Retired Warren County FCS Extension Educator, Kathy Michelich, led the team that developed Tough Work. This groundbreaking curriculum addresses the responsibilities and personal needs of those who serve as first responders to families in crisis.

Tough Work, Understanding and Serving People in Poverty while Caring for Yourself is a new curriculum from the Ohio State University Extension.  The curriculum provides information and support to equip volunteers and staff who work with people in poverty. 

There are four session topics:

  1. Persistent Poverty: Definitions, Causes and Beliefs
  2. Working with People in Poverty 
  3. Caring for Yourself  
  4. Lead Partner Agencies: Tapping into Local Resources

This curriculum was developed by a seven-member team with collectively more than 130 years of experience working with people in poverty. Training is divided into two 2-hour sessions taught within a two-week time period.  The training can also be offered in one 4.5-hour block of time, with three 10-minute breaks.

Tough Work participants receive a 51-page Participant Manual.  Used as a workbook during the training, this manual serves as a valuable resource to those involved in social service work. 

Participants will:

  • Increase their knowledge about poverty: its causes, the types of poverty, and the regional characteristics of poverty. 
  • Gain the skills to work effectively with people in financial crisis.
  • Enhance their confidence as volunteers or staff members, and experience increased satisfaction when working with people in poverty.
  • Be better equipped to provide direct assistance and appropriate referrals to families in need.
  • Increase their knowledge of local resources and how to help others access them.
  • Develop and strengthen partnerships among faith-based organizations, nonprofit agencies, and other organizations serving people in poverty.

The Tough Work curriculum was published in 2013. The curriculum includes a full color 140-page Trainers Guide and a CD containing a camera ready 51-page Participant Manual, as well as several full color marketing pieces. To learn more, please contact the Warren County Extension Office at 513-695-1311.