3 Family Engagement Practices Embraced TeamingFamily FindingFamily Group Decision MakingEngagement meetings of ALL typesThese are just a few practices that have gained much attention in PA over the last several years.Proprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
4 To truly engage families we need to understand where they have been, where they are, and where they are goingRead SlideProprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
5 EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING Achieving autonomy Mastery Growth Positive relationshipsSelf-acceptanceSense of purposeProprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
6 IMPACT of LOSSES on WELL-BEING FAMILIESHistory of life experiences-generationalResultant behaviors may be abuse/neglectLimitations in parenting capacityFeelings of failure as parentCHILDREN/ADOLESCENTSPrimary losses-abandonment, rejection, opportunitySecondary losses-maize strangersPROFESSIONALSSecondary traumaProprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
7 The FGDM process is often emotionally intense and anxiety-ridden Separation and loss are common themesSchmid, Harris, Hassabu, and Barnwell (2007)FGC brings people together in a way that is different from their typical interactions to generate an immeadiate resolution to a crisisIt is an emotionally charged process involving often intense emotions.Intense emotions are often an indicator of investment on some levelProprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
8 Why pay attention to loss? Issues of grief and loss can have a substantial impact on the process of rebuilding family relationshipsIf losses are acknowledged and recognized, the trust, security, and openness needed for a successful decision making conference will bemore readily achievedAlthough there has been a great deal of direction provided to those coordinating and facilitating family group conferences, little has been offered to help those workers understand the underlying issues of grief and loss that family members to include children and youth are often dealing with. They are often experiencing losses such as the loss of control, the loss of dignity, the loss of security, the loss of identity, and the loss of belongingness in family. These issues of grief and loss can have a substantial impact on the process. It is important to understand that that these losses are ever present. This understanding will assist coordinators and facilitators in the FGC preparation process.We all know that preparation for participants in a family group conference is critical to having a constructive conference. Participants who understand and are prepared for the conference will be better prepared and more confident in their role in both the conference process as well as in their family plan. Good preparation for participants allows them to better manage painful issues and disagreements with other family members. By providing a framework for understanding the Model within the context of the Family Group Decision Making process, clarity will be provided for the importance of helping FGC participants, including the child, recognize and grieve losses, so that the trust, security and openness needed for a successful conference will be more readily achieved.Proprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
9 Impact of Child Placement on Parents Pervasive and painful feelings of lossThreats to:Self-EsteemParental and Family IdentitySense of Belonging/togethernessSecurityLacking of a sense of purposeCriticism and BlameField Guide to Child Welfare: Placement and Permanence,Child Welfare League of America, 1998Content from CWLAProprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
10 Impact for other Relatives Helplessness/frustrationConcern for both the child and the parentEmbarrassmentAnger/ResentmentToward parent and/or child welfare systemWhen relative becomes caregiver:Loss of future plans (retirement, etc)Move from one role to anotherGrandparent to ParentAunt/Uncle to ParentSibling to ParentConcern for both parent and childSeeing a family member struggle in their parenting role can be difficult. There are often conflicting loyalties to the parent and to the child or children involved (i.e. desire to support the parent while maintaining the child needs in the forefront)Anger/Resentment—Toward parent and/or child welfare systemMany kinship caregivers noted that birth parents are happy to have their freedom back and to pass along the responsibilities of parenthood. This is particularly true of substance-abusing parents who can continue their addiction without being concerned with how it affects their children (Family members may feel ambivalence about the capacity of the child’s parent to accomplish goals. There may also be a feeling that the child welfare agency can’t (or won’t) help.Lack of trust between family member and parent and between family member and agencyRealignment of Relationships—Grandparent to Parent, Aunt/Uncle to Parent, Sibling to ParentWhen family members become caregivers to the child, the relationships in the family may change. The person who was grandma may now be carrying out the day to day parenting duties. It may take time for those involved to accept and adjust to these new rolesMany kinship caregivers experience a limited social life, infringement of privacy, and sleep deprivation as a result of providing care. Caregivers typically experience chronic emotional and physical fatigue; family and marital conflicts; social isolation, including loss of friends, recreational opportunities, privacy, and hobbies; and feelings of anger, guilt, grief, resentment, hopelessness, and anxiety. Dwindling finances can lead to despair. Kinship caregivers are at high risk for work absenteeism and poor health because of the intense level of stress they endure.Proprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
11 Themes of Loss (for Families with Child Welfare System Involvement) Loss of controlLoss of dignityLoss of securityLoss of identityLoss of belongingness in familyAs we have just described, issues of grief and loss are ever present in the work that we do. In summary, family members are dealing with many complex and integrated themes of loss, including the loss of control, the loss of dignity, the loss of security, the loss of identity, and the loss of belongingness in a family.Go to next slideProprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
12 3-5-7 MODELEvidence-informed relational practice approach that supports the work of children, youth, and their familiesTo grieve losses resulting from their traumasTo rebuild relationships established in the perception of safetyTo empower individualsProprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
13 3-5-7 MODEL3 TASKS: frame engagement strategies to support the work of children, youth, and families5 QUESTIONS: support the work of the 3 tasks and address the issues that are the results of relationship and family traumas7 SKILLS: the abilities, knowledge and philosophical perspectives of professionals and caregivers who work with children, youth and familiesThe Model is a strengths-based approach that empowers children and youth to engage in activities that encourage expressions of hurt related to losses and to give meaning to significant relationships towards developing permanent connections. It supports deeper therapeutic work, around the traumas of abuse, abandonment and neglect experiences, that is or may be provided by other clinical professionals.The Model incorporates three tasks, five conceptual questions and seven interpersonal skill elements to support this work. The three tasks guide the activities that support the work of grieving and relationship building. Losses will be clarified, relationships will be integrated, and permanent connections will be actualized.The 5 conceptual questions support the work of the three tasks providing a frame of reference that addresses the issues of identity formation, loss, attachment, relationship building and safety for belongingness.The 7 skills are critical to our engagement of those doing the grief process and relationship building work. These skills and interpersonal abilities guide the efforts of professionals, counselors, families and caregivers as they are present to and support the grief work.Proprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
14 TASKS 3 CLARIFICATION: INTEGRATION: ACTUALIZATION: Events of one’s life are explored through activities, listening, support, conversationINTEGRATION:Relationships are identified and recognized for their ongoing place in one’s life. Meaning is given to each important relationshipACTUALIZATION:Permanency in relationship(s) is visualized based on perceptions of safety and belongingnessThe tasks of clarification, integration and actualization guide our interventions with children youth and families towards their readiness to explore and understand the events that have happened in their lives, to express feelings and thoughts related to these events and to form more permanent connections with those individuals or families who are important to them. These tasks provide a method to assess readiness, and are also indicators of where individuals are in beginning their work. The tasks are conducted to explore the issues of the 5 conceptual questions.Each task is described in a more depth narrative in an accompanying handout.Proprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
15 Conceptual Questions 5 Who Am I?………………………Identity What Happened To Me?………LossWhere Am I Going?……………AttachmentHow Will I Get There?………….RelationshipsWhen Will I Know I belong? Permanency/Safety/BelongingThe five conceptual questions provide the frames of reference to explore the issues of identity, loss, attachment, relationship building, and permanency/safety/belonging. Individuals reactions may include: anxiety, regression, physiological symptoms, denial of feelings/events, confused attachments to rejecting or unreliable parents, rebellious behaviors, delayed expression of feelings, self-blame for being in placement, and conflicting loyalties to all parent figures in their lives. Exploring the issues identified in these five questions organizes the work to be done through various activities and techniques. The behaviors and comments of individuals provide clues as the work that still remains towards resolution of the painful events and relationships of their lives.A handout narrative describes each question and issue in more detail.Proprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
16 Skills 7 * LISTENING to their stories & life experiences * ENGAGING individuals & families in their work (3 tasks)* LISTENING to their stories & life experiences* BEING PRESENT & BRIEFLY SPEAKING in response to stories, questions, comments, reactions of child/youth/families* AFFIRMING current perspectives of their Life Stories* Establishing the perception of SAFETY through authentic listening, physical location and continuity of time spent with child/youth/family* EXPLORING past life events in present time building on strengths* RECOGNIZING and ACCEPTING that current BEHAVIORS reflect GRIEF RESPONSES from past traumas and current eventsThe 7 skills/interpersonal abilities guide the efforts of professionals and caregivers to support the work of children and youth to grieve losses and rebuild relationships. These abilities are: engagement and listening skills, recognizing that behaviors indicate the pain of losses, affirming and responding to these behaviors from a grief perspective, remaining present to the expressions of grief and responding in the moment, creating opportunities for the perception of safety within the helping relationship, and recognizing that grief work and relationship building can be done only by those who have experienced the losses.The pace at which the concepts of the Model are conducted will vary with each child/youth and the skills of the worker/parent.A handout is provided that describes in more depth each of these skill elements.Activity: Hand out diagnosis and then have participants recognize the behaviors as common expressions of grief.Proprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
17 Clarification: Supporting the Work of Grieving and Identity Formation Continuity of time with individual“Normalizing” the grief workKnowledge of and use of activitiesDevelopment of Life BookAwareness of self –Own lossesSkills and ability to comfort anotherSupportive relationshipsThese principles frame the practice of the Model.Continuity of time with youth. It is essential that youth be engaged minimally bi-weekly, preferably once a week. Building a relationship of trust requires recognizing and responding to the needs of those grieving on a constant basis. This replicates the parallel process of the attachment cycle for building relationships.“Normalizing” the grief work. Expressions, feelings, behaviors associated with loss are normal responses, not pathological or maladaptive. They have been diagnosed as conduct disorders, oppositional defiant disorder among others. However, if they indicators/criteria of these diagnosis are explored, they are behaviors associated with losses.Knowledge and use of activities. Activities and exercises provide non-threatening, tangible tools from which children and youth can connect with feelings and explore thoughts about what has happened to them. They may share with workers or not what is revealed to them. Nevertheless, they are doing their work of grieving and giving meaning to relationships.Development of Life Book. The Life Book is not about the book, but about a recording and collection of information about the story of one’s life. It is a tangible history of the perspective of the child or youth about their understanding and account of events that have happened to them in life. It is autobiographical, reflecting the work of the child/youth in clarifying facts, exploring feelings and providing continuity in this process of working through their losses.Awareness of self. All those engaging individuals in this work should be self reflective of their own losses and where they are in their grieving. They should be empathic and able to comfort the grief of another without letting their own unresolved issues interfere. They should have personal relationships that are supportive when they are in need of comfort.Proprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
18 Integration: Supporting the Work of Relationship Building Recognizing the loyalty within familiesRecognizing the most children and youth love their birth parents; and, parents love their childrenAccept the human need to be in relationship with anotherIntegration is relationship building work and the task of workers is to support this work.Workers must be mindful that loyalty to biological families, or other families/individuals reflects the caring for others and that individual has attachment in their relationships. It is also a foundation for identity development based on family characteristics. No judgment should be placed on these feelings; however, the child/youth must feel ok with having these feelings.No matter the parent-child relationship, and the reasons the child/youth may not be able to live with their family, they still desire to know that they are loved by their parents. This is the opportunity to explore the love of a parent and the parent’s capacity to be a good parent.The commitment is to assure at least one permanent connection for a youth…leaving care from a group facility, or non attached family leaves youth with no supportive connections when they need support after leaving care.Proprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
19 Actualization: Supporting the Work of Relational Permanency & Belongingness “permanency begins at home”Exploring all possible relationshipsFuture view of a caring connection and/or relationship that is secureRelational permanency and belongingness are the ultimate goal with all children and youth in this process. The tasks of Clarification and Integration provide progress towards the Actualization of what is ahead. Children and youth are engaged in planning for next steps as they are in relationship with another with whom they feel safe. They have been exploring relationships in the integration task and have come to identify with who they have chosen to have a permanent relationship. Permanency, the feeling of belonging with another, begins in the child/youth’s biological family. Even though abuse/neglect/dependency may have brought them into care, they have still experienced permanency with their family.Proprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
20 OUTCOMES ENCOURAGE EXPRESSION of FEELINGS EMBRACE PAST LIFE EVENTS, RELATIONSHIPS, CULTURECLARIFY CONFUSIONS, QUESTIONSESTABLISH SUPPORTIVE CONNECTIONSVISUALIZE POSITIVE FUTUREProprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
21 Impact of Grief & Loss Courts & County CYS System Honorable Jolene Kopriva – Blair CountyHonorable John Kuhn – Adams CountySue Cohick – Adams CountyProprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
22 ReferencesHenry, D. L. (2005) Model: Preparing children for permanency. Children and Youth Services Review, 27,Rycus, J. & Hughes, R. (1998). Field Guide to Child Welfare: Placement and Permanence, CWLA Press: Washington D.C.Schmid, J., Harris, C., Hassabu, I., & Barnwell, L. (2007). Using family group conferencing in the context of death and dying. Protecting Children, 22,Proprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.
23 For more information on the 3-5-7 Model: Darla L. HenryProprietary: Darla L Henry & Associates, Inc.