CSSMV helps vulnerable adults, families


SIDNEY — Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley (CSSMV) is a non-profit agency committed to helping vulnerable individuals and families of all ages in a 10-county region in southwest and west central Ohio.

Elaine Schweller-Snyder, Marketing/Development coordinator for CSSMV Northern Area Office, has submitted the following report:

Founded in 1921 and under the umbrella of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, CSSMV has a faith-based mission to serve those in need regardless of religious affiliation, ethnic background, or socioeconomic status. With a dedicated staff and trained volunteers, we provide direct service and case management in eight program areas. Those we serve do not have to be Catholic.

The Northern Office of CSSMV provides vital services to residents in Auglaize, Champaign, Darke, Logan, Miami, Mercer, Preble and Shelby Counties. Our location in the Courtview Center in Sidney is in the heart of Shelby County, close to other social service agencies that serve the region.

CSSMV is a Single-Entry Point for Ohio Benefits and Long Term Supports, enabling us to field calls from individuals seeking available options for older family members and linking those individuals to services.

Since 1984, CSSMV has administered Ohio’s PASSPORT Medicaid Waiver program in six rural counties, helping older adults aged 60 and over age in place. Our licensed social workers and nurses conduct assessments, educate families on options, contract with service providers, and provide care management. With the support of the Shelby County United Way, we provide these services for older adults in Shelby County who may not qualify for PASSPORT.

In 2022, CSSMV sent direct mail postcards to older adults in our region to promote awareness of vaccine options. Our representatives also attended health and wellness fairs throughout our service area.

Thanks to funding from the Ohio Department of Transportation, CSSMV began a pilot volunteer driver program in 2021 to expand transportation options. In 2022, RideConnect grew to a team of 16 drivers who provided 1,494 volunteer hours.

Licensed counselors at CSSMV help clients of all ages deal with a wide range of issues including relationships, stress, grief and depression. Our Navigating Family Life program provides home visits and workshops for parents, including the IMPACT program funded by the Shelby County United Way.

Thanks to a partnership with the University of Dayton, CSSMV began using the ECHO counseling model at Houston Schools in fall of 2021. In 2022, we expanded our school-based counseling into a second school district. We are now working at Houston and Russia Schools. ECHO (Empowering Children with Hope and Opportunity) is designed to help children overcome obstacles to learning. ECHO includes the use of Second Step, A Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum, in the classroom, focusing on emotion management, situational awareness, and academic achievement. One-on-one counseling is offered in all grade levels for students who are referred by school counselors. Professional development for teachers and case management services for at-risk families are also part of the model. In 2022, CSSMV counselors reached 238 students in the classroom setting and provided 38 students with individual therapy.

Other schools are interested in the ECHO program, but the workforce shortage is impacting the services we can provide. Our message for 2023 is that we are hiring! If you are a passionate individual who likes to help others, please visit our website – cssmv.org – to read about career and volunteer opportunities that may interest you.

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