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BREAKING DOWN THE BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVELY ENGAGING PARENTS IN CHILD WELFARE AND JUVENILE JUSTICE!

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Presentation on theme: "BREAKING DOWN THE BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVELY ENGAGING PARENTS IN CHILD WELFARE AND JUVENILE JUSTICE!"— Presentation transcript:

1 BREAKING DOWN THE BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVELY ENGAGING PARENTS IN CHILD WELFARE AND JUVENILE JUSTICE!

2 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/CPSP RENAISSANCE FAMILY SOLUTIONS, INC.

3 OBJECTIVE 1 TO DEVELOP A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF THE IMPACT OF PARENTAL ENGAGEMENT AND INVOLVEMENT IN THE SERVICES BEING PROVIDED TO CHILDREN IN CHILD WELFARE AND JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEMS

4 OBJECTIVE 2 TO ADDRESS THE BARRIERS AND STRUGGLES OF EFFECTIVELY ENGAGING PARENTS OF CHILDREN INVOLVED WITH THE CHILD WELFARE AND JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEMS

5 OBJECTIVE 3 TO LEARN NEW STATEGIES AND TIPS THAT WILL ASSIST SERVICE PROVIDERS IN BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH PARENTS AND ENGAGING THEM IN THE SERVICE PROVISION PROCESS AT ALL STAGES

6 WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT PARENTAL ENGAGEMENT? Agencies across the country have begun to acknowledge that effective engagement of parents in the provision of services is KEY TO THE SUCCESS OF THE CHILD INVOLVED. Service providers must understand that parental involvement and engagement early in the service provision process is imperative to OBTAINING POSITIVE OUTCOMES FOR THE FAMILIES they are servicing. Engaging parents in services who have worked with these systems as a result of their child’s mental health, behavior issues, developmental disability, or abuse/neglect issues CAN BE VERY CHALLENGING YET NECESSARY.

7 WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? FROM A PARENT’S PERSPECTIVE …. WE KNOW OUR FAMILY BETTER THAN YOU THINK WE REALLY DO CARE WE HAVE SOMETHING TO OFFER WE WANT TO BE HEARD WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT

8 "Engagement predicts outcome. Your job is to keep the client engaged." Scott Miller

9 WHAT BARRIERS HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED DURING THE ENGAGEMENT PROCESS AS A PROVIDER OR A PARENT?

10 WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE PARENT? Agency turnovers Reassignment of multiple providers Bad experience Broken promises Cultural and linguistic differences Poor customer service Judgment and blame Alienation Disrespectful treatment May cause a parent to become resistant to service providers connected with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

11 WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE SERVICE PROVIDER? Overworked/Burnout Blaming Authority issues Lacks patience Feels defeated Needs support Lacks the necessary skills No proper training Frustrated Time constraints May cause the provider to be less patient and less focused on how they can have a positive impact on the relationship with this parent.

12 WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE SYSTEMS? CHILD WELFARE JUVENILE JUSTICE WE HAVE CONTROL TIME CONSTRAINTS COURT ORDERS, SERVICE PLANS CHILD-BASED YOU MESSED UP WE ARE THE LAW TIME CONSTRAINTS COURT ORDERS AUTHORITY-BASED YOUR CHILD MESSED UP

13 RESISTANCE Hostile Uncooperative Angry Doesn’t Care Bad parent Won’t change Waste of time Stubbornness Obstinacy Defiance Hardheadedness Rigidity Opposition

14 WHAT IS RESISTANCE? GENERAL DEFINITION: The act of resisting, or the capacity to resist To attempt to counter the actions or effects of To withstand the actions of To oppose To be distasteful to

15 FOOD FOR THOUGHT! Providers who lack empathy, dominate discussions, lecture to clients, move too quickly, or offer advice from a know-it-all stance will likely arouse resistance in healthy clients seeking someone with better counseling skills.

16 DEMONSTRATION ACTIVITY I NEED ONE VOLUNTER!!

17 POSITIVE SIDE OF RESISTANCE IN PARENTAL ENGAGEMENT Without resistance, all social systems would dissolve into chaos and confusion, changing with every new idea presented. Without resistance, families would not have the stability necessary to provide the structure required to raise healthy children. Resistance is what prevents us from being victims of charlatans and sociopathic con artists. Resistance is what prevents us from buying every product presented to us in commercials and infomercials. Without resistance, there would be no sense of self. Resistance provides us with a sense of being right. Can there be right and wrong without resistance? Resistance can be a sign of good mental health and judgment. Without resistance, there would be no mental health. Without a certain amount of resistance, we would have no stability, predictability, security, and comfort.

18 RESISTANCE IS GOOD FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH!

19 FOOD FOR THOUGHT! "Without resistance we would all be out of a job." Pipes & Davenport, 1990

20 WHOSE ISSUE IS IT? CLIENT ISSUE CLIENT-PROVIDER ISSUE "Any client behavior that exhibits a reluctance, on the part of the client, to participate in the tasks of therapy as set forward by the therapist," or "…any behavior that indicates covert or overt opposition to the therapist, the counseling process, or the therapist's agenda" (Bischoff & Tracey, 1995). "Resistance refers to the client's unwillingness to change" (Ritchie 1986). "…ways utilized by the client to deter the counselor from his purpose of helping him to change can be called resistance…" (Kell & Mueller, 1966). (It should be noted that these authors also discuss the therapist's resistance to the client.) Resistance is a reflection of the developmental level of your client Resistance is a signal the client is dealing with a very important issue (Moursund & Kenny, 2002) A mismatch between our method of delivering influence and the client's current propensity to accept the method by which the influence is delivered. Resistant client behavior seems…to conform to Newton's third law of motion: for every force there is an equal and opposite counterforce. (Cowan and Presbury)

21 How to tell if resistance has gotten the best of you? You feel like you are fighting and arguing with your clients. Your clients are "Yes, but-ing…" you to death. You are sitting on the edge of your chair, leaning toward your client with your neck stretched out while the client sits there relaxed! You are working harder than your clients are. If you have more work to do than your clients, then you should take a close look at what you are doing. It is likely that something is amiss. You are worrying more and carrying more tension about clients' problems than clients are.

22 How to tell if resistance has gotten the best of you? You are feeling compelled to say "we" as you discuss client problems. You dread the session before it begins. You dread the session after it ends. You feel stressed and drained in an unhealthy manner after sessions You are feeling burned out with your work You take your clients' problems home with you on your weekend while your clients go home relaxed and confident that their therapist has the situation under control.

23 "An effortless yielding of one's agenda is a major signal to the client's unconscious that here is a person I do not have to resist." Ron Kurtz

24 Treat them with respect at all times The relationship between a service provider and a parent has to be built upon mutual respect or it will not work. Showing respect means not saying things to the children about their parent that is negative or can cause a child to question their parent’s authority. Showing respect means not making decisions about their family behind their backs without communicating with them. Showing respect means discussing your plans with the parent prior to making plans with their child. Showing respect means treating the parent as if they are an important part of the treatment team.

25 Do less talking and more “active” listening When I say “listen”, I am not referring to the typical routine of asking questions in an attempt to get the answers to a form you are completing. Listening that involves eye contact and validation of feelings. I suggest you spend at least the first minutes just listening to the parent and their story. Give the parent the opportunity to share with you their feelings, thoughts, opinions, and views about their current situation. Actively listening to a parent discuss their home, job, family, and personal life can help you learn important and relevant information that can assist you in working with that family.

26 Create plans with the collaboration of the parent and/or child Allow parents to be a part of the planning from the beginning. NO Cookie-cutter plans Although there are some areas of the service plan that may be legally required, the parent and child can still be included in the overall planning for their family. Including the parent in the planning process will help a service provider to build a collaborative partnership with the parent/caretaker involved and also make them more accountable when it is a plan that they were a part of creating.

27 Meet them at their level and understand their capabilities When you are communicating with parents use language that they can understand. They may be experiencing some personal circumstances that will affect their level of understanding, motivation to change, and capacity to perform at an expected level. You may also have a parent that is challenged mentally or intellectually so you may have to communicate differently so they can understand and follow through with services as needed. Don’t assume that the parent knows what you are talking about or has had everything explained to them or understands everything. It does not matter how long they have been involved in the system with their children or as children themselves, they may not understand what is going on with their family and it is very important to effectively communicate this to them.

28 FOOD FOR THOUGHT "Where ignorance is bliss, 'Tis folly to be wise." Thomas Gray ( ), English poet

29 Be an expert in your field and share information to help the family Come bearing gifts for the family----give them relevant information and resources that will help their family grow and be successful. Be knowledgeable about your field and related avenue of resources—show confidence that you can help the family come out of their situation. Parents don’t want to listen to someone that doesn’t know anything about the circumstances they are experiencing. Be a resourceful service provider and you will be seen as someone who is valuable to the their family.

30 Ask them instead of telling them Telling parents what to do about their family is the first step to the beginning of an ineffective working relationship. Asking the parent what they need to help their family is the best way to build a trusting partnership with that parent. Parents actually have good insight into their family’s situation, why they are there and some ideas to help them come out of the situation but they made need support and motivation and guidance to help them get there. Asking them as parents what types of programs they think may be appropriate for their youth and their family is a great way to begin to empower that parent to turn things around for their family.

31 Recognize that they are truly the experts It is a reality that they know more about their family and their children than you as a service provider could ever know. You’re the expert in your field and may have been around quite some time but each family has their own history and dynamics that only that family can understand. Parents can contribute more to the process than we give them credit for and often detect this attitude of “you don’t know what you’re doing”—causing them to shut down emotionally/mentally from the process and let us “do our thing”. If we could try trusting the parents as the experts for their family and communicate this to them in the beginning this will empower them to be our ally in helping them and their family.

32 FOOD FOR THOUGHT "Clients do not care how much you know until they know how much you care."

33 Maintain a positive attitude When we as service providers are engaging parents we usually become involved at a time where they may be experiencing a sense of hopelessness, frustration, anger and depression. They don’t want to hear negative words from anybody especially a service provider that has been sent to “help” them. It is important to be that voice of positive reason, hope and encouragement for that family in order to help them see past their current circumstances. If you as the service provider can’t express a sense of hope and passion in helping the family change and come out of their situation then they probably will not take your work with them serious and simply go through the motions to get you out of their life as soon as possible.

34 Be dependable and accountable Don’t tell parents you can do something for them and then do not follow through with what you tell them because they will not forget. If I don’t know something or a parent needs something that I’m not sure I can provide them I simply say “I’ll check on that for you and get back with you.” But make sure you follow- through with an answer promptly within the next day or so. A lot of parents that you are working with already have reservations and concerns about whether they can trust someone working within the “system”. So, when we as workers don’t follow through with what we say then we reinforce the belief that workers can’t be trusted and they don’t really care about us. It is always a goal of mine when working with parents to treat them like I want to be treated. Our parents should be able to count on us to be dependable and accountable to what we say and what we do as a part of providing services.

35 Acknowledge resistance and respect it Some parents will naturally respond with resistance to a service provider being involved with their family for various reasons. A service provider shouldn’t automatically assume that parent is being hostile, uncooperative and hiding something just because there are experiencing some resistance from that parent. The engagement process may take more than one or two visits to even begin to get that parent to actually become less resistant and open to the process. It is important to empathize with that parent and reassure them that you are there to help them

36 MY FINAL THOUGHTS The more resistant the client, the more empathy is needed in the engagement process

37 Staying motivated, committed, persistent and creative in your delivery will break down those walls of resistance and make way for a very effective working relationship with that parent. AND REMEMBER…

38 You cannot change your clients; you can only change how you interact with them

39 MY INFORMATION YASHEEMA MARSHALL RENAISSANCE FAMILY SOLUTIONS, INC. ORLANDO, FLORIDA Facebook: renaissancefamilys Twitter: renaissancefs Instagram: yasheemathecoach


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