Governor DeWine Applauds Brown County for National Certification of START Program


(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Governor Mike DeWine today applauded Brown County’s Ohio Sobriety Treatment and Reducing Trauma (START) program for becoming the country’s first certified START program. Ohio START is an affiliate of the national START model that helps parents achieve recovery, improve parental capacity, and keep children in the home when it is safe and possible.

“We brought Ohio START to southern Ohio in 2017 when I was Attorney General,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Since then, many agencies have worked together to keep kids in their homes, prevent child abuse, and get parents treatment so they can be the parents their children need.”

As Attorney General, now-Governor DeWine launched Ohio START as a pilot project and it has now expanded to 54 counties. The Public Children Services Association of Ohio administers Ohio START with funding from ODJFS and Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS). 

“Last year, nearly 3,400 Ohio children were removed from their home due at least in part to parental substance abuse,” said Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Director Matt Damschroder. “Research has shown that mothers who participate in START achieve sobriety at nearly twice the rate of mothers treated without START and that children in families served by START were half as likely to be placed in children services custody.”

“Ohio START plays a vital role in stabilizing families harmed by parental drug use so that both children and parents can recover and find healing and hope. We applaud our partners in Brown County for leading the nation in becoming the first local entity to earn national certification,” added Lori Criss, Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.  

Children and Family Futures provides the START model nationwide and notes Brown County’s achievement is significant because full application of the model; engaging substance use and mental health treatment providers; the judicial system; other relevant agencies; and a parent mentor, leads to positive outcomes for the families served.