Staff Highlight: Beth Throckmorton

My name is Beth Throckmorton and I am a new Wraparound Facilitator with Clermont County Family & Children First. I am currently working to obtain my Bachelor’s degree in Human and Social Services and will graduate in December 2015. I am then starting coursework to earn my Master’s degree in Education and Mental Health Counseling. I am a mother to a beautiful son, Blake, who is two years old. I am very excited to begin my career as a Wraparound Facilitator and look forward to bringing families together and reaching their goals. My favorite thing about wraparound is that the family has the control and can make the choices for themselves.

Family Involvement Recap 2015

As we near the end of Year 6 of the Clermont FAST TRAC System of Care grant, it is a time to reflect about what has been accomplished and to look at the future plans for provision of support and involvement for families in Clermont County.

Families Connected has been very fortunate as a family organization to be included to share our knowledge of lived experience. Peer support is based on that experience to provide support, empathy, and encouragement to families because we too have been there!   Everyone at Families Connected is a parent/guardian of a person with disabilities and our agency has been organized since 1999 to provide peer support in our community.

Peer support for families in the process of finding services for their child was a priority in the initial planning stages of the grant. In the past, families were not involved as an equal partner to determine the priorities for supporting the child and his/her family. The overall goal of the Peer Support Partner program is to support and empower families to advocate for themselves and their children in the community.

We have seen major changes, including families driving their plan, youth giving their voice, and teams compiled of members whom the parent selected to be at the table. Statistics from our last family evaluation brief, the FAST TRACker, reported that 84.3% of family members participating in Wraparound felt part of the process and 89.4% felt safe sharing opinion.

We have had family leadership training, conferences and mental health awareness events, monthly activities, participation in community activities, and trainings requested by families. Connections to resources has been an on-going support with 65.6% of family members reporting they have increased knowledge of resources available for their family.

Our family satisfaction surveys and family empowerment tools show that Peer Support has been instrumental in supporting families to make their voice heard on their Wraparound teams and in working with others within Clermont County.  We look forward to continuing peer support to families as the next year unfolds!

Jean Houston, LFC/ Director

Families Connected of Clermont County


Summer 2015 Evaluation Update

Summer time and baseball tend to go hand and hand. During the summer months, most folks get to relax a bit but the work for evaluators in the home stretch of a grant tends to be the most crucial part of the game…

We were quite busy this summer finishing up the final pieces of the FAST TRAC evaluation. As we reported in the June newsletter, the Longitudinal Outcome Study staff hit it out of the park by enrolling 269 study participants (well over the 220 goal) and conducting a total of 531 interviews over the course of the study. Jeff Schellinger and his team should be congratulated. Thanks to their efforts, we have an abundance of data with which to determine the lasting effectiveness of the FAST TRAC system of care. Final results were presented in our August 2015 Evaluation Workgroup meeting and will be part of the FAST TRAC Final Report. The richness of these data will also allow us to answer important research questions that will have lasting implications for the children’s behavioral health field.

In June and July, the School-Based Mental Health (SBMH), Transition to Independence Process (TIP), and Peer Support Partner (PSP) programs met individually with the Evaluation Team to tweak the line up a bit. SBMH decided to refine their internal data collection, storage, and reporting system, with much help from Jonathan “the wizard” Sutter. Their new system allows SBMH program managers to have access to real-time data, publish reports instantly, and compare SBMH outcomes with other Child Focus programs. Jonathan also enhanced TIP’s MS Excel file, providing features such as monthly program reports on housing, education, court involvement, and demographics while also producing individual client-level reports. These changes will enable TIP staff to become more independent in managing and reporting their data which will set them up for successful decision-making and more effective programming. The UC Evaluation Team’s work with PSP is ongoing but we are confident that the changes to their instruments and data collection processes (including using tablet technology and housing data within FAST TRAC’s Efforts to Outcomes database) that are underway will result in a more efficient and effective program evaluation system.

In the “final inning” of the FAST TRAC evaluation, we presented overall FAST TRAC findings to the evaluation workgroup members on August 31st. Beginning in September, we will be transitioning all data management responsibilities to the local programs, providing training, technical assistance, and other support as needed. The final FAST TRACker focused on the TIP program will be posted to the FAST TRAC website soon. As always, FAST TRAC Evaluation Briefs describing FAST TRAC’s local and longitudinal evaluation results are available for download at

Best wishes from the UC Evaluation Team.

Youth Summer Wrap-Up 2015

With summer wrapping up, it’s time to reflect on the things we’ve done. We had another successful year of Wrap Camp. This year could have been the most fun yet! On top of ScallyWag Tag and the YMCA, we had grill outs, played tons of games, ate some gross things like sardines and made some new friends. Another huge event we had in the summer was Independence City. To understand Independence City, you need to first think of a realistic “game of life” and then multiple it by 100. Around the room tables are set up with each table representing different things, like employment, utilities, transportation, etc. Youth and young adults were given IDs which indicated what their income was, if they had children, and if they had a criminal background. Then each person had to figure out how to live life with what they had. Another summer is in the books, but stay tuned for monthly youth newsletters. The fall has many activities planned, like our monthly cooking classes, our Halloween party, our annual chili cook off, and a lot more. One last thing! We are recruiting youth to participate in the Youth MOVE Advisory Board. As a member, you will gain leadership skills and help plan meaningful events and trainings. If you have any questions or are interested in the Youth Advisory Board, feel free to contact me, Danny Little, by phone 354-1307 or email  Thanks!

My Feelings are a Work of Art Gallery & Reception 2015

Children’s artwork created from My Feelings are a Work of Art projects will be displayed from September 21-24 at the Eastgate Mall from noon to 6pm. An art gallery reception will be held on Tuesday, September 22 from 2pm-3:30pm. This event is free and open to the public and children, youth and community are invited to attend. Light refreshments will be served so RSVPs are requested to 732-5400. This is Clermont FAST TRAC’s sixth year participating in the National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day initiative, My Feelings Are a Work of Art, during May, which is also Mental Health Month.  The initiative raises awareness of children’s mental health needs, demonstrates how children’s mental health initiatives promote positive youth development, recovery and resilience and shows how children with mental health needs thrive in the community.  Click here for the event flyer.

Clermont FAST TRAC provided art supplies and support to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and to nurture the social and emotional well being of children during special days of “art action” called “My Feelings are a Work of Art.” More than 800 children and youth and 200 adults involved with various agencies and schools across Clermont County participated in the national effort to use art to express feelings. Partner sites include:  Juvenile Court, Clermont County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Clermont Recovery Center, CEC-South, Boys and Girls Club, Child Focus Head Start and Bilingual Preschools and various school partners, including Batavia, Williamsburg and Amelia elementary schools, special education classes and Amelia Middle School.

“National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day and Mental Health Month is really all about raising awareness that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development from birth,” said Gretchen Behimer, Clermont FAST TRAC Project Director. FAST TRAC is a System of Care initiative of the Clermont County Mental Health & Recovery Board, with the mission to provide a collaborative, sustainable mental health system of care that is family-driven and youth-guided, providing community-based and individualized supports and services that are responsive to the cultural characteristics of Clermont County’s multi-need children, youth and their families, strengthening them with hope and supporting them to lead successful lives.

The My Feelings are a Work of Art Gallery is located next to Sears and Willis Music in The EastGate Mall.

Staff Highlight: Paul Rothenberg

Hi, my name is Paul Rothenberg and I am a Clermont FAST TRAC Wraparound Facilitator.  I was born in Evanston, Illinois and have lived in Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio.  I went to Jeffersonville High School in Jeffersonville, IN and graduated from Bethel Tate High School and Grant Vocational School in Bethel, OH.

I majored in Paralegal Technology at UC Clermont and graduated with my Associates in Applied Business.   I then went to University of Cincinnati and majored In Criminal Justice, graduating with my Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice.

I have worked in Food Service, Retail, Sales, Juvenile Justice, and now Social Services as a Wraparound Facilitator.

I’m a Guitarist and have been playing for 14 years. Music is a great passion of mine.  I’m also a gamer. I love playing PC and Console games.  I’ve been playing video games for as long as I can remember and it is my second greatest passion.  Lastly, I really enjoy working out and lifting weights.

I’m a Bengals and Bears fan and also a Reds and White Sox fan.  I really enjoy watching UFC and Boxing.

My best friend is my beautiful wife.

Fun Summer Youth Activities

On the youth side we have planned lots of activities. We are running Wrap Camp again this year two days a week. We will be going to the YMCA once a week and on the other day we will have activities at the wrap camp building. Also, there are two field trips planned; one to Scallywag Tag and one to Woodland Mound. We are going to play games, swim, grill out, and have lots of fun all summer.

The second annual Independence City will be held on July 31. For those of you who haven’t heard of Independence City, imagine playing a giant game of life. Youth and young adults will learn how to navigate real life situations and unforeseen challenges while having a lot of fun.  Click here for the flyer.

We are continuing the cooking class series in July. In the past we have made Stir fry, tacos and burritos, pasta, and breakfast food. The classes are designed for beginners. In addition to learning how to cook, we also teach about kitchen and prep safety.

Are you a leader? Are you interested in using your leadership skills to help plan meaningful events and trainings for other youth and help spread mental health awareness? If so, we need you to be a part of the youth advisory board.

On June 19, the FAST TRAC family group has planned a fishing event that’s open to everyone, from 6pm to 9pm at the Mt Carmel Social Club. They will be grilling out. They ask that each family brings a side dish if they can.

The Cardboard Boat Regatta is coming up again this summer and that means the FAST TRAC youth and young adults are building a boat! Last year our boat didn’t survive the float. That’s why we need your help to design and build the FAST TRAC boat this year. We will have various building times in July.

If you or your friends are interested in any of these events this summer, please contact Danny Little by email or phone 354.1307. Also I’ll keep you posted with a newsletter and calendar of youth events every month.


Summer Family Fun

Summer activities can be great fun, but also expensive for the family to budget in with all the other expenses we have that must be a priority!  I want to make you aware of some activities in Clermont County that may help you plan for some fun family time this summer!

The FAST TRAC fishing event will be held at the Mt Carmel Social Club on Friday, June 19th 6-9pm.  There is no cost to families and we encourage all family members to attend and try your luck at catching the biggest fish!  The reward is a $10 gift card for the biggest fish.  Click here for the flyer.

Other summer events and activities you may be interested in, include:

  • Clermont County Libraries: Programs designed for children through adults. Check with your local branch for event dates and times.
  • New Richmond River Days: Friday, August 14 through Sunday, August 16
  • Cardboard Boat Regatta on Saturday, August 15 at 1:00pm (come see the Youth compete!)
  • Woodland Lake open house: August 16, 2015. Experience many activities with the family at no cost. You may bring food or you can purchase food from them at a small cost. Phone number for Woodland Lake is 797-5268 or June 12, July 24, Aug. 21, Sept. 11 and Oct. 23, 2015 4 to 8 p.m.   Parking is $4.00
  • Free movies during the summer: Pierce Point Theaters in Amelia, Ohio 45102 Phone: 513-947-3333. Dates: every Wednesday at 10:00 am, June 3 through July 29, 2015
  • Clermont County Fair, Owensville, Ohio, from July 26 through August 1, 2015
  • Join other families for Free Fridays at Cincinnati Museum Center!
  • East Fork Park events. Park Office: (513) 734-4323   Camp Office: (513) 724-6521   Reservations: (866) 644-6727
    • U.S. Nationals Regatta – East Fork         Date: 7/14/2015
    • Labor Day Campout – East Fork             Date: 9/4/2015
    • Christmas in July – East Fork                  Date: 7/17/2015
    • 4th of July Campout – East Fork             Date: 7/3/2015

Search websites for local events or look in the newspaper for events that are free or low cost so you can enjoy getting away for family time.

Give us a call if you have questions. Jean Houston, Lead Family Contact, FAST TRAC System of Care: 513-732-5034

Check our website for additional events:


Evaluation Summer 2015 Update

Being the last year of the grant, the Evaluation Team spent the winter months and early spring meeting with the various programs to prepare them for their sustainability efforts while the Longitudinal Outcome Study focused on conducting follow-up interviews and “cleaning” existing data. The follow-up interviews capture data from families that have been enrolled in the study for six months or longer. In addition to our efforts to create and disseminate findings from local evaluation efforts through evaluation briefs, we also presented at a conference and published a study in the Sage Press Publication Journal of Research on Social Work Practice.

The team has been working closely the past month with both the Transition to Independence Process and School Based Mental Health program managers to create a data management system that will help them to more accurately track their clients’ data and compute and graph outcomes in a more user-friendly manner. Jonathan Sutter played a significant role in formatting both programs’ Excel spreadsheets. The Peer Support Program will also receive this type of attention from the Evaluation Team once their outcomes survey is finalized. Their information will be inputted into the Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) system which they currently use to input/report their work output (e.g. frequency and type of services provided to the caregivers).

The Longitudinal Outcome Study currently has 269 families enrollees. However, since the study ends in August the team has been putting greater emphasis on conducting follow-up interviews with study participants who have been in enrolled longer than six months. Reminder post cards are being sent to the families in the study. Although it is natural for families to drop out after they stop receiving services, which is typically less than 12 months, the Evaluation Team is still interested in conducting interviews with families to see how they are doing after leaving the System of Care. The purpose of the postcards is to remind them of their upcoming anniversary dates for interviews (e.g., 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months) and provide contact information of the evaluation team in case the family’s contact information had changed.

As always, FAST TRAC Evaluation Briefs describing FAST TRAC’s local and longitudinal evaluation results are available for download at The team also presented the findings about the “Effects of Wraparound on Caregiver Strain and Perceived Needs” and “Comparison of Service Effectiveness for Youth with Depressed versus Non-depressed Caregivers” at the 28th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research and Policy Conference, in Tampa FL in March. If you would like a copy of the presentation slides, please contact Dr. Michael McCarthy by email at

From your UC Evaluation Team… Happy Summer!

Cultural Diversity Summer Reading List

Summertime is a great time to explore reading as a relaxing activity that also can educate you about topics you may not have much knowledge about. The following is a list of books that touch on topics of cultural diversity and understanding that will make you more aware of the challenges and opportunities that are faced by people who are ethnically different from you. Please check out some of these titles and also check at your local Clermont County Library to see all the rich resources that are just at your fingertips.

General Diversity

The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter & Rennard Strickland

And This Too Shall Pass by E. Lynn Harris

The Color of Water – A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride

Sister of My Heart by Chirtra Banerjee Divakaruni

Appalachian Culture (youth titles)

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech

Borrowed Children by George Ella Lyon Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

M.C. Higgins The Great by Virginia Hamilton