Sara Roberts is the Senior Program Director for the NIH Ohio HEALing Communities Study. Her areas of professional focus have been on substance use disorder and mental health treatment, system-involved families and youth, trauma-informed care, and community engagement. She received a Bachelor’s of Art in Psychology with Departmental Honors from Kent State University and a Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University. Sara currently is a Licensed Independent Social Worker in the State of Ohio.
Sara comes to the Swetland Center with a vast array of experience in direct practice and community engagement and organizing. Her career started in working with a child welfare involved population, where Sara was part of a team out of University Settlement and develop community supports for families in the Broadway and Slavic Village neighborhoods in Cleveland using the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Family to Family model in partnership with Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services (CCDCFS). She went on to work for CCDCFS for 8.5 years, as a social services worker and supervisor. After receiving her social work license, Sara moved into mental health treatment and provided Early Childhood Mental Health Services at Ohio Guidestone in Cleveland, with specific training in evidence-based trauma interventions. She worked for Family and Community Services as the Associate Clinical Director where she was instrumental in helping to create and develop treatment programming for system-involved families, as was a treatment and housing options for adult substance-using populations. Sara has served as the State Director of Clinical Services for The Bair Foundation, where she was the administrator for a 40-person statewide team that offered treatment to high-risk families and children. Most recently, Sara was the Chief Program Officer and Clinical Director and started Hope Village Recovery Center, an outpatient treatment center that serves substance-using adults where she developed the programming, treatment model and assisted the agency in achieving certification through Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
She is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and teaches courses in social policy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and practice evaluation. Sara a board member for Ohio Change Addiction Now, a grassroots organization that is focused on family issues with substance use disorder and for Open United Recovery Place, a developing Recovery Community Organization in Portage County. In 2018, she was asked to chair a community organizing project in Portage County to assist with the local substance use problems. The Portage Project was created and helped several organization partners together to create recovery housing for women who are homeless and at high risk for relapse.