Children affected by the opioid epidemic need a complex array of services and supports to safeguard their health and wellbeing, including child protective services, legal representation, educational services, comprehensive physical and mental health care, and often foster care placement coupled with family reunification strategies. Timely access to these services is especially difficult in rural areas. A research team led by Ohio State University will examine strategies that use regional, multi-sector governing boards to help organizations work together in coordinating services for children and families in rural areas. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, the team will examine the influence of regional boards on cross-agency communication, adherence to evidence-based guidelines, and attainment of key program goals including family reunification. The research team will work with the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities, and Ohio Council of Behavioral Health and Family Service Providers to carry out the study.
- Alicia Bunger, PhD, Associate Professor at the Ohio State University