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Director's Corner: March 12, 2021

This edition of Director's Corner includes: 

DODD's Vision and Goals for Supporting Multi-System Youth

Today we are releasing a white paper to share the Department of Developmental Disabilities’ vision on supporting multi-system youth.

But first, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge Governor DeWine and the legislature for their continued support and commitment to children and youth with developmental disabilities across the state of Ohio. I want to particularly thank them today for making multi-system youth a priority within this budget cycle. This priority is reflected in an unprecedented investment to build system capacity across multiple agencies and provide coordinated services to support these youth with complex needs.

As many of you are aware, multi-system youth, or MSY, are children who require services from more than one child-serving system. Some youth may have such complex physical, emotional, and behavioral needs that each system alone cannot meet their needs. Many of these youth are also at the greatest risk of being removed from their homes, entering juvenile justice or child welfare, and being retraumatized.

We are excited about the work ahead and partnering with our sister agencies, including Ohio Family and Children First, Child Protective Services of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), the Office of Juvenile Justice of the Ohio Department of Youth Services, and the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM). I want to thank these agencies, as well as the local county boards of developmental disabilities and provider agencies across the state who are also committed to improving the lives of these youth and their families and who have collaborated with us on this effort. We are especially appreciative of the county boards and all the providers who participated in pilots and shared invaluable information and feedback throughout the research process.

Together with our partners at OCALI, DODD has created a training series designed to help direct support professionals (DSPs) who work with and support youth with complex behavioral health needs across Ohio. While the training is designed for DSPs, it can be used by families, educators, support coordinators, and any of our other system partners who want to learn more about how to better support the youth in multiple environments. The full training series, Supporting Youth with Intensive and Complex Needs, is available for anyone to take for free on DODD’s MyLearning platform and the first module is available to watch on the DODD YouTube channel.

DODD’s internal effort is led by Tina Evans, our cross-systems initiatives manager, and her team of regional liaisons. Their level of passion and dedication to help provide solutions for multi-system youth is unmatched. I am grateful for Tina’s leadership and commitment to this important initiative.

I invite you to watch this video overview featuring Tina Evans and Dr. Julie Gentile, professor and chair of psychiatry at Wright State University and director of the Ohio Telepsychiatry Project for DODD. They will introduce the white paper and lay out DODD’s vision and goals for this collaborative effort.

Kind regards,

Jeff Davis Director