Importance of Collaboration
Families in the child welfare system often have case plans that require them to navigate different systems including child welfare, behavioral health, and the court systems. Before EPIC, these families were responsible for coordinating the requirements of each system with most of these systems working independently of each other. EPIC formalizes a means for these agencies to work together to jointly administer and implement services to families. This collaboration is accomplished through memoranda of understanding (MOU) between the county child welfare agencies, juvenile/family courts, and behavioral health agencies (Ohio Guidestone and Integrated Services).
The OSU College of Social work is responsible for the implementation and evaluation of EPIC under Co-PIs Dr. Bridget Freisthler and Dr. Elinam Dellor.
These two counties have partnered up in response to the opioid epidemic and have continued to share resources and lessons and have worked together to apply for grant opportunities.
Mental health and medical providers located in the communities have joined EPIC to provide specific services.
Providers of EPIC Peer Recover Supporters and Kinship Caregiver Parenting Supports
Providing MAT services to families in Pickaway and Fairfield Counties
with priority given to those using Family Treatment Drug Court.
Funding from an ACYF grant provides for EPIC to commence the interventions and begin enhancing collaboration between partners. Medicaid and local dollars will allow EPIC to continue after the conclusion of the ACYF funding. Additional and future funding is provided via Medicaid for the parent education component of the kinship program and will reimburse peer recovery supporters. Each county provides the financial support for FTDC and MAT services. After the grant period has ended, families will continue to receive needed services as peer recovery supporters will continue regular consultation on cases and child welfare workers will continue to utilize the UNCOPE assessment and the Needs Portal.