February 6, 2019

Oregon Child Development Coalition (OCDC) is a very large Early Childhood Care and Education program that serves over 4000 children and families in 17 counties across Oregon. OCDC programs include:

  • Migrant and Seasonal Head Start and Early Head Start
  • Oregon Pre-Kindergarten and Oregon Early Head Start
  • Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting
  • Early Head Start Child Care and Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships

Building Attuned and Responsive Staff to Support Attuned and Responsive Parents

From Haley Atherton, Family & Health Services Content Specialist, Oregon Child Development Coalition

Professional development related to Trauma Informed Care (TIC) supports staff to become more attuned and responsive to parents and, as a result, parents are supported to build attuned and responsive relationships with their children. Oregon Child Development Coalition (OCDC) has established partnerships with local and national trainers in the fields of Domestic Violence, Motivational Interviewing, and Mental Health First Aid. Staff are encouraged to participate in the trainings to develop knowledge, skills, and the ability to engage parents in important conversations about individual and family health, wellness, and safety. The ultimate goal is to build trusting and responsive relationships with parents that allows parents to express their concerns, interests, wants, and needs—and get those needs met, so that they can provide trusting and responsive relationships with their children.

Healthy Moms, Happy Babies is a nationally recognized training about Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) that incorporates popular education and universal education. The universal education approach to discussing IPV with parents forgoes the stigmatization associated with IPV and allows parent and OCDC staff to discuss important considerations about healthy relationships, unsafe relationships, and ways to access support if the parent (or their friend) is experiencing IPV. The training also integrates the concept of organizational wellness and self-care as a necessary component to a trauma-informed approach to IPV work.

Motivational Interviewing in Early Childhood Settings was designed specifically for OCDC staff who work in a Head Start setting. The training is three full days in which staff learn, practice, reflect, and repeat the components of motivational interviewing. In the training staff are encouraged to build reflective capacity when engaging parents in changes to their behavioral health.

Mental Health First Aid is an internationally recognized curriculum that encourages participants to learn about the signs and symptoms of a mental health emergency situation and trauma-informed tools and skills to respond. Through a partnership with Portland Community College, OCDC staff can earn one college credit in adult mental health first aid. OCDC is looking towards partnering with trainers to provide rural mental health first aid, and Spanish mental health first aid.

We are currently collecting qualitative data from staff about the impact of their newly honed skills with the families they serve and hope to see positive results. What we believe is that there is a parallel process happening with staff and parents when staff build knowledge, skills, and abilities to attune and respond to each parent’s experience. Parents, in turn, build attuned and responsive relationships with their children.

TIC y ES.PE.RE. (Escuelas de Perdón y Reconciliación): Apoyando a las familias migrantes en la aceptación de haber sufrido traumas

TIC and ES.PE.RE. (Schools of Forgiveness and Reconciliation): Supporting migrant families in their acceptance of having suffered traumas

From Lucy Beltran, Regional Family Education Trainer, Oregon Child Development Coalition

A lo largo de varios años he tenido la oportunidad de trabajar con familias migrantes dando diferentes clases y talleres para mejorar sus habilidades en su rol de padres. Algunas de las clases que he impartido incluyen: Abriendo Puertas Haga de la paternidad un placer y Padres Ayudando a Padres. También y no menos importante, nuestra agencia ha tenido talleres para tratar las necesidades emocionales de los padres. Tal como TIC y ES.PE.RE. (Escuelas del Perdón y la Reconciliación).

Over several years I have had the opportunity to work with migrant families giving different classes and workshops to improve their skills in their role as parents. Some of the classes I have delivered include: Abriendo Puertas (Opening Doors), Haga de la paternidad un placer (Making parenting a pleasure), and Padres Ayudando a Padres (Parents Helping Parents). Also, and no less important, our agency has held workshops to address the emotional needs of parents. Such as Trauma Informed Care (TIC) and ES.PE.RE. (Schools of Forgiveness and Reconciliation).

Se ofreció un entrenamiento de Práctica Informada sobre el Trauma a los padres explicando los diferentes tipos de estrés y como reacciona el cerebro, definimos lo que es trauma y la importancia de la resiliencia. Con las herramientas que TIC ofrece muchos de estos padres han logrado entender sus propias necesidades emocionales y afectivas, logrando así trabajar en ellos mismos. Ya que una vez reconociendo que han sufrido algún tipo de trauma en sus vidas, es más fácil trabajar en sanar para luego enfocarse en su familia (pareja y/o hijos). Una vez entendiendo lo que es trauma, han podido evitar que se repitan patrones de conducta que pueden dejar trauma en sus hijos, como sería, por ejemplo, la violencia doméstica.

A TIC workshop was offered to the parents where they learned the different types of stress and the brain’s reaction. We defined what stress is and the importance of resilience. With the tools that TIC offers, many of these parents have managed to understand their own affection and emotional needs, and are able to work on themselves. Once they recognize that they have suffered some kind of trauma in their lives, it is easier to work on healing and then focus on their family (partner and/or children). Once they understand what trauma is, they have been able to avoid repeating patterns of behavior that can leave trauma in their children, for example, domestic violence.

Participantes OCDC con sus cerificados ES.PE.RE. OCDC ES.PE.RE. participants with their certificates.

ES.PE.RE. enseña un proceso para reinterpretar un evento doloroso en el pasado de uno y sobreponer el dolor y los sentimientos que limitan disfrutar la vida. Usando el currículo de las ES.PE.RE y TIC como una herramienta más, los padres han logrado reconocer, hablar y aceptar para luego sanar sus experiencias pasadas. Este taller está dirigido a personas que:

  • Quieran superar los problemas de su entorno familiar (madre, padre, hijos, hermanos, tíos, abuelos, etc.)
  • Quieran dejar de castigarse a sí mismas por errores que han cometido.
  • Quieran mejorar sus relaciones con compañeros de trabajo.

ES.PE.RE. teaches a process to reinterpret a painful event in one’s past and to overcome the pain and the feelings that limit the enjoyment of life. Using the ES.PE.RE. curriculum and TIC as an additional tool, parents have been able to recognize, speak, accept and then heal from their past experiences. This workshop is for people who:

  • Want to overcome the problems around their family (mother, father, children, brothers, uncles, grandparents, etc.)
  • Want to stop punishing themselves for their mistakes.
  • Want to improve their relationship with co-workers.

Más información sobre ES PE RE la puede encontrar en: http://fundacionparalareconciliacion.org/.

More information on ES.PE.RE can be found at: http://fundacionparalareconciliacion.org/.