WARREN, Ohio — Peer recovery coach Crystal Jameson has lived through the worst in her road to recovery from substance abuse, as she remembers losing her kids to Child Services.
A newly-announced grant for a few Ohio counties hopes to help families at risk of becoming part of the child welfare system
Children services officials say the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund grant for Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana Counties can address potential issues before they become serious.
The $2.7 million grant would give each county a family coach to help with needs like financial planning and behavioral health resources.
“I was a stay-at-home mom. Like, they were my everything. My world kind of fell apart. I went down a really dark road after I lost them,” said Jameson.
Angela Cochran knows the feeling. She says all three of her children were born positive for THC.
“At that point, the only thing that they had done for me was basically give me, you know, pamphlets and information about drug and alcohol treatment. That was it,” said Cochran, a peer recovery coach. “There was no supportive wrap-around system afterwards, there was no follow-up when I went home with the baby, you know, so I continued with my substance abuse, which eventually led to more, and eventually led me down to a road where I was abusing heroin."
Trumbull County Children Services Executive Director Tim Schaffner hopes an Ohio Children’s Trust Fund grant for Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties will help address the needs of families before they get into services.
“When families are confronted with severe challenges, the kids suffer. And we don’t want the kids traumatized by this. So, we want an entity to be able to go in and help those families relieve the stress and the burden and figure out all the help there is out in their community,” said Schaffner.
Schaffner says the $2.7 million grant would give each county a family coach to help with needs, such as financial planning and behavioral health — resources Cochran says would have been very helpful in her road to recovery.
“Just that one person can make a huge difference,” said Cochran. “You know, my family had turned their back on me, my friends were all addicts like me and I had to kind of walk away from them and leave that scene behind, so my caseworker was really the only person that I had starting out on my journey.”
And Jameson hopes the grant can lead to more redemption stories like hers.
“I own my own house, vehicle, I’m newly-married and I have amazing opportunities,” Jameson said.