Geo Caching Family & Youth Event Oct. 4

 What is Geo Caching???

Geo caching is the real-world treasure hunt that’s happening right now, all around you. There are 2,480,190 active geo caches and over 6 million geo cachers worldwide!  Click here for the flyer.



Time: 1PM-4PM

Who’s Invited:  YOU!

Other activities including fishing will be available Lunch at no cost to families!

For more Information or to confirm attendance, contact Jean Houston @ or 732-5034 or Danny Little @ or 513.305.3471

Family and Youth Conference for Clermont Families

On Saturday, May 5, families and youth were inviteded to attend the Trauma and Resiliency Conference, organized and facilitated by Families Connected and parent leaders. Funding for the conference was provided by Clermont FAST TRAC.  The event was open to the community at no cost.


Speakers include: local youth and family members shared their stories of resiliency; professionals and community members, including Jen Jordan from Q102 who will spoke about parenting a child affected by Autism and how to de-stress when your challenges are ongoing; the Ohio Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health; and Cathy McClain, Clinical Director at Clermont Recovery Center, who spoke about how trauma affects treatment for children and youth.


The Youth Trac was organized to support youth ages 13-21, and included group activities facilitated by Woodland Lakes Christian Camp staff.  “Youth M.O.V.E. Ohio” will also present at the event.  For the Conference Program brochure, please click here.


The conference also introduced the first Family Leadership Training class graduates, a group of parents who have completed an 8 month leadership program designed to strengthen and enhance their voice and advocacy skills to support children with mental health needs.  Leadership training goals are to provide information to assist families in supporting their own children and family and to increase awareness of systems in order to support others at community, state and national levels.  The next class is scheduled for October 2012.

The conference was held on Saturday, May 5 from 9am to 4pm at the Mt. Carmel Christian Church, located at 4183 Mt Carmel-Tobasco Rd.. Cincinnati, Ohio 45255.

For more information on the next confernece scheduled for May 2014, call Jean Houston at 513-732-5034 or email 

Families Connected is a Family Organization with the mission “To Support and Connect Families who have a Member with a Disability” and is located at the Wildey Center in Owensville through the in-kind support of the Clermont County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

FAST TRAC is a System of Care initiative of the Clermont County Mental Health & Recovery Board, funded by a grant from United States Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Join Our Youth Trac at the Family & Youth Trauma & Resiliency Conference

By:  Jeff Schellinger, FAST TRAC/UC Research Assistant


As a caregiver to youth with behavioral challenges, you are probably familiar with FAST TRAC’s  System of Care programs and services, such as Wraparound, TIP, Peer Support Partners, increased school-based mental health services and early childhood mental health.  Within a System of Care, services and supports are to be family-driven and youth-guided, which is different from how they were historically delivered.

Another part of FAST TRAC’S System of Care is that it is committed to evaluation.  What this means is that FAST TRAC has in place a way of getting feedback from families and youth to determine which programs and services are working well and which are not working as well.  Evaluation also works to assess the experience of the caregiver of a youth with behavioral challenges.   


So how can a caregiver get involved in the evaluation process?  One way is through participation in the “National Evaluation.”  The National Evaluation occurs in every community who currently has a System of Care grant across the U.S. and receives federal funding through the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration.  The National Evaluation is extremely important as it:


*Provides the federal government with information about Systems of Care (including Clermont FAST TRAC), how they develop and how they are sustained across time.

*Provides detailed information about the children and youth served, their families and their experiences with the Systems of Care.

*Offers an objective picture of what works and what does not work both in Clermont County and nationally.

*Provides Clermont County with information that may support applications for future grant funding opportunities.

To date, there are close to 80 families participating in FAST TRAC’s National Evaluation.  Families and youth involved in the Wraparound program or TIP are eligible to participate.  So, what does it mean to you if you participate as a parent/caregiver?   

*You will meet with a trained interviewer in your home or a place of your choosing for a 2.5 hour (roughly) interview.

*The interviewers are parents of youth with behavioral challenges.

*Youth (ages 11-21) may be interviewed as well, with permission.

*Questions involve seeking information about your experiences as a caregiver as well as questions about your child’s experiences and history.

*All information is confidential and each family is identified only by a number – no names are recorded.

*Each interview participant is compensated with a $20 gift card.  Yes, youth interviews, too.

*Since we want to measure changes over time, we want to do interviews every 6 months up to 18 months.

Most of the family members participating in the National Evaluation say they chose to do so for some of the following reasons:


*It is a way for them to provide direct and anonymous feedback as to how things are going, both good and not so good.

*It is a way for them to help and sit back to look objectively at how things are going for their family.

*For some, it is a way of giving back and saying “thank you” for the services their child and other children like them have received.

We really want your participation and feedback in the National Evaluation.  You can make a difference by telling us what you think!  It is especially important for participating families to stay involved with us over the 18 months so that we can learn how things change for your family over time.  So, jump in and help us serve you better.  Sign up for the National Evaluation!

Questions?  Call Jeff Schellinger at 556-1002 or 236-4668.

Family & Youth Conference a Success!

By:  Jean Houston, Lead Family Contact


Apprehension, excitement, and panic were felt by many of us as we spent months preparing for the Family and Youth Conference held on May 5, 2012! In the midst of all the excitement and clamor to make sure everything was in place to best support families and youth, the church provided us the full day prior to the conference for setup.  Everything was put in place and the conference proceeded very smoothly the next day.


Many thanks go out to the people who made the day successful.  Our Family Leaders and Parent Advisory members were taking registrations, preparing the packets, welcoming the participants, and preparing coffee for the morning and assisting with lunch.  They were instrumental in collecting and preparing the baskets for the raffle.  The Youth Minister at Mt. Carmel Christian Church, our Peer Support Partners, Project Director, Youth Engagement Coordinator and the Lead Family Contact all joined together with the Leadership Team to set up and provide support for the conference. 


Speakers, Terre Garner of the Ohio Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health; Jenn Jordan, a parent and Q102 radio celebrity; and Cathy McClain with Clermont Recovery Center, shared information and laughter. The personal story of Charles and Mary Jo O’Brien brought a sense of togetherness and hope for the participants of the conference.


Family Leaders were recognized and presented with a certificate of completion at the beginning of the event. 


We’re looking forward to doing it all again in May 2014!