month.

Family Mental Health Conference 2014 Overview

Mental Health Training-  Understanding Trauma and Treating Post Traumatic Stress and Reactive Attachment disorder:  Anne Mangold, Positive Pathways and Tracey DuEst, RAD Coalition

The Mental Health seminar not only met, but exceeded our expectations both in attendance and the delivery of information.

Both families and professionals were absorbed in the day, which included a video of a child and her struggles to learn to trust following some horrific events in her life, participation in games that are meant to help heal trauma-affected brains, and discussions and demonstrations about the importance of a firm, but calm voice when speaking with a child who is traumatized and testing boundaries.

Additional information and resources were made available to the participants to further research and gather more information.  A parent panel was featured and discussion developed around strategies they have used that were successful and those that were not.

Thanks to Lisa Davis at Clermont Developmental Disabilities for pictures and videos from the day which be found at:

Why Wraparound?

 By:  Jon Randol, Clinical Coordinator, Clermont County Family & Children First

The Clermont FAST TRAC wraparound program, provided through Clermont County Family and Children First, is a unique planning process for children, adolescents and families. The process is designed to emphasize family voice and choice in the decision making process. Each family has a team made up of professional and natural supports that they have selected to help identify needs and develop strategies for meeting them.  The process uses collaboration to effectively support the family as they learn new skills for managing the many issues that can surface in life. The plans are individualized and use individual and family strengths to help accomplish the identified outcomes. Whenever possible, services and meetings are conducted in the family’s home and community.  All plans have measurable outcomes, so that progress on meeting needs and goals can be monitored.  Each family’s culture, is identified, respected and used to help achieve results.

To access this process, a family must meet some minimal criteria, which is being a resident of Clermont County, the referred child/adolescent must have a mental health diagnosis and the child must be between the ages of 3 and 21 at the time of referral. Anyone can refer a child and family to wraparound. We have received numerous self referrals as well as referrals from Juvenile Court, Children’s Protective Services, Board of Developmental Disabilities and school districts.  You may make a referral by filling out a Wraparound referral form located on the FAST TRAC website at or by calling Jon Randol at 732-5413.

Clermont FAST TRAC Staff Spotlight

Jennifer Kleier came to Clermont County TIP after serving as a Young Adult Case Manager at Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services for 2 years.  Jennifer has been a Transition Facilitator on the Clermont County TIP team for the past year.  Prior to working at GCBHS, Jennifer worked at NorthKey Community Care for 3 years as an Adolescent Case Manager for a SAMHSA funded juvenile drug court program. 

Jennifer received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Northern Kentucky University and also has a published article in the Journal of Neuropharmacology for research conducted while in school.  Jennifer is currently taking on the challenge of pursuing her Master’s degree in Social Work from NKU and plans to continue working with youth after she has graduated.  Jennifer recently received the 2011 CEO Choice Recipient Award through GCBHS for her work contributions with starting up the Clermont TIP program from implementation.

Why TIP?

By:  Greg Pratt, LISW-S, TIP Team Supervisor, Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health

The TIP Program (Transition to Independence Process), provided here in Clermont County by Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services through Clermont FAST TRAC, has recently celebrated its one year of operation mark. TIP works with Youth/Young Adults between the ages of 16-21 to help them build skills to transition into adulthood more successfully. TIP utilizes an approach that helps the Youth/Young Adults identify and build on their own strengths, their own goals, their own hopes and dreams.  TIP’s role is to emphasize the choices and decision making power of each Youth/Young Adult.

The Youth/Young Adults in the program work one on one with a Transition Facilitator, who helps them develop plans around achieving their goals, identifying the people in their life that they would want to include in their plans and helping them to identify all possible options available to them (the good and bad ones).  TIP then allows them to make their own informed decision.  TIP stands by the Youth/Young Adults through the good and not-so-good decisions and allows them to experience the natural benefits and consequences of their choices.  TIP Youth who participate in the program have set and achieved goals in many areas, including living independently, finding and achieving employment, and continuing and completing their education, as well as more crisis oriented areas such as staying out of the psychiatric hospital and jail, and having fewer fights and arguments with family, friends or neighbors.  TIP offers Psychiatric and Counseling services for those who choose to explore those options.

To access TIP, the individual must meet some minimal criteria.  These criteria include,

  • 16-21 years old,
  • home residence of Clermont County,
  • aging out of the Children’s Protective Services or Juvenile Court system,
  • a mental health diagnosis,
  • multi-need/ multi-system youth or eligible for multi–system services, and
  • in need of additional support,
  • at risk for out of home placement, or
  • returning from out of home placement.

For more information about TIP or to make a referral please contact Greg Pratt at 513-354-1302. A referral form is also available on the Clermont FAST TRAC website

What is TIP?

By:  Gretchen Behimer, Project Director, Clermont FAST TRAC

In this issue of the FAST TRAC newsletter, the TIP program is highlighted.  The TIP program is for transition-aged youth, ages 16-21, to help them transition to adulthood with the skills necessary to be a productive member of our community. 

We know that “most 18-year-olds coming from intact families can expect emotional and financial support for years to come; in the U.S. the average age a young person with support leaves home is age 25.” (Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta website)  Many of the youth in “the system” have been in “the system” for many years, sometimes almost their entire lives.  The youth often have mental health challenges and have experienced childhood trauma. So, how can we expect youth aging out of the system to turn 18 with the skills necessary to live on their own, find a job, access services and be successful? 

We need to support these youth as they transition to adulthood and this is exactly what the TIP program does.  The TIP program follows the System of Care philosophies of youth-guided care, individualized care, utilizing natural supports, community-based care, culturally & linguistically competent care, strength-based care, and least restrictive care.  

Many of the youth currently in the TIP program have been in residential care and foster care for many years.  The transition to making their own decisions, learning to live on a budget, making meals, appropriately maintaining a living space and searching for and maintaining a job is not easy for anyone their age, especially those who may not have someone close to them that they can really talk to.  TIP offers the youth a person to support them through the learning process and cheer for them when achieve the goals that they have set for themselves.  To learn more about the TIP program, please take a look at Greg Pratt’s article.

Have you been hearing the phrase “Family-driven” in conversations recently?

By: Jean Houston, Lead Family Contact, Families Connected of Clermont County

Have you been hearing the phrase “Family-driven” in conversations recently?  Have any idea what that means regarding the provision of services to families?

The idea that forcing information or services on people and they will comply is, and has always been, contradictory to the human belief that we are all capable of making constructive choices about our own needs when given the facts to make an informed decision.  The expectation that if families follow all the instructions given to them without any input themselves, they will do well, is a changed concept in Clermont County!

We are developing a System of Care that values the family voice in the provision of services – “families are the expert and primary support of their children!”  They are part of the team, and their knowledge of their child is valued.

Making system change takes some time and we all have to be on board.  Families, too, must put aside the past and come into this process with a renewed faith that everyone wants success for their family.  They also must be able to actively work with a team approach to find solutions. 

Our FAST TRAC System of Care is not a service, but a philosophy of how services should be determined and delivered.  

The definition of Family-driven Care from the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health is:

Family-driven means families have a primary decision making role in the care of their own children, as well as, the policies and procedures governing care for all children in their community, state, tribe, territory and nation.

Join us at family events, share experiences with others or become a part of a workgroup to continue change in our County.


How do I become more culturally competent?

By: Mary Wolff, CLC Coordinator

How do I become more culturally competent?  The first place to start is always with yourself.  What is your cultural background?  Are there any family stories about how your family came to America?  It can be fascinating to learn about your family history.  Genealogy can be helpful and so can talking to family members, especially older ones.  What is your belief system and is it tied to an organized religion?  Faith-based communities are a source of values and beliefs about how to treat others.  As the holiday season approaches, take the time to notice the foods you eat, the traditions you share, and the people who make up your family.  Music, dance, and clothing…. all of these things are part of what makes you, you.   Looking at ourselves as people with many roles, beliefs, talents, even biases, begins to open the door of approaching others in a culturally and linguistically competent way.  If you are interested in learning more about other cultures, consider joining the Cultural Conversations activities sponsored by Clermont FAST TRAC.  For more information contact