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OUS to have training for helping kids: KRUSH program aimed to assist students with incarcerated parents

Ohio University Southern will have training for school staff to help students whose parents are incarcerated.

Called KRUSH: Kids Rising Up through Support and Healing, the training was developed by Kristi Whitaker and Jalina Wheeler in the Russell McDowell Intermediate School in Flatwoods, Kentucky, to assist students whose parents are jailed, in most cases, due to drug-related charges.

The training will be from 8:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1 in the Riffe Center at OUS. It is limited to 50 participants and includes lunch. It is recommended for nurses, teachers, social workers and counselors.

Since 2017, the KRUSH program has been expanded to additional schools in the Russell district. Wheeler and Whitaker are working with other districts in the Tri-State interested in expanding the KRUSH model in their schools.

The pair presented KRUSH at OUS last month as part of the “Impact of the Opioid Epidemic on Children in Rural Appalachia” training.

“We wanted to provide important training for those in our community “helping industries” who work with children who have loved ones incarcerated due to drug-related charges,” said Sarah Diamond Burroway, director of Southern’s Workforce Success initiative. “Teachers, counselors and others who work with children are targeted for this special training as a way to learn new interventions, supporting kids who’re in circumstances related to substance use disorder in the home.”

The KRUSH training is funded by the USDA Rural Business Development grant, “Rural Workforce Training for Drug Impacted Communities.”

“The Rural Business Development grant from USDA provides the University with resources to bring relevant training to southeast Ohio on current training needs,” Diamond Burroway. “Agencies, large and small, are working hard to ensure their staff members are effective in their work in opioid response and Ohio Southern is happy to be part of this workforce training solution.”

Registration is required for the training to ensure there are enough materials available and for a meal count.

For more information, go to https://www.ohio.edu/southern/workforce/training.cfm.