Jody Johnston Pawel, LSW, CFLE, CTSS, CWCSC
CEO, Relationship Toolshop® International Training Institute, LLC
Jody is a parenting expert, author, trainer, and coach who lives in the Greater Dayton (Ohio) area, she has served almost tens of thousands of people through her uniquely edu-taining interactive workshops and online webinars. She has 40 years of experience in the child welfare world and has trained thousands of primary parents, foster parents, and protective service caseworkers in several U.S. states. Through her private practice and online learning platform, she has trained another 50,000+ parents, teachers and family-service professionals, teachers, childcare professionals [and more] worldwide.
Jody is uniquely qualified to teach parenting. She is one of only a few second-generation parent educators in the world, starting at age 8 by helping her parents develop audio vignettes for their parenting classes. She attended her first parenting class and group facilitation skills training with her mother at age 14, so she could be a youth leader. She went on to become the Outstanding Social Work Graduate at Wright State University.
Jody holds many credentials and certifications, including being a Licensed Social Worker in the State of Ohio, a Certified Family Life Educator through the National Council of Family Relations, a Certified Trauma Support Specialist through the Arizona Trauma Institute, and a Certified World Class Speaking Coach. As Founder/CEU Relationship Toolshop® International Training Institute, LLC, she oversees an international network of parent educators and family niche experts. Together, they co-author programs and resources which are published by Ambris Publishing, another subsidiary company, and train/certify Toolshop® instructors worldwide.
For more than 30 years, Jody has been a leader in the parent education field. She serves on the Advisory Council for the National Parenting Education Network and is Chair of the Professional Preparation and Recognition Committee, serving on all 4 of its sub-committees: Professional Competencies, Para-professional Competencies, and Diverse Roles, Assessment of Evidence-based Parenting Programs, and started and Chairs the Monthly Membership Webinar Committee. She also serves on the Membership Committee of the Family Life Coaching Association and is frequently called into leadership roles and asked to write and present workshops on professional development topics.
Her first book, The Parent’s Toolshop®: The Universal Blueprint® for Building a Healthy Family, is the result of an 8-year literature-research project of research-based resources and evidence-based parenting programs. It received the 2000 “Seal of Approval” from The National Parenting Center and was a finalist for the most prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award: The Bill Fisher Award for “Best First Book by a New Author.” The book has also received endorsements and testimonials from top parenting experts and authors, parents, and family professionals nationwide. To date, she has authored or co-authored 100+ multimedia resources.
The book was the centerpiece of a research-based, trauma-informed parent education curriculum that was the subject of a 10-year outcome evaluation study with almost 1300 parents of diverse backgrounds, showing it got impressive results. Since 1995, Jody has trained and certified 100+ Parent’s Toolshop® coaches and trainers worldwide who use The Parent’s Toolshop® book and curriculum as their guide. A Standards & Practices peer-advisory committee screens and approves each applicant, whom Jody personally trains, to assure high-quality programming and that the highest ethical standards are maintained by its instructors.
For over 30 years, Jody has also served as a parenting expert to the media worldwide and a favorite guest expert on radio/TV talk shows. She was the Co-Producer and on-air childcare expert for the Emmy Award-nominated “Ident-a-Kid” television series, has given over 500 media interviews, and her parenting advice has appeared in newspapers and magazines, including such noted publications as Parenting, Parents, Working Mother, Christian Parenting Today, Christian Science Monitor, Redbook, Women’s Day, U.S. News & World Report, and The Chicago Tribune. Jody was also the online parenting expert for Cox Ohio Publishing mom-to-mom websites.
Jody is considered within the family life education field as one of the leading experts in starting and growing a successful practice (non-profit or for-profit). She has extensive training and expertise in integrity-based, relationship-building, client-focused marketing practices, parent educators, therapists, and coaches can use. From 2004-2007, she served as a team leader and co-facilitator for the Book Yourself Solid, Product Factory, and Traffic School programs, winning several leadership awards for her outstanding performance. She has studied with Jack Canfield and other top industry experts. She has written articles and textbook chapters on marketing parent education programs for NCFR CFLE. She has also presented workshops at parent educator conferences throughout the U.S. on effectively marketing parent education programs and is a regularly featured expert on their webinar series.
Additionally, Jody is the founder of The Family Network, a local parent-to-parent organization that is still going strong more than 25 years later. She has helped dozens of parents throughout North America by starting similar groups with her first book, Creating and Facilitating Mother Discussion Groups.
On the home front, Jody has been married since 1983 and is the mother of two adult children, who have learned effective parenting as their first language and use it with her two grandchildren.
(This is Jody’s professional bio. Read her “origin” story here.)