CYFC Monthly — December 2014
Getting to Know the Cultural Providers Network
The Children, Youth & Family Consortium (CYFC) has long been involved in a collaborative partnership with the Cultural Providers Network (CPN). CPN is a coalition of Twin Cities-area mental health service providers, researchers, policy professionals, and other community members with an interest in promoting culturally sensitive mental health practices.The network’s vision is that all culturally and ethnically diverse children and families thrive in, participate in, and contribute to healthy communities. CPN’s mission is “to build and sustain a network of diverse communities and organizations with a special interest in culture and ethnicity in order to promote policies, practices, standards and research that improve the health of children and their families and communities with a focus on behavioral health.”
The seeds of CPN were planted in 2007 to fulfill the visions of La Familia Guidance Center in St. Paul and the University of Minnesota Center for Excellence in Children’s Mental Health (CECMH). In 2008, the National Institute of Mental Health awarded a Partners in Research (PIR) grant jointly to CPN and CYFC, which took on the work formerly done by CECMH. This grant provided support to study use of collaborative dialogue to create partnerships between CPN and the U of M in order to identify culturally grounded mental health practices for children and families, as well as critical mechanisms for success in mental health work. The network’s mission, vision, and values statements were developed under this grant’s funding, which lasted through July 2010.
CPN values the following:
- A strong voice for culturally and ethnically diverse communities
- Cultural awareness and cultural competence
- Importance of families
- Collective dialogue
- Relationships based on love, trust and respect
- Mutual learning and support
- Power and resource sharing
- Strengths-based approach to policy, practice and research
- Excellence in behavioral health
- A holistic view of health and wellness across the lifespan
- Advocacy for the needs of children, families and communities
- Research grounded in real-world practice and community values and needs
Values Embodied in CPN’s WorkCPN’s shared values are embodied throughout the work of network members. Monthly meetings use a shared leadership model, with different members stepping in as facilitators and presenters. Each meeting consists of collective dialogues centered on one or more topics germane to enhancing culturally grounded mental health practices, policies, and research for children and families. December’s meeting focused on fostering partnerships between communities and the University for enhancing use of evidence-based practices and producing practice-based evidence.
Examples of other topics discussed at monthly meetings include conceptions of mental health in West African populations; understanding and counseling Muslim immigrants to the Twin Cities; health and health care access disparities between racial, cultural, and socio-economic groups; understanding and counseling youth with mental illnesses; the impact of parental incarceration on children; elements of the refugee-relocation process; and defining cultural competence. CPN members, individually and as a network, also have been involved at the state level in advocating for policies and practices that would provide for culturally sensitive services for children and families.
If you would like to learn more about CPN, please check out our website. Here you will find a wealth of information, including details on the network’s background, a calendar of upcoming CPN meetings, a jobs board, and an intranet featuring (among other things) resources related to topics discussed in past meetings.CPN also distributes meeting announcements and news about upcoming events and opportunities through a mass email list. If you would like to be added to CPN’s email list, contact Cari Michaels or Mina Blyly-Strauss.
Understanding Trauma and Children's Behavior in School
Children who have experienced trauma often exhibit challenging behaviors at school. Teachers and other school professionals who have a better understanding of how trauma impacts the brain can help children and their classmates. CYFC Extension Educator Sara Langworthy, Ph.D., explains all this in a recently produced Extension video, “Trauma-Informed Practice in Schools.”
MCFR Annual Conference Features CYFC Presenters
Two CYFC Extension Educators made presentations at the Minnesota Council on Family Relations’ 2014 Fall Conference held December 5 at the New Brighton Community Center. The conference theme was “Understanding and Supporting Families Through the Life Span.”
One CYFC presenter, Extension Educator Cari Michaels, facilitated a session on the online Children’s Mental Health case study, “About Steven,” which asks participants to explore effective responses to the mental health needs of a 15-year-old boy with depression. Mental health practitioners, instructors, graduate students, and community partners are encouraged to collaborate on this interactive case study.
A second CYFC presenter, Extension Educator Judy Myers, presented with Scott Masini, principal of the Bruce Vento Elementary School in St. Paul, and Carolyn Rottman, a behavior specialist at the school. They discussed the innovative partnership between CYFC and the school — a partnership funded through the U of M Extension Area Issues grant.
University & Community Announcements
Bridging Education and Mental Health
Sponsor: University of Minnesota Center for Early Education and Development
Dates: March 9-May 11, 2015
Credit: 42 clock hours or 1 academic credit
Discover how to find common ground between behavioral and therapeutic approaches while supporting children who engage in challenging behavior. This course offers a continuum of intervention strategies to help participants learn how to support the healthy social and emotional development of children. Access the course here [no longer active].Dilemmas in Youth Work Online
Sponsor: University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development
Dates: February 16-March 20, 2015
Credit: 1.5 (15 hours) CEUs
Cost: $100, plus an additional $10 for CEUs
Dig into the challenges and issues of youth work and examine ways to respond to real-life dilemmas of everyday practice. This course features recent youth worker research and practical advice on facing challenging situations. This is a cohort-based, professional development opportunity in which participants learn, apply, and share information. Access the course here. [no longer active]
Understanding How Stress Impacts Young Children
Megan Gunnar, Ph.D., chair of the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development, recently joined Marti Erickson, Ph.D., CYFC founder, to discuss how stress affects young children. The conversation, which was featured in November on KARE11, looks at the effects of “ordinary” and “toxic” levels of stress. It’s important for parents and caregivers to know when stress is too much for children so they can help prevent stress from reaching toxic levels. Access the video on the Mom Enough website.
Depression in Children and Adolescents
Fact sheet produced by the National Institute of Mental Health
Approximately 11 percent of adolescents have a depressive disorder by age 18 according to the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement. The risk for depression increases with age. The National Institute of Mental Health has created a fact sheet that shows how the understanding of depression has changed and highlights promising research for treating depressed adolescents. Access the fact sheet here [no longer active].
Job OpportunitiesUniversity of Minnesota Extension Family Development — Extension Educator, Military Families [no longer active]
Family Innovations — Multiple Openings [no longer active]Washburn Center for Children — Multiple Openings