Kathleen A. Usaj, MSSA, LISW-S, ACHT
Trust Your Heart, LLC

SPECIAL INTERESTS
 Offering tailored holistic and integrative interventions for individuals, training supervision for LSWs seeking their
independent license, and workshops for agencies and schools.


CREDENTIALS
Master of Science in Social Administration, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, CWRU: 1995
Bachelor of Art, Hiram College: June 1993 Magna Cum Laude
Ohio Department of Education Licensed School Social Worker: 1995- Present/ Permanent License
State of Ohio Licensed Independent Social Worker #S-8117
Thirty post graduate semester hours
Sixty hours training as a Sex Offender Treatment Professional
Advanced Heart Centered Hypnotherapist/ Issaquah, WA
Reiki Practioner 2nd Degree/International Center for Reiki Training
Integrative Concepts Breathwork/ Carol Lampman
Child Light Yoga Teacher
Qoya Embodied Dance


COMPETENCIES
*Clinical expertise in providing a range of treatment modalities to meet the needs of children, adolescents and adults
*Excellent organizational, supervisory, team building and collaborative skills
*Strong experience, superior academic training, discipline and ability to learn new skills quickly.


CLINICAL EXPERIENCE
2017-Present Owner of Trust Your Heart, LLC

A practice specializing in supporting and providing training and individual/group supervision to
clinical providers in integrative and holistic modalities such as mindfulness practices, meditation, self-compassion to
strengthen their skill set and expand their business opportunities.
2013-Present Cleveland Clinic Center for Integrative Medicine

Provides full time clinical social work services/holistic psychotherapist services to clients ages 5-90
Specializes in blending traditional clinical work with advanced, integrative approaches including heart
centered hypnotherapy, Reiki, mindfulness, meditation and breathwork to address mental health and
addiction issues
Co-teaches shared medical appointment programs for weight release and brain wellness with
medical doctors board certified integrative and functional medicine.
Works with a team of medical doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, holistic
psychotherapists

2011- 2013 Cleveland Heights-University Heights Schools
Provides clinical social work services to 600+ students at
Roxboro Middle School
Lead school social worker providing clinical services for 30+ students identified as having an emotional
disturbance and their families/ Cleveland Heights High School

2010- 2012 Family Pride Inc.

Intensive in-home family therapist serving children and adults involved with
Lake County Jobs and Family Services/ Lake County Juvenile Court
Utilize evidence based and creative, mind-body, multi-modal treatment to
ensure positive change for families and their decrease involvement in public systems

2008 - 2011 Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Provides direct school social work services to 3,500+ students, adult family members and staff

Member of district Crisis Intervention Team
Initiator and coordinator of Graduate School Social Work Internship Program
Specializes in global assessments/interventions for children in the area of mental
health, school climate, special education, trauma, family functioning and community linkages

2003- 2007 Cleveland Heights-University Heights Schools

Coordinator for Attendance Assistance for Students and Parents – District-wide program
in partnership with Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services and Juvenile Court
Assistant to the Project Director for Safe School Healthy Student $6M three year
federal grant project
Mental Health Services Coordinator/ designed and implemented referral process, staff
training and oversees data collection and evaluation for yearly $660,000 Multi -
Systemic Therapy budget for 100 families per year
Provide consultation to district staff on mental health issues and crisis, including suicide
prevention and intervention, safety plans, violence and harassment assessments, and linkages to community
agencies
Coordinate assessment, intervention and staff consultation for students by board certified child and adolescent
psychiatrist
Liaison from district to Cuyahoga County Family and Children First Council on children mental health, truancy
and service coordination team committee
Cleveland Schools representative on Cuyahoga County Service Coordination Team (SCT)
District liaison and Chairperson of Outreach Committee for North East Action Network- Center for School
Based Mental Health at Miami University (Project of ODE and ODMH)

2002-2003 Mentor Schools

Provide Direct School Social Work Services for 2500 Students Grades 10-12 at Mentor High School – largest high
school in the state/ adolescents and adult family members
Primary support for SED unit; provide assessment for students suspected of drug/alcohol use, suicidal ideation,
self-harm, harassment, violent and aggressive behaviors.
Training and behavioral plan development for teachers and staff

Provide appropriate safety plans, intervention, referral to building team and agency providers as needed and
ongoing school based support for students and families
Facilitator for In-Sight Group for students with drug/alcohol student code violations
Coordinator for Teen Institute and Peer Mediation
Facilitator for all Intervention Assistance Teams at MHS
Conducted at-risk homeroom for students involved in juvenile justice, mental health
and children services systems, teacher and staff consultation

1995–2002 South Euclid-Lyndhurst Schools

Provide Direct School Social Work and mental health services for 1000+ students and adult family members
Serving Pre-School To Grade Four Elementary Schools -Including IBA and
Direct Services/ Consultation at All Grade Levels
Provided Services for all Elementary Students Identified as MH, DH, SED, and Autistic
District Prevention Coordinator Safe and Drug Free Schools Grant K-12
Facilitator / Community Action Team and Diversity Programs
Grant Writer and Project Director for US Department of Justice School/
Police Department Partnership COPS Grant (received largest award
in national grant competition and Police Forum Institute Goldstein
Research Design Award)
Coordinated Two Day Crisis Intervention Training for Three School Districts/ Six Fire
Departments and Police Departments
Trainer of District Crisis Intervention/ Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Models
Conducted mandatory child abuse training for staff

1994-1995 Crossroads Counseling Center of Lake County

Therapist and Case Manager/ collaborated with all agencies in Lake County
Co-facilitated Latency Age Sex Offender Groups, Parent Groups and Adolescent Chemical Dependency Groups
Provided Individual and GroupTherapy for Children and Families
Served on Lake County Crisis Response Team at the Wickliffe Middle School National Critical Shooting Incident
Authored Funded Cleveland Foundation Grant and Served as Project Director for Agency Program Development /
Project Director for children diagnosed with ADHD and their adult family members

UNIVERSITY AFFILIATIONS
2012- 2014 Adjunct faculty member at Cleveland State University School of Social Work
Courses: SWK 485 Macro Practice SWK 663 Psychopathology
SWK 607 Advanced Practice I
Member of School of Social Work Advisory Board

2000-2005 Coordinator/ advisor and adjunct faculty member of Justice Studies Program at Kent

State Ashtabula Campus: Increased declared Justice Studies majors from 40-100 in six months. Courses:
Introduction to Justice Studies; Youth in the Justice System; Crisis Intervention
2002- Present Adjunct faculty member at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case

Reserve University Course: ODE approved School Social Work Seminar course for licensure/ Field
instructor

1995-2011 Site coordinator and adjunct field instructor for 205+ social work interns in

Case Western Reserve University/ South Euclid-Lyndhurst Schools, Mentor High School and Coordinator
of Cleveland Metropolitan School District graduate internship program
Trainer for Case Western Reserve University- Cleveland Scholarship Fund Project

LEADERSHIP ROLES
Cofounder of the Ohio School Social Workers Association (OSSWA) 1996
OSSWA President 2000- 2004
SSWAA Representative for the IDEIA Partnership/ National State Directors of Special Education RtI Workgroup Member
SSWAA Representative at USDOE OSEP Leadership Conference 2007
Ohio Association of Pupil Services Organizations – OSSWA Representative
Co-Chairperson – 40th Annual Midwest School Social Work Conference 2007/ Cleveland, Ohio
Chairperson – 2007 Midwest Student Support Services Summit/ Cleveland, Ohio
Appointed Member/ State Advisory Panel on Special Education/ ODE – 2007 to 2009
Appointed Member/Caseload Ratio Special Education Workgroup/ODE – 2008 to present
OHNASW Region III Legislative Chairperson
Co-chairperson of the Second Annual Cuyahoga County Conference on Social Welfare 2012
PUBLICATIONS
Fankell, J., O’Sullivan, M., Smyth, N., & Usaj, K. Developing a Screening Instrument to
Determine the Level of Pro-Social Skills Development for First Grade Girls. Action Research Monograph:City School
System Projects Which Were Initiated and Completed by District Teachers and Staff Between September 1996 and June
1997. ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessments and Evaluations.

Gregory, C., Leoson, E., Usaj, K., Hess, J and Wester, K. (1999).“Bullying, Threatening And Intimidation In Schools: In-
Depth Interviews With Victims And Offenders.” Presented at the American Society of Criminology Meetings: Toronto.

Tracy, E., & Usaj, K. (2006). School social work practice with individual and groups. In
L. Bye & M. Alvarez (Ed.), School Social Work: Theory to Practice. Thompson Press.
Kathleen Usaj, MSSA, LISW, Judith Kullas Shine, MSW, MS, LICSW & Myrna Mandlawitz, M.Ed.,
“Response to Intervention: New Roles for School Social Workers”; School Social Work
Association of America website, www.sswaa.org; Publications and Resources,
Response To Intervention; http:/www.sswaa.org/about/resolutions/RTIFinal.html
AWARDS
2007 Ohio School Social Worker of the Year/ Ohio School Social Work Association and Midwest School Social Work

Council
Ohio School Social Work Visionary Award/ Ohio School Social Work Association