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Truxell Promoted to Marsh Foundation Director of Residential Services

etruxellwebVAN WERT, Ohio – Effective February 15, Elizabeth Truxell has been named the newest director of residential services at The Marsh Foundation. Since 2014, Truxell has been employed at The Marsh as a group home consultant. She is excited to take on her new role.

“I enjoy working with the youth, families, staff and community members,” Truxell said. She said that this position has been a professional goal of hers. “Watching the growth of our youth is always rewarding. I am looking forward to the chance to continue the great tradition and vision of The Marsh Foundation.”

Truxell graduated from high school in Norwalk, Ohio. She went on to obtain a bachelor of arts degree in criminology from The Ohio State University where she minored in sociology. In addition, she holds a master of science degree in criminal justice from Everest University and a graduate certificate in criminal behavior from Tiffin University. Her work with youth and the Teaching Family Model led her to earn a certification through the Teaching Family Association of Consultation and Evaluation.

Truxell said that she is committed to the success of The Marsh’s youth and families. “In this position, I will strive for this as well as to achieve Teaching Family Association accreditation.” She has worked with high-risk youth since 2003 and the Teaching Family Model for 14 years. Truxell has worked in residential settings in Georgia, Virginia and Ohio. “With the amazing staff we have working with our youth individually and as a team, I am excited for the future possibilities at The Marsh.”

She is no stranger to education. Truxell was raised by two parents who were educators and helped shape the minds of young people. “I learned by example from two brilliant, caring and inspiriting people what it meant to help others through different ways of teaching. It's not always in the classroom. Because of them, I'm passionate about helping young people reach their potential.” Truxell also credits her husband Scott with being her constant and unwavering supporter. When she’s not at work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling to new places with Scott, gardening, playing with her two dogs and cat and thrifting midcentury items.

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children's services agency that provides services for youth

and families in a variety of settings. Services include residential care, family foster care (ages 0-17),

adoption and independent living services. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization is licensed to

provide on-campus services for up to 30 children, offers an on-campus school for grades 2 – 12, and

provides a variety of clinical services to campus residents, foster care children and community

members throughout western Ohio.

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Photo caption: Elizabeth Truxell has been promoted to director of residential services at The Marsh Foundation.

Marsh Family Teacher Receives Child Welfare Worker of the Year Award

VAN WERT419508681 380521201330890 8956135685589689896 n, Ohio – Tanga Mitchell, Marsh Foundation School Family Teacher, was nominated and received the American Legion of Ohio’s Child Welfare Worker of the Year Award. Mitchell was nominated by Kenneth Schutz of the American Legion post 178. Her nomination was presented to the national board and selected as the award recipient. She was officially presented with the award plaque at a banquet in Columbus on January 20.

According to the Department of Ohio Child Welfare Committee, they created the Child Welfare Worker of the Year Award to recognize the front-line civilian warriors who work tirelessly on behalf of children every day. In addition to her daily work with youth at The Marsh Foundation, Mitchell also serves children in her community as a member of the Van Wert County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Through this organization, she is often the means of comfort for children affected by fire. And, as a former board member of the Van Wert YWCA, she helped meet the needs of children through their programs and services. 

“Tanga is the type of employee that every organization like ours desires to have,” said Kim Mullins, executive director of Child & Family Services at The Marsh. “She embodies our mission and has given the past 21 years of her career to caring for and inspiring the youth in our care. She is very deserving of this award.” In addition to being a school family teacher, Mitchell has also served as a team lead and family teacher in the group homes at The Marsh.

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children's services agency that provides services for youth

and families in a variety of settings. Services include residential care, family foster care (ages 0-17),

adoption and independent living services. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization is licensed to

provide on-campus services for up to 30 children, offers an on-campus school for grades 2 – 12, and

provides a variety of clinical services to campus residents, foster care children and community

members throughout western Ohio.

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Photo caption: Tanga Mitchell is a school family teacher at The Marsh Foundation and spends her days working directly with at risk youth. She was recently named Child Welfare Worker of the Year by the American Legion Department of Ohio.

Letter to the Editor from The Marsh Foundation Trustees

Dear Editor and Community Members:

Happy holidays and season’s greetings from the Trustees and staff at The Marsh Foundation. A lot has happened in 2023. Prior to the Marsh Foundation celebrating their 100th anniversary in September of 2022, the Trustees of the Marsh recognized the need for a strategic plan. In order to guarantee the future of The Marsh Foundation for another 100 years, the Trustees need to develop a strategic plan that could both adapt to the changes in our society and to develop new programs that could reach children in new and different ways. The mission of The Marsh Foundation is to inspire hope, to teach and to care for children and families. By incorporating new and innovative strategies and services, this mission continues to serve as the foundational component for the continuum of care that the Marsh Foundation provides.

The Trustees began the strategic planning process prior to the May 2019, groundbreaking for the new gymnasium, dining facility and renovation of the old cafeteria into an exercise and weightroom. The benefits of this facility have been paying tremendous dividends. The new gymnasium and weight room provides our students and staff with physical activities that the Marsh was unable to provide previously. To better meet the social-emotional needs of youth receiving clinical services, the position of Wellness Case Manager was developed at The Marsh Foundation to complement these new facilities. Abigail Neville was promoted to Wellness Case Manager.  Neville’s certification as a CrossFit and weightlifting trainer, and in CrossFit Kids has been integral in teaching the Marsh youth valuable skill sets such as teamwork, perseverance, and self-worth. In an effort to promote these skillsets, Neville and two Marsh Foundation youth trained and prepared for a CrossFit competition. The trio recently placed third in the CrossFit competition and also received a grant of $10,000 to further help with the development of the CrossFit program at the Marsh Foundation. This program has allowed Marsh youth to learn self-regulation and problem-solving techniques. Other skills learned in this program are managing emotions, communication, spatial awareness and goal setting. The new gymnasium and weight room also provide our students and staff with other physical activities, such as basketball, pickle ball and aerobic exercise. The Trustees believe that instituting programs like these will allow The Marsh Foundation to continue to be a leader in the child and family services industry for many years to come.

Another program that the Trustees are contemplating is a full-time equestrian program at The Marsh Foundation. The Marsh has had a summer equestrian program for the past several years and the benefits of this program to Marsh youth have been remarkable. Over the past year, clinicians at The Marsh Foundation had the opportunity to go through the certification process in equine assisted learning and/or equine assisted psychotherapy. Equine assisted therapy incorporates a variety of treatments that involve activities with horses to assist in the promotion of physical and mental health for troubled youth. This certification will allow therapists, case managers and equine personnel to work together to provide an enriched therapeutic learning experience for the youth on the Marsh campus and also for the youth in our community. The students will learn complex communication skills, “real-time” problem solving techniques and how to effectively work as a team. “Watching the kids take everything they had been learning and apply it in a different arena was priceless, said clinical therapist Annette Herrmann. “The pride that the kids had in what they had accomplished was truly unmatched.” Equine assisted learning teaches youth how to effectively manage their emotions and behavioral responses.

In order to expand the equestrian program, the trustees have begun a long-term capital improvement campaign for the Marsh campus which includes the construction of an indoor horse arena to be used in conjunction with The Marsh Foundation clinical services and to also provide services to the Van Wert community. This would allow equine assisted learning and therapy to be incorporated into Marsh youths’ treatment on a year-round basis and provide the same type of treatment to youth in the surrounding communities.

Some might say that The Marsh Foundation has gone to the dogs since equestrian therapy is not the only way to reach children in therapy sessions. Clinician Elspeth McCoy and her dog became certified in Animal Assisted Therapy. The Marsh Foundation is constantly exploring new methods of therapy and educating its clinicians on ways in which they can better serve their clients. McCoy is a counselor at The Marsh Foundation with a master’s degree in social work and an LISW license. McCoy incorporated dogs into her work as a more effective way to reach some of the students she was working with since many of her clients have unique needs that require more innovative approaches to treatment. The goal is for the dog to have a calming and comforting effect on the youth during counseling sessions.

The Marsh Foundation Foster Care department continues to grow at its new location on Westwood Drive. With so many children in Ohio in need of foster care, the Marsh Foundation is constantly looking to add foster care parents to the give the gift of a caring, family set­ting to as many children as possible. The Marsh Foster Care program provides excellent support services for foster families and foster children.  

All of these great services that Marsh provides not only require planning and time but also funds to develop and grow the programs. During this holiday season, we encourage you to consider supporting the mission of The Marsh Foundation by making a donation and to also consider estate planning that will help continue our mission for years to come.

In closing we would be remiss if we did not recognize Kim Mullins for an award she received from The Ohio Children’s Alliance, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. At their annual conference for childcare professionals throughout the state of Ohio, The Ohio Children’s Alliance presented The Steve Plottner Award for Leadership in Child Welfare to Ms. Kim Mullins, Executive Director of Child and Family Services at The Marsh Foundation. The Alliance presents the award to a person who demonstrates leadership for children, families, and the direct care workforce of the Ohio child welfare system. The award honors an advocate who has made outstanding contributions to the field of residential care or other intensive treatment programs, benefiting Ohio’s high-risk youth. Congratulations Kim!

As we all celebrate this holiday season, the staff and Trustees of the Marsh Foundation want to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you for your continued support of the Marsh Foundation.

Sincerely,

The Marsh Foundation Trustees

Gary Corcoran    Robert Gamble    Gary Clay

Letter to the Editor from The Marsh Foundation Executives

Dear Editor:

As we enter the winter season, we are delighted to share some unique things that are happening at The Marsh Foundation. This season, we are incredibly proud of our students and staff and their unwavering commitment to making The Marsh a place for growth, opportunity, and innovation.

Student Council: Paving the Way for Excellence in the School

Last year, teachers Mandy Looser and Joy Caldwell revamped our student council to form a group of student leaders who were willing to step up and address school issues, promote positive change and enhance school spirit. Since then, Kevin Longstreth and Lauren Calvert joined their colleagues to help foster this change, attending weekly meetings and assisting in student led activities. This year, the council has successfully executed multiple coffee bars, a fall spirit week and a building-wide door decorating competition. “Watching our students walk around with a strong sense of pride and seeing that pride turn into positive results has been rewarding for our team,” says Looser. “The difference this group of young men are making in the school right now is truly incredible.” For their efforts, this group was rewarded in October with a field trip to the zoo. We are looking forward to watching the continued growth of the student council for the remainder of the school year.

Classroom: Engaging Activities

The beginning of the school year has had some challenges. Despite those challenges our teachers show up every day with new and fun activities for our students to engage them in learning. A few highlights have been research on the Black Swamp, Candy Corn Catapults, a Game Feed, Math Scavenger Hunts, Greedy Probability, Fitness Friday Competitions and of course our creative art projects. Another area of pride is our Title 1 program. We utilize this time daily to meet the individual needs of our students through remediation, credit recovery and goal setting. We continue to see improved reading and math scores as a result of this program.

Equine Assisted Learning

The Marsh Foundation has used horses as part of our summer program for many years. This program has always consisted of learning about horses, caring for them, and practicing horsemanship skills. Throughout these years, it was evident that many of our students were connecting to our horses on a deeper level. Seeing this connection led us to research equine therapy and the positive effects on children that have experienced trauma. Currently, we have a team of employees conducting a feasibility study for a Marsh Foundation equine assisted learning program. The team is optimistic about the possibilities of building this program to better meet the needs of our students and other children in our community. We hope to share more exciting news about this venture in the near future.

In closing, we are excited to see continued growth and look forward to sharing successes along the way. Thank you for being supportive as we strive to fulfill our mission. On behalf of The Marsh Foundation, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Sincerely,

Robbie Breese, Jeff Grothouse & Kim Mullins

Marsh Foundation Celebrates Veteran’s Day with Hero Workouts

November 15, 2023

For Immediate Release

 

Marsh Foundation Celebrates Veteran’s Day with Hero Workouts

VeteransVAN WERT, Ohio – The Marsh Foundation School was the site of a unique Veteran’s Day celebration on Friday. Two United States Army personnel, Staff Sargeant Vickers and Staff Sargeant Wessel joined The Marsh fitness classes for hero workouts.

Each student was able to spin the wheel and then perform the workout dedicated in honor of the military personnel that they landed on. SSG Vickers and Wessel jumped right in, performing the workouts with the students.

According to event planner and Marsh Program Manager, Mackenzie Basil, this is a great partnership that has been developed between The Marsh and Army personnel. “It is something we look forward to growing,” she said. “The Staff Sergeants were in the trenches and working out with our kids. It was fun to see our students showing off their strength to the military personnel.”

Each hero on the wheel represented a soldier who sacrificed everything for our country. For example, Matt Maupin’s workout consisted of four rounds for time, 800-meter run, 49 pushups, 49 sit ups and 49 air squats.

In addition to the energy and physical inspiration the two provided, the Staff Sergeants also spoke on resiliency and adaptability, two great messages for The Marsh students. Veteran’s Day was a meaningful day for this special event and gave everyone in attendance an even deeper appreciation for Veterans and their service to our country.

“We appreciate SSG Wessel and SSG for joining us for Veteran’s Day and the energy and inspiration they brought to our students,” Basil said.

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children's services agency that provides services for youth

and families in a variety of settings. Services include residential care, family foster care (ages 0-17),

adoption and independent living services. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization is licensed to

provide on-campus services for up to 30 children, offers an on-campus school for grades 2 – 12, and

provides a variety of clinical services to campus residents, foster care children and community

members throughout western Ohio.

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Photo caption: SSG Vickers and SSG Wessel attended fitness class with Marsh Foundation students on Veteran’s Day and performed hero workouts right along with them.   

Free Community Safety Event June 6

FINAL FINAL Community safety flyerVAN WERT, Ohio – The Marsh Foundation Foster Care and Adoption division is hosting a free community safety event on Tuesday, June 6. The event will be held at the Foster Care office at 1151 Westwood Drive from 6 – 8 p.m.

Everyone is invited to the event to learn about our local safety providers. The Van Wert Fire Department will be on site with firetrucks. Attendees will also be able to meet the Van Wert Sherriff Department’s K-9 Officer.

Foster Care Consultant Jennifer Meyer, said The Marsh is excited to host their first community safety event. “It will be a wonderful evening to learn about safety resources in our community,” she said. “Our booth will highlight car seat safety and we will also be available to answer questions about foster parenting.”

The Marsh will provide free snacks and there will be a special surprise guest. “We are grateful to the local resources for all of their support,” Meyer said. To learn more, call 419.238.KIDS.

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children's services agency that provides services for youth

and families in a variety of settings. Services include residential care, family foster care (ages 0-17),

adoption and independent living services. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization is licensed to

provide on-campus services for up to 30 children, offers an on-campus school for grades 2 – 12, and

provides a variety of clinical services to campus residents, foster care children and community

members throughout western Ohio.

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Photo caption: A free community safety event will be held on June 6 from 6 – 8 p.m.  

Marsh Foundation Celebrates National Foster Care Month

VAN WERT, Oh - The month of May is National Foster Month. The Marsh Foundation, along with organizations across the nation, take the opportunity in May to thank those families who selflessly give to help children and families in need. In the United States, there are 391,000 children in foster care, according to the U.S. Children5 years web’s Bureau. Foster families make a tremendous difference in the lives of these children.

“Being a foster parent offers a child a safe place to live during a time in their life which is so uncertain,” said Marsh Foundation Foster Care Consultant Jennifer Meyer. “It gives a child the chance to develop healthy relationships, build trust and provides the opportunity to learn important life skills.”

According to Meyer, a foster home provides safety and security. “When a child comes to a foster home, they know they will have their basic needs met and they know they are safe from the circumstances that brought them into the foster care system,” she said. Foster parents should never underestimate the role they play in a child’s story.

Although it is difficult to adequately thank foster families for their sacrifice and dedication, The Marsh facilitates events throughout the year to show appreciation. This month, there will be a picnic including food and games for all the families. Those foster families who are celebrating five years with The Marsh will receive a plaque in recognition of their tenure, a pizza party and their choice of a family outing event.

“Here at The Marsh, we treat our foster families as extensions of our own families,” Meyer said. “We love to recognize and acknowledge them and celebrate how they positively impact children’s lives.” Those interested in learning about fostering should call 419.238.KIDS for more information.

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children services agency that provides services for youth and families in a variety of settings. Services include residential care, family foster care (ages 0-17), adoption and independent living services. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization is licensed to provide on-campus services for up to 30 children, offers an on-campus school for grades 2-12, and provides a variety of clinical services to campus residents, foster care children and community members throughout western Ohio.

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Photo caption: The Marsh recently honored six foster families for reaching the five-year milestone with the organization. Together, they have served 54 children.

Marsh Foundation Executive Director Receives Statewide Leadership Award

The Ohio Children’s Alliance is celebrating its 50thMullins Award anniversary and recently held their annual conference for childcare professionals throughout the state of Ohio. At the conference, they presented The Steve Plottner Award for Leadership in Child Welfare. Kim Mullins, Executive Director of Child and Family Services at The Marsh Foundation, was the honored recipient.

Formerly known as the Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies, the Ohio Children’s Alliance is Ohio’s premiere membership organization for community agencies who serve vulnerable children and families. The Alliance presents the award to a person who demonstrates leadership for children, families and the direct care workforce of the Ohio child welfare system. The award aims to honor an advocate who has made outstanding contributions to the field of residential care or other intensive treatment programs, benefiting Ohio’s high-risk youth.

Mullins said she is grateful and honored to receive this award. “It is difficult to say thank you when I know there are many others deserving of this award, though I am so grateful and honored,” she said. The mission of The Marsh Foundation is to inspire hope, to teach and to care for children and families. “I have the pleasure of working with an amazing group of people whose life goals are wrapped around this mission,” Mullins said. “They truly inspire me.”

Mullins began her career as a school music teacher. Her life drastically changed when she and her husband decided to move into a group home to work with teenage girls and their families many years ago. “That experience completely changed my life,” she said. “Since then, I have been amazed by the resilience and self-determination of youth and families when they are inspired by people who care.”

The Marsh Foundation has been working hard to inspire youth for more than one hundred years. Their comprehensive treatment programs span the continuum of care to serve community clients, foster children, group home residents and their families. Daily, they strive to make a difference in the lives of Ohio’s at-risk youth.

Mullins appreciates the Alliance and the continued support that they offer agencies. “I would like to thank the Alliance for their ongoing support and for the way they advocate for quality services for children and families,” she said. “I would also like to thank my husband David for a lifetime of unwavering support and love.”

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children services agency that provides services for youth and families in a variety of settings. Services include residential care, family foster care (ages 0-17), adoption and independent living services. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization is licensed to provide on-campus services for up to 30 children, offers an on-campus school for grades 2-12, and provides a variety of clinical services to campus residents, foster care children and community members throughout western Ohio.

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Photo caption: Pictured are Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Chief Executive Officer for the Ohio Children’s Alliance, Mark Mecum presenting the award to Mullins.

Marsh Foundation Wellness Case Manager Making Strides

crossfit2The mission of The Marsh Foundation is to inspire hope, to teach and to care for children and families. By incorporating innovative strategies and services, this mission continues to serve as the foundational component for the continuum of care that The Marsh provides. As The Marsh Foundation continues to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of children and families, a natural evaluation of treatment needs was recently assessed. To better meet the social-emotional needs of youth receiving clinical services, an interdepartmental position of Wellness Case Manager was developed. Abigail Neville was recently promoted to Wellness Case Manager. Her unique skillset in fitness and equine-assisted learning is currently being utilized to enhance not only the clinical division but the school as well.

Over the past several months, she and two youth trained and prepared for a CrossFit competition. Neville’s certification as a CrossFit Level 1 trainer, Bergener Weightlifting Level 1 and in CrossFit Kids was integral in teaching these youth valuable skillsets such as teamwork, perseverance and self-worth. With Neville’s guidance, and support, the trio was able to place third at the “Get Tanked” CrossFit competition in Tiffin, Ohio. “The process of preparing for this competition has been a journey in and of itself and I believe that it has given the boys an opportunity to work towards a substantial goal,” said Neville. “Reaching this goal has given them a sense of pride and accomplishment which will help them as they face challenges in the future.”

Neville takes an individualized approach to teaching youth skills based on their ability and needs. She utilizes various methods and physical activities tailored to specific youths to address issues they may be struggling with. Neville has been able to use her unique skillset to teach youth self-regulation and problem-solving techniques. Additionally, topics Neville works on with the youth are managing emotions, communication, spatial awareness and goal setting.

Over the past year, Neville and the rest of the clinical team have been working closely with The Marsh Foundation School. In this collaborative effort, the two divisions have developed innovative ways to teach the skills above during the school day. Through classroom activities, field trips, community service projects, physical education and other educational forums, this initiative has highlighted the significant growth the youth have made physically, behaviorally and academically. Neville believes, “The cohesiveness of the clinical, residential and school divisions has been better than ever and has offered a new level of support in focusing on our children’s individualized goals.”

As The Marsh continues to support Neville in the newly implemented Wellness Case Management position, a continued focus on equine assisted learning and fitness will ensue. With the implementation of this new position paired with Neville’s expertise this will provide multiple opportunities for growth and expansion to reach more children. “We have experienced significant success through our equine and fitness initiatives,” Neville said. “We hope to continue to grow these programs to serve more children in our community.”

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children services agency that provides services for youth and families in a variety of settings. Services include residential care, family foster care (ages 0-17), adoption and independent living services. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization is licensed to provide on-campus services for up to 30 children, offers an on-campus school for grades 2-12, and provides a variety of clinical services to campus residents, foster care children and community members throughout western Ohio.

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Photo caption: Marsh’s Wellness Case Manager Abby Neville joined forces with two youth and placed third in the recent CrossFit “Get Tanked” competition in Tiffin, Ohio.

Marsh Foundation Utilizes Animal Assisted Therapy within Clinical Division

VAN WERT, Ohio – The Marsh Foundation is constantly exploring new methods of therapy and educating its clinicians on ways in which they can better serve their cIMG 0529 weblients. Many of these clients have unique needs that require more innovative approaches to treatment.

Recently, clinician Elspeth McCoy and her dog, became certified in Animal Assisted Therapy. Already a counselor with a master’s degree in social work and an LISW license, McCoy felt that incorporating dogs into her work might be an effective way to reach some of the boys she was working with.

Working with traumatized youth can be intense and overwhelming. The goal McCoy has when incorporating animals, is to calm and comfort the youth. “The overall goal is assist kids with becoming more comfortable sharing difficult thoughts and feelings and there has been a  lot of research that shows that animals can really aid in this process,” McCoy said. “Many of my clients have experienced traumatic events and I have seen how the dogs can be very calming to the kids when processing these things,” she added.

Both McCoy and her dogs had to go through classes and a certification process. After multiple training classes, a therapy dog test was administered by Pet Partners to officially certify them. “I also had to do a lot of work with them out in the community to prepare to pass the test,” McCoy said.

Another counselor on campus is certified in Equine Assisted Learning and facilitated a therapy program throughout the summer using horses. The clinicians are seeing positive results from the new programming options. “I have seen kids be much more engaged in the session as well as look forward to sessions more knowing they’ll get to spend time with a dog,” McCoy said. “One of my dogs, Getty, does very well in group counseling with the kids. He works his way around the circle of kids for a full hour stopping and spending time with each one. I have seen that this has helped bring a more calming atmosphere to the groups.”

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children's services agency that provides services for youth

and families in a variety of settings. Services include residential care, family foster care (ages 0-17),

adoption and independent living services. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization is licensed to

provide on-campus services for up to 30 children, offers an on-campus school for grades 2 – 12, and

provides a variety of clinical services to campus residents, foster care children and community

members throughout western Ohio.

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Photo caption: Counselor Elspeth McCoy is pictured with her dog, Getty, who works with her at The Marsh Foundation providing Animal Assisted Therapy.