Iowa Center for Evaluation & Research
DMC Resource Center

practice and intervention

Family Development Specialist Training
Family Development is a model of family-based intervention focused on low-income families who want to improve family functioning and achieve economic independence. The NRC/FCP developed this training and certification program with the Iowa Association of Community Action Directors. The training develops the ability of many groups (i.e., Community Action, Head Start, county extension, teachers, community health nurses, and family support workers) to provide family-centered programs. Participants learn systems theory, family-centered case management, and strategies for family and community empowerment.

Family Outreach Worker Training
The NRC/FCP, in cooperation with the Des Moines Area Healthy Start, has developed a training curriculum for front-line paraprofessional and professional outreach workers. Participants develop new skills in the basic concepts and techniques of family-centered practice. The training is designed in a module format, which allows organizations to adapt materials to fit the specific needs of the participants and their agency. Certification is available upon request.

Family Development Specialist Recertification

This training is designed to assist Certified Family Development Specialists to revisit the foundational concepts of Family Centered Work. The recertification course reviews the use of the Family Development Model of Family Centered Practice to facilitate and improve family functioning and economic independence. The course will assist FDS workers in further implementing Family Development Concepts by allowing ample time for case consultation and group technical assistance.

Strength-Based Case Planning
This training helps workers focus on families' strengths, rather than on their deficits. It also teaches the skills necessary to develop and implement a strength-based case plan for intervention. The approach is consistent with a family-centered philosophy, and shares the decision-making process of case planning and implementation with the family. This practical training focuses on the philosophy of this approach and the interviewing techniques necessary to engage and empower the family.

Family Group Decision Making: A Decision Model That Strengthens Families
This training will provide an overview of the practice of Family Group Decision Making (FGDM). This practice, developed in New Zealand in the mid-1980s has grown in countries around the world including over 100 communities in the United States. This workshop will describe the values of the practice and its benefits for service providers who are looking for strength-based and family-centered solutions for children and families who have experienced the effects of child maltreatment.

Supporting Families Beyond Placement

This training will assist practitioners in their efforts to provide ongoing support after placement. Discussion will be around Family Group Decision Making (a practice developed in New Zealand in the mid-1980's that has grown in countries around the world including over 100 communities in the United States) as a viable strength-based and family-centered solution for children and families who have experienced the effects of child maltreatment.

Group Facilitation Skills Training

Family group conference is being used more frequently as a way to partner with families in the decision-making process. Rather than focusing on a particular model, this training is designed to teach the skills needed to effectively facilitate group meetings. These skills include: pre-meeting strategies, feedback, managing diversion, mediation, negotiation, conflict resolution, reaching consensus, plan development, and evaluation. Videotaped vignettes demonstrate techniques, and considerable practice time is included in the training session.

Case Management
This training is for supervisors and front-line social workers in agencies committed to family-centered practice. The philosophy of family-centered services builds on two primary principles: 1) in order to produce significant change, services must maintain an ecological perspective on family concerns and their solutions; and 2) the goal of human services must be to empower clients to manage their own lives effectively. Participants in this training become familiar with family systems and theory, and the goals of family-centered practice. They learn how to use basic diagnosis tools to analyze family and community dynamics, engage families in treatment, identify behavioral goals, assure family progress toward change, concurrently plan, and effectively terminate services. Accurate assessment and application to the case plan are critical for the success of families under the time lines of ASFA, and the training addresses these issues.

Solution Focused Case Management

This training will present participants with a family-centered case management model based on solution-focused theory and interviewing skills. Topics include: The five elements of family centered case management, the assisting relationship, social economy and the value of systemic assessment tools, change theory, solution focused interviewing skills, outcome based behavior specific case plans, and using outcome indicators as measures of progress.

How to Handle People in Crisis
The instructor shares information on the topic of crisis intervention and personality styles. Participants learn to identify at least five basic types of personality-based responses to crisis. In addition, participants develop culturally appropriate intervention strategies that are based on a client’s specific needs.

Stress, Crisis and Critical Incidence
This interactive hands-on training will assist workers and their supervisors to identify what is "crisis" and "critical incidence." Participants will develop techniques to minimize the effects of stress (PTSD) in times of crisis. In addition, participants will explore effective interventions and aftercare issues from a family centered perspective.

Intensive Family Services

Supervisors and intensive treatment workers learn a comprehensive model of family assessment and a brief, structural and strategic approach to working with multiple-needs families and their communities. Participants are introduced to advanced skills in the treatment of chemical dependency, and spouse and child abuse. This course is not designed as a substitute for clinical training with supervision, yet introduces sophisticated family therapy methods to form a sound foundation for further work.

Family-Centered Reunification Training
This 2-3 day training is for residential providers, foster care workers, and family-based therapists. It focuses on various methods of supporting family connections during separation, transition, and reunification. Participants learn to conduct a structured family meeting using the family’s support system, and to use tools such as goal-setting and visitation to enhance reunification potential.

Developing an Outcome-Based Case Plan

This strength-based training is for supervisors and workers in agencies committed to family-centered practice. Participants learn ways to engage families in treatment and to formulate outcome-based case plans utilizing family strengths to assure family progress toward change. The training focuses on applying assessment information to a plan that is behavioral-specific, able to measure change, culturally competent, and realistic/attainable. Participants practice developing plans for cases familiar to them.

Transition from Successful Residential Treatment Back Home: A Solution-Focused Approach
This training focuses on the adolescent transition from residential treatment to home or another alternate living situation. Successful strides made in residential treatment must be integrated into the home or alternate environment. Through the use of problem/solution-focused circular questions, the worker can ascertain the maintenance and reinforcement factors that allowed the youth to do well in treatment, and integrate that success in the home or alternate environment. This training outlines a process that starts "in home" work prior to successful discharge from residential training.

Working With Families With Multiple Diagnosis

One of the realities of our world is the number of families who have one or more members with one or more presenting challenges. This workshop will look at some of the clinical issues that affect these families: 1) the impact of the illness on the family; 2) issues for the mentally ill family member; 3) helping families promote recovery; 4) relapse prevention; 5) self care in the family; 6) advanced case management utilizing a strength based perspective. There will be opportunity in the afternoon to creatively staff your cases.

Post-Adoption Training

This training is designed for therapists, adoption workers, and other family-centered practitioners who provide services to adoptive families. It covers recent advances in the field of special needs adoption and innovative therapy techniques for work with families at risk of disruption or dissolution.

Domestic Violence: A Natural Curriculum for Family Preservation Practitioners
This training for family preservation practitioners was developed by Susan Schechter, M.S.W. and Anne Ganley, Ph.D. for the Family Violence Prevention Fund. Topics include methods for identifying domestic violence, as well as intervention and assessment strategies with all family members, including both partners and the children. A separate module of the training is designed to be conducted by local domestic violence/family practitioners to help participants use available legal and community resources. The techniques presented in this training are also applicable to the work of child protection staff.

Working with Substance Abuse in Families
This training brings together state-of-the-art case management strategies and current knowledge about substance-abusing families (including situations where there is a drug-exposed infant) to help workers effectively resolve these increasingly common and complex child welfare situations. The training primarily focuses on the application of recent thinking on solution-based approaches to working with individuals who abuse substances and their families. Self-help and worker-initiated interventions will be covered through utilization of videotaped sessions. This training is appropriate for workers in child welfare, mental health, and juvenile services.

Substance Abuse & Mental Health

This training will highlight issues and trends within the disciplines of substance abuse, mental health, and child protective services that agencies continually face in the delivery of services to children and families. Discussion will center around approaches and practices that can assist in the creation of a more effective, comprehensive and seamless service delivery system. This workshop will present a non-deficit approach that enables families to grow beyond just surviving to thriving.

Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Alternatives to Confinement
Are all youth getting the same opportunity for rehabilitation within the juvenile justice system? This training will explore extending substance abuse treatment to minority youth as a viable strategy to reduce disproportionate minority confinement. This training will provide a special emphasis on employing culturally competent models of service.

Healing and Revival of the Family Spirit
The greatest strength a family has is its spirit. Family rituals have enabled the family to survive for centuries. This workshop focuses on using family rituals to rekindle family spirit. The use of family rituals in case management, family development, and family therapy are explored.

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