The mission of the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH) Office of Children, Families and Prevention is the statewide improvement and expansion of comprehensive community systems of mental health care for children and youth that is based upon a four-element philosophy:
This mission is operationalized through staff leadership in family advocacy, interdepartmental policy-making and collaborative funding strategies. We promote the implementation of best practices, adherence to fidelity and monitoring of outcomes to achieve the best results for children, youth and family members.
Rise Sister Rise
Evaluating African American Girls' Experience of Trauma and Resiliency in Ohio's Communities
Rise Sister Rise is a research project exploring the ways urban adolescent African American girls experience their world and the ways in which they are affected by those experiences. Read more about the project and the event.
Integrated System of Care
A system of care is a coordinated network of community-based services and supports that are organized to meet the challenges of children and youth with serious mental health needs and their families. In collaboration with the interagency Ohio Family and Children First Cabinet Council and its regional and local infrastructure, we are working with families and across systems to identify behavioral health needs in natural settings offering early identification, intervention and treatment to promote a system of care. Here are the identified areas where this work is occurring:
Transition Age Youth (TAY)
TAY are adolescents and young adults (ages 14-25) who have a diagnosable mental illness that has led to impaired functioning in one or more life domains, including housing, education and employment, functioning and life skills, quality of life and others. Developmentally, TAY are interdependent, seek their own identity and independence while still partially dependent on the support of family members, care givers and service providers. TAY-focused work is developing with internal and external collaborative partners to improve the transition between child and adult mental health systems and to improve access to care to TAY. It is essential that all planning, policy decisions and programmatic activities be inclusive of and driven by TAY and their families.
Early Intervention/Early Childhood
The Early Childhood Mental Health (ECHM) Program is aimed at promoting healthy social and emotional development (i.e. good mental health) of young children from birth to age six. The goal is to provide skills to increase children’s readiness for school and support school success by addressing their behavioral health care needs at an early age. The primary focus has been increasing the quality of Ohio's existing early childhood programs, including Help Me Grow, Early Head Start and Head Start; other child care programs (both family child care homes and center-based services) and public and private pre-schools-by providing mental health consultation services. As the program has evolved, additional services have been added that include the Incredible Years Programs, assessment/screening, treatment and focus on both screening and treatment for maternal depression.
The Office of Children, Families and Prevention oversees dual purpose family advocacy activities. Since 2005, it has initiated the creation of and ongoing supervision of the Parent Advocacy Connection (PAC). Administered by NAMI Ohio, PAC links parents with peer mentors to support their voices and choices into service planning and monitoring for their children's needs. Additionally, the office utilizes the guidance of families and consumer associations in statewide children's mental health policy-making and program development.
Through direct staff consultation and with the guidance and training resources of the Center for Innovative Practices, the Office of Children, Families and Prevention works with clinicians, agencies and boards to disseminate therapeutic best practices. These best practices are guided by theory, research and practice in the areas of family support, early childhood intervention and children's mental health treatment. These practices promote and enhance resiliency, improve outcomes and functioning levels and promote the behavioral health and well being of children, parents and families.