Is This Your Family?

Having to manage your child’s behavior is stressful. When your child misbehaves do you question what you are doing to manage the situation is working or making the child act out more or longer? Do you dread dealing with enforcing the morning or bedtime routines, since it seems like a constant fight? Do you find yourself repeating instructions over and over again in order to get your child to pick up their toys or eat their food? Do you feel overwhelmed with your child biting, fighting or hitting and you don’t know what to do to get it to stop?!?!?!?

If this sounds familiar, then The Positive Parenting Program is here to help! Triple P offers parents support to manage behavioral challenges and help make parenting more enjoyable.

Could You Use Some Support?

A Triple P Provider can meet with you one-on-one or in a group setting. You will receive assistance in identifying your goals and gain tools to help make positive changes in your child’s behavior. When you’re finished with the program you will feel more confident with tackling the most challenging situations in your home.

Ready To Get Started?

The Triple P Program is a FREE service to parents residing in Richland County! Contact Joy Moore, LSW at Catalyst Life Services to get started. Joy can be reached at 419-774-6866.

Richland County Court Systems Support Recovery

Catalyst Life Services has a strong partnership with the local court system to help individuals that struggle with mental health and substance use concerns.  This collaboration between the courts and treatment providers proves to be cost-effective and reduces recidivism.  Since September is recovery month, we wanted to highlight this impactful partnership.

Below you will learn about the different courts and hear from some of the judges and probation officers that help impact the lives of many through these important programs.

 

Richland County Court of Common Pleas: Felony Drug Court

Drug Court provides non-violent offenders whose criminal behavior arises from addiction with intensive supervision and proven substance abuse treatment programs to help them overcome their addiction. Drug Court protects the public, saves taxpayer dollars when compared to incarceration, and reduces recidivism rates. Drug court participants may enter the program as a diversion in lieu of conviction, while on probation after conviction, or as re-entry into the community following incarceration. The intervention program lasts a minimum of 18 months during which time participants receive intensive supervision from the Richland County Adult Probation Department and the Adult Parole Authority.

Interview with Judge Robinson:

“Drug Court is important because it gives low level felony substance abuse offenders the opportunity to overcome their substance abuse issues to become employed,  to learn how to maintain their sobriety and finally, how to become productive, happy and healthy citizens of this community.  Another important benefit of Drug Court is if the offenders are able to successfully complete the Drug Court program and graduate, their criminal case will be dismissed and the arrest record is sealed. This leaves the graduate free of a felony record.  Also, Drug Court graduates are much less likely to be arrested on new criminal charges then non-graduates.  Finally, Drug Court is important because it reduces overdoses and saves lives.

Drug Court graduation is one of the most satisfying experiences I have ever had as a Judge.  To see a person who once was down and out and struggling with life then, with hard work and dedication over time, they overcome those challenges to become a respectable, responsible and sober person is wonderful.

To see the graduate happy, healthy, and confident brings happiness to me.  To hear the graduate express excitement about their future plans and goals is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever been a part of.” – Judge Robinson

 

Interview with JJ Bittinger, Chief Probation Officer:

“I have been involved in the Criminal Justice field for over 26 years. During that time I have been involved in uniformed law enforcement, specialty teams on both a state and federal level and for the last 18 years, as a probation officer for the Richland County Court Services. I have found that during my time rising through the ranks in the probation department to my current position as Chief that this part of the criminal justice system allows you the closest, hands on, participation in the changing of someone’s life. I have been through the “lock ’em up” phases and now into the more hands-on “behavioral changes” phase of community corrections. A person has to have a passion for this type of work because it does not come easy. You watch an offender try to change their lives over and over, with no success because they have not totally invested into the changes that need to be made. And rather than give up on these individuals, you continue to work with them, hoping that someday the changes take hold and they truly turn their lives around. When this happens, that is the reward for all of your hard work and dedication to helping others. 

I feel that the treatment and recovery part of changing an offender’s outcome is one of the most important parts of their success. If they are going to change, they need the tools to do it. It needs to be swift. Just as punishment needs to be swift to be effective, so does treatment and recovery. Being able to partner with Catalyst and utilize all of the programs they offer, allows us (Richland County Court Services) to be able to get our offenders the help they need, quickly and efficiently, which will only help in their recovery and treatment. Not every offender has the same needs as the next and being able to rely on our community partners to provide the treatment at the levels needed, is a great resource and contributes to the overall success of the offender and our programs here at the court. Combining all of these resources helps us reach our common goal and that is to increase the safety and security of our community and the residents of Richland County.” – JJ Bittinger

Alyse Schoeder, Catalyst Life Services gives a presentation to the probation officers about the new detox / withdrawal management facility.

Mansfield Municipal Court – Misdemeanor Treatment Court

Treatment Court is a specialty court that helps decrease the cycle and chance of recidivism, promotes treatment, and reduces stigma in regards to substance use. Treatment Court is beneficial because it  links individuals to needed treatment services instead of serving time in jail and can assist in promoting an individual out of the justice system and into a life of recovery. Participants currently meet twice a month with the Judge, have scheduled office visits with their probation officer, submit to random drug tests, and attend regular treatment sessions as recommended from their assessment.

Interview with Judge Ault

“I feel treatment court is essential for a number of reasons. Communication between the court, probation officers, and the treatment providers keeps everyone up to date on the progress of the people in treatment court, so that non-compliance can be addressed swiftly if necessary. Studies have shown this process will have much better outcomes than incarceration alone. It’s getting to the root of the problem, which is more effective. Treatment court holds all to a very high standard and provides more structure over all, which is beneficial for accountability and success in changing behaviors. Treatment court reduces recidivism, which not only helps the individual, but our community as a whole.

I believe recovery is a journey that encompasses a person’s whole life. Recovery is to attain and continue to live a healthy lifestyle, both mentally and physically” – Judge Ault

 

Interview with Taylor Godfrey & Lindsey Barth, Probation Officers:

“We enjoy making a difference in the lives of those who are struggling with addiction while involved in the criminal justice system.  It is a great feeling to see defendants who entered the system addicted, homeless, unemployed, and lost custody of their children transform into productive members of the community who have now obtained employment, obtained housing, are succeeding in their recovery, and regaining custody of their children.

Drug Courts increase accountability for defendants. We focus on the treatment and rehabilitation needs of each defendant while ensuring public safety and reducing recidivism. We work closely with treatment providers to develop the best plan of action for each person. Treatment plans are individualized; what works for one person, may not work for another.

When a defendant graduates the program or even when they opt to sit their jail time, we encourage them to reach out for help if they are ever struggling. I have had many defendants reach out for help, which allowed us to connect them with services before they entered the criminal judges system again.” – Taylor Godfrey & Lindsey Barth

Deanna Roberts, Catalyst Life Services with probation officers from the Mansfield Municipal Court.

Progress Industries Annual Business Appreciation Breakfast

Catalyst Life Services is giving thanks to its business partners who employ participants of the CCMEP (Comprehensive Case Management Employment Program) and Success Unlimited programs. The businesses contracting with these programs were recognized at Catalyst’s annual Business Appreciation Breakfast on Wednesday September 25 in the lower level of Catalyst’s Rehab Center.

Across its various programs and partnerships, Catalyst serves approximately 300 youth and adult participants in as many as 80 paid work sites at any given time, with peak numbers seen in the summer while school is not in session.

These programs assist individuals with barriers to their employment and educational goals to gain experience in their desired employment sector. These individuals start at out at entry-level positions and receive on the job training and mentorship from their worksite supervisors and support from their employment specialists to ensure long-term participant success.

Program Director, Mitch Jacobsen, stated, “This breakfast serves a dual purpose for these programs, as we have the opportunity to give thanks to our business partners and further spread the message of our successes from the participant perspective.”

One such success is Coryanna Fraley, a self-described single mother who arrived in need of assistance and who has leveraged that into her status as a full time college student and part-time employee at Parent Aide through this program.

“Coryanna is what this program is all about” said Jacobsen, “She embodies what we would like to see from all of our participants and we couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishments.”

While the program has nearly doubled in size from the previous year, Catalyst is excited for what’s to come over the next year, and looks forward to the opportunity to engage even more businesses in the future.

For more coverage on this event, please visit: https://www.wmfd.com/news/single.asp?story=79927&fbclid=IwAR3a6UzicFtBudaM5aZk9KKmGYLf1Wz5IJRcAV5W1cSP1MsnxnCGiRGrvVU

For more information about these programs and how to partner, visit www.catalystlifeservices.org/vocational-services/

vocation progress industriesIt’s that time of year again!

The weather turns colder, the leaves begin changing colors, and “Help Wanted” signs are posted in every retailer’s window.

In many cases, seasonal positions are a great option for individuals seeking part-time employment. What might you want to review before coming to the decision to apply for such a position? How might you improve your chances of successfully obtaining such a position? Remember these simple tips in order to make your job search more successful.

To determine whether an open position might be a good fit for you, start by thinking about what skills someone might utilize in such a position. Consider how the business or employer might frame those into a position posting online. Then begin asking yourself questions relating back to the requirements of the position, for example:

  1. Am I someone who enjoys working with other people and interacting with customers?
  2. Do I have a flexible schedule and am willing to work evenings and weekends?
  3. Am I someone who thrives in a fast-paced environment?

By understanding yourself and your intent in your job search, you can ensure higher levels of success as you progress through the job seeking process. It is important that you first assess the position or industry as a fit for you as a prospective job seeker. There are number of online assessments that can guide you through this process as well. Assess your preferences and attitudes to find a position that fits your needs.

 

Equally important to understanding yourself, it is critical to ensure that you envision the hiring manager’s perspective when applying for these positions. By doing this, you can oftentimes predict possible interview questions in advance. If a “Help Wanted” advertisement requests someone who works well independently, the interviewer might say something like:

                “Tell me about a time when you were able to succeed with little guidance or direction.”

This is what is known as a “situational” or “behavioral” interview question. The interviewer is expecting an example demonstrating your ability to process through a difficult task. Here is one tip to prepare yourself to answer such a question; just remember the STAR method:

  1. Situation – What took place that led to the problem at hand?
  2. TaskWhat were you assigned to do or what was your role in the problem?
  3. ActionWhat did you do to fix the problem?
  4. ResultHow was this situation resolved?

In preparing for your next interview, try to come up with a few specific examples for situational interview questions that exemplify a few of your “transferable skills” which are skills you take with you from one position to another (sometimes in an entirely different industry). Some of these skills might include:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Time Management
  • Computer Literacy
  • Critical Thinking
  • And many others

Finally, as you review these tips before you start the job seeking process, remember that we have only touched on the surface of some of these topics. You can take your job search to the next level by expanding on the advice given above.

For more information about job seeking skills or how best to prepare for what comes after the interview, stay posted to this blog and follow us on social media, where there will be more helpful hints to come.

Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Blog Written by: Mitch Jacobsen is the Director of Vocational Services at Catalyst Life Services, and he has worked with individuals with barriers to their employment and educational goals. He oversees a number of vocational programs and services designed to improve employment outcomes. Mitch is passionate about the vocational department at Catalyst Life Services, which helped put over 500 people to work in calendar year 2017.


Congratulations to Catalyst Life Services’ Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) team for their work toward earning high marks on their 4th Quarter Report on program performance measures.

This dynamic program serves nearly 200 Richland County youth, ages 14-24, with barriers to their employment and educational goals, with an emphasis on out-of-school youth with multiple barriers, some of those barriers might include youth who are:

  • Basic skills deficient
  • An English language learner
  • Offenders or subject to the juvenile or adult justice system
  • Homeless or a runaway
  • In foster care or who have aged out of foster care
  • Are pregnant or parenting
  • Have a diagnosed disability
  • Youth who require additional assistance to complete an education program or obtain and maintain long-term employment

In serving these youth participants, staff members on this program emphasize a number of program elements individualized to the participant and designed to remove or minimize these barriers to the youth participant’s goals and increase employment and educational placement outcomes.

In the WIOA program, measuring success comes in the form of five specific outcome measures, of which the Catalyst team “exceeded” or “significantly exceeded” four of these items.

One such measure of which the Catalyst team was particularly proud was that 79.4% (77/97) of eligible participants achieved a measurable skills gain, which is accomplished when an individual achieves one of the following:

  • Improvement of at least one educational functioning level
  • Passing 5 credit hours or more on the most recent progress report
  • Graduating from a secondary or post-secondary education program
  • Passage of an exam to attain a credential such as CDL/STNA

For this particular measure, the statewide rate was 28.8%.

These performance measures are reported at the state level quarterly and dispensed to the areas locally where the program receives governance and oversight from a local Workforce Development Board comprised of representatives from government entities, non-profit organizations, and private for profit businesses.

If you know anyone interested in this program contact Stephanie Jakubick at 419-774-2250 or at jakubick@catalystlifeservices.org