The elements of people

Josh Ebling '96, MSW, LISW-S
President/CEO, Family Resource Centers, Lima, Ohio
Major: psychology


Changing elements.
Josh EblingJosh Ebling originally planned to be a chemical engineer. One course in psychology, however, and he changed his mind. "Science is the same no matter the field," says Josh. "I still consider myself a scientist; it's just that the elements are different."

Servicing a community, not just individuals.
Interested in clinical work, Josh took a variety of psychology, sociology and social work courses at Bluffton to gain a broader community view. "I didn't want to just offer a service to a client base," he says. "I wanted the service to fit into the larger community as a whole. Taking those courses gave me a community perspective."

Psychology or social work?
After graduation, Josh vacillated between entering a doctoral program in psychology and obtaining a master of social work. "I liked the macro practice of social work, and I liked the idea of getting work experience in the field while doing schoolwork," says Josh. He decided on social work and enrolled at The Ohio State University. "I couldn't be more pleased with that decision," he says. "The field of social work has created a lot of opportunities."

Dual interests.
Josh spent two years as a community support specialist with Westwood Behavioral Health Center. He facilitated a dual-diagnosis program, working with individuals who had mental illness as well as mental or developmental disabilities. "In addition to working with adolescents, the dual-diagnosis population became a specialty area of mine," says Josh.

Directing, counseling, teaching.
That specialty area opened a door at The Arc, a national advocacy organization for families and individuals with developmental disabilities that provides immediate care and residential facilities along with day-service and camp programs. Josh served as executive director of the Allen County chapter for more than 10 years. At the same time, he became independently licensed and engaged in private practice, doing individual and family counseling. He also began teaching at Rhodes State College in Lima.

On a mission to help.
In January 2009, Josh joined the Family Resource Centers (FRC). FRC provides specialized behavioral health services to individuals, children and families in Allen, Auglaize, Hancock and Hardin Counties. Because of his work with The Arc, Josh was already familiar with FRC's programs. He felt The Arc was in a good position, and he saw an opportunity to help strengthen FRC. The position allows him to use both his clinical and administrative experience.

Funding the future.
Funding is always an issue when it comes to social service agencies. "There's never going to be enough funding, but you can't make that the issue," says Josh. "We still have to find a way to do good things. The challenge is to maintain services through creativity and efficiency to make sure that people are still served."