Let’s Collaborate: Practice-based Strategies for Overcoming the Challenges of Engaging Families
This interactive and engaging workshop focuses on identifying critical skills, knowledge and attitudes for working with families during home visits to foster engagement and collaboration. Research has demonstrated that person-centered practice, where individualized planning and support is the focus, leads to better outcomes for families and children. We will discuss family engagement strategies, collaborating with families to develop a shared vision and achievable goals, common challenges, and how to ensure that our work with families fosters relationships that are safe, nurturing and offer them opportunities for success. This workshop encourages peer sharing and targeted discussion about improving practice at the field and supervisory levels.
Creating and Measuring Family Goals: Engagement and Collaboration for Success
This interactive and engaging workshop focuses on working with families and children to help collaboratively develop meaningful goals and objectives for service planning. Research has demonstrated that person-centered practice, where individualized planning and support is the focus, leads to better outcomes for families and children. We will discuss family engagement strategies, shared and SMART goal setting, and how to ensure that the goals and plans designed with families are attainable and measurable. This workshop encourages peer sharing and targeted discussion about improving practice at the field and supervisory levels.
Stuff No One Wants to Talk about: Engaging Clients in Necessary Conversations
Whether sharing complicated information or talking about sensitive issues, necessary conversations are common place in human services and facilitating them is an essential skill. Having necessary conversations can be stressful and uncomfortable and can have lasting impact. This highly engaging and interactive training will meet the needs of both new staff as well as seasoned veterans. A review of typical human development and the overlay of complex trauma to highlight the importance of understanding individuals to best facilitate necessary conversations. There will be ample opportunity for participants to practice having necessary conversations, learn from each other, and explore different ways to engage the children and youth they work with and support. Participants will have opportunities to reflect on their skills and comfort with various topics and engage in discussions that highlight promising practices and those practices that are beneficial to developing strong relationships with clients.
Emotional Labor and Human Service Practice
With increasing efforts to humanize the difficult and complex work of supporting vulnerable families, parents, and children, it is essential to recognize the emotional toll of the work and practice strategies to manage those challenges. Social work practitioners must possess a range of skills and content expertise; and, performing the work requires a significant degree of emotional labor. Emotional labor is best described as the process of regulating one’s feelings and expressions while interfacing with clients, colleagues, and collateral contacts to meet the emotional expectations of the job. This type of work is often invisible and unrecognized by others as well as the person performing it. It is complex, pervasive, and can be exhausting. This session will introduce participants to the formal concept of emotional labor, explore their experiences with it, and offer strategies for recognizing and effectively managing it. It can be customized for management, supervisors, and direct care staff.
Motivational Interviewing: Person-centered Techniques to Motivate Behavior Change
This interactive and engaging training will cover the basic concepts and techniques of Motivational Interviewing. Grounded in a strength-based philosophy that highlights person-centered treatment, we will discuss how Motivational Interviewing overlaps, underscores and dovetails with the core clinical concepts already utilized in practice with clients. We will help participants identify and develop some of the introductory ideas, strategies and skills to help those that we serve to better help themselves. With a focus on skill development specific to working collaboratively with young people who have experienced significant adversity, this session demonstrates how Motivational Interviewing offers important techniques for professionals developing treatment pathways to effectively engage clients in favorable behavior changes.
Trauma: Impact and Hope
Trauma as a result of abuse, neglect, grief, and loss can have a profound biopsychosocial impact on people. Children with foster care histories or other forms of out-of-home care have often experienced a range of traumatic events which can impact their thoughts and feelings about themselves as well as their educational achievement, physical and mental health. Awareness of trauma and its consequences are critical to supporting children and families who have histories of child welfare and juvenile justice involvement, foster care, and/or adoption. During this session, participants will explore the various types of trauma experienced by individuals and families involved in social services; recognize the symptoms and common diagnoses associated with trauma; and understand the basis of effective interventions for working with youth who have experienced trauma.
Adoption and Foster Care: Core Clinical Considerations
This session explores the core clinical issues that impact all the players in permanency work including youth, birth parents, kin, foster and pre-adoptive parents. It highlights how adoption and foster care intersect with these issues throughout people’s lives. Children who live in foster care enter family placements with a unique history, including their connection to and experiences with their birth family, siblings, genetic background, and specific strengths. Participants gain a greater understanding of how important it is to acknowledge that foster care and adoption interact with these core clinical issues while planning a child’s permanency.
The Art of Matching in Adoption
Matching in adoption is the process of identifying a family whose abilities, understanding and resources are best aligned with the needs and strengths of a youth in need of a permanent family. It is not an exact science and can be very challenging. The consequences of making a poor match can have long term implications for youth and eventual successful permanency. Developing policies, practices and support grounded in the principles of permanency are critical. The art of matching is born from both subjective and objective practices. Having a deep understanding of a youth needs in conjunction with appreciating the skills and strengths required by a caregiver to support the youth is a critical component. Additionally, there are several other considerations that make youth adoption matching complicated. Participants will have opportunities to reflect on their skills and comfort with various topics as well as identify needed supports from their organization. Sharing among peers will be encouraged to highlight promising practices and identify practices that are beneficial to making the best matches for youth.
Unpacking the No: Exploring Why Youth Resist Adoption
Working with youth who are in need of a successful permanency solution is time and resource intensive. This process becomes even more complicated when a youth expresses an unwillingness to be adopted. Engaging youth about what they want, understand, feel, think and hope for regarding permanency is essential to figuring out why a youth may be resistant. Finding permanency through adoption is a process and not a one-time event. It requires a good working relationship and understanding of who the youth is with ongoing engagement to help a youth see the benefits of being adopted. This session will be highly engaging and interactive. It will cover balancing the individual needs and feelings of a youth along with the multi-faceted aspects of finding permanency for youth in care. Participants will have ample opportunities to learn new strategies and to help them consider how they can support the youth they work with to have an informed transformation from no to yes.
What Does "Typical" Look Like?
Appreciating the many phases of child and adolescent development is critical to recognizing indicators of traumatic experiences and their effects. Appreciating the complexity of lifespan development and the fundamental function of connections with others for optimal development, will be explored. Additionally, within a framework of typical human development, we will facilitate a rich discussion about the powerful impact that loss, abuse, and neglect have for all areas of development and behavior. In particular, this training will discuss differentiation between expected child behavior and behavior that poses a risk or may indicate experiences with abuse and neglect.
is a practice resource developed by MJ Henry & Associates, Inc., highlighting common word choices about child welfare, families, adoption, and foster care that may be insensitive and hurtful. This resource offers more accurate and appropriate alternatives and provides an explanation for why these word choices may be considered hurtful.