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OUS hosts KRUSH training: Program aimed at children with incarcerated family members

A group of 72 people underwent training at Ohio University Southern on Thursday, in hopes of better equipping the region in dealing with the effects of the opioid crisis.

The school hosted the (Kids Rising Up through Support and Healing) KRUSH training, which is part of efforts through the school’s USDA rural business development grant.

“We have people here from southeast Ohio and northeast Kentucky and we have mental health counselors, therapists, child welfare workers and the Ohio Education Association sent somebody,” Sarah Diamond Burroway, who coordinates the program through the school’s workforce services department, said.

They KRUSH program was co-created by Jaline Wheeler, a guidance counselor at Russell-McDowell Intermediate School, and Kristi Whitaker, a special education aide, and is geared toward children with incarcerated family members.

“The created this because they have substance abuse disorders in their families and it has impacted their relationships with family members,” Diamond-Burroway said.

She said that, when the school secured the grant, they conducted a survey to see where people wanted trained.

“What deficits of knowledge there were and to know how to be more effective in dealing with these issues,” she said.

She said the focus of the program is to create and intervention for children when parents are family members are incarcerated.

“That creates a whole new level of issues for children to deal with,” Diamond Burroway said.

She said, since its inception, the program has had measurable results, with increased academic improvement, fewer behavioral interventions and reduced truancy and tardiness.

Members of the South Point, Rock Hill, Chesapeake, Dawson-Bryant, Symmes Valley school districts took part in Thursday’s training, as well as Open Door School, Necco, Spectrum Outreach, Marshall University’s social work program, Cabell Huntington Hospital, the Ross Pike Educational Service Center and Scioto County Educational Service Center.

“It’s great that we are able to deliver this as teachers and counselors are preparing to head back to school,” Diamond-Burroway said.

She said their next training, which is already full, will take place on Aug. 16 and will focus on mental health, with a presentation by Dr. William Bower.

Diamond-Burroway said anyone interested in the program and future events can call 740-533-4593 or email workforcesuccessohio@ohio.edu.