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CYFC Update

CYFC Update — December 2016

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Sarah Langworthy headshot

Sara Langworthy — Extension Educator, CYFC

When I was in kindergarten, my teacher asked the age-old question, “What do your parents do for a living?”

My reply? “My dad makes money in the basement!”

[insert cricket sounds here]

No, my dad was not some mastermind money launderer or counterfeiter. But he did work from his basement home office because he was an entrepreneur.

It turns out the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Because so am I...

It’s with a mixture of emotions that I announce my departure from the Children, Youth & Family Consortium to jump into being my own boss full time.

I have really loved my time working for CYFC. I’ve enjoyed working closely with our organizational partners, and my Extension and CYFC colleagues. I’ve had some incredible experiences working on research involving state legislators, partnering with the Bruce Vento Elementary School in St. Paul to develop trauma-sensitive learning spaces, and creating educational videos on topics like trauma and mental health. CYFC plays a valuable role in bringing together people in creative ways to bridge the gaps between research, practice, and policy, and I’ve loved helping to lead those efforts.

Above all, working at CYFC has taught me the value of listening first, asking, “How can I help?” and then rolling up my sleeves and getting to work. That perspective is something I will take with me as I move on the next phase of my career.

So what is next for me? I’m embarking on some new adventures in consulting, writing, speaking, and online video. I’ve always enjoyed diving into new things, going where the energy is, and helping people solve problems. Organizational consulting gives me the chance to help people get the information they need to move their work forward. Writing and speaking gives me the opportunity to communicate scientific research and practical knowledge to change the hearts and minds of people who can use it to improve the lives of kids and families. And online video, apart from being really fun, provides a platform to share ideas and knowledge with all kinds of people around the world. I’m excited to dive into the next phase of my career, and see where this path leads me.

If you want to keep up with me and my adventures of making money in the basement (okay, my home office isn’t actually in the basement, but you get the idea), you can find me in all of these places:

I’d like to stay connected with you, and continue to provide information and tools that are useful to your work, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can be of service in any way!

I’m so thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to work with many of you, and for the incredible team at CYFC. I encourage you all to continue to advocate for CYFC as an essential organization to the community-engaged outreach missions of Extension and the University of Minnesota.


hands with ropesConsortium News

Registration Open for Lessons from the Field
Join us for Lessons from the Field: Meeting the Needs of Transgender Youth, featuring Children, Youth & Family Consortium's (CYFC’s) Resident Scholar Jenifer McGuire, Ph.D., Regional SNAP-Ed Educator Nathan Hesse, and Extension Educator Cari Michaels, MPH.

This year CYFC is hosting regional events for parents, educators, and professionals who work with families and youth beginning in January 2017. These interactional and workshop-based events will cover current research and prevailing perspectives that promote well-being among all youth.  We will explore how gender-inclusive environments can support positive body image, healthy nutrition and physical and mental health.

Learning Objectives:

Registration is required but attendance is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided for those attending the full day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Continuing Education Units are available for social workers. Find more information, dates, locations, and registration on CYFC’s website.

African American speakers at conference table

New Video Shares Perspectives on Violence Against Black Men
CYFC staff members have been working with the University’s Trauma Recovery Project for the past several years. One outcome of this partnership is a new video featuring panel discussions from two events held in the past year. The video is called "In the Wake of Violence: Perspectives of Black Men Who Are Therapists."

The events, held February 1 and May 19 in Minneapolis, were sponsored by the Trauma Recovery Project Behavioral Health Practitioners Workgroup. The events were held to (1) create a space to process the unchecked violence against black men in and outside of the community, (2) share experiences and perspectives on how black men are making a positive impact in society, and (3) explore what others’ roles are in the wake of violence and character assassination attempts on black men. View the video here.

kids gardening at school

MinnPost Features CYFC Partnership with Bruce Vento Elementary School 
Read the latest news about CYFC’s partnership with the Bruce Vento Elementary School in St. Paul on the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Learners web page. CYFC’s work helping the school build a trauma-informed learning environment is featured in this MinnPost article

University & Community Conferences, Training, and Resources

Webinar to Address New Early Childhood Policy Framework
Sponsor: Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
Date: December 19
Cost: Free
Location: Online

Richard Chase, Ph.D., senior research manager with the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation in St. Paul, and members of the Voices and Choices for Children Coalition of the Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota, will co-present a free webinar on new policy imperatives for early childhood. The webinar, set for 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Central on December 19, will also address a recommended action plan to promote social, economic, health, and educational equity. During the webinar, Richard will draw from the recently released report he prepared in partnership with three other experts, including two from the University of Minnesota, Elizabeth Carlson and Allie Giovanelli. Read the report, Prenatal to Age 3: A Comprehensive, Racially-Equitable Policy Plan for Universal Healthy Child DevelopmentRegister and link to the webinar.

Winter Wellness Event Set at Como Zoo
Sponsors: Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health and Intermediate School District 916
Date: December 29
Cost: Free
Location: St. Paul, MN

Youth, parents, and family members of all ages are invited to the Como Zoo Visitor Center for the Holiday Break Family Fun Day Winter Wellness Event on December 29. The free event includes a hearty brunch and lots of fun activities for families to energize and relax. The event finale will be a live performance of “Fidgety Fairy Tales, the Mental Health Musical” and an opportunity to meet the actors and ask questions about the play. Learn more and register on the MACMH website. [no longer active]

Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health Delivers Final Report
The Minnesota Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health delivered its final report to Governor Mark Dayton on December 15. The report includes nine recommendations for transforming Minnesota’s mental health system to a comprehensive continuum of care. One of the recommendations,– “Promote Mental Health and Prevent Mental Illnesses,” reflects important prevention language and a broad, ecological approach to mental health promotion that is consistent with CYFC’s mission and activities. Text from this section includes:

“Prevention of mental illnesses can begin before children are born. Supporting parents to get good nutrition and prenatal care, abstain from the use of substances, and live in safe, healthy environments gives their babies a good start toward mental health. Once babies are born, all of these factors become even more important so that parents can bond with their infants and provide the responsive interactions that babies need to develop cognitively and socially. As children get older, good nutrition, safety, stable housing, compelling education, and reliable relationships with both peers and adults help them develop resiliency and protective factors to avoid mental illness. All of these efforts exist in balance with the recognition that poverty, racism, and other factors can make it almost impossible for some parents to provide the safe, nurturing childhoods they want for their children.”

Read and download the full report.

Winter Training Series on Children’s Mental Health Planned
Sponsor: Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health
Dates: January 23 to March 2, 2017
Cost: $75.65 to $152.15
Credit: 3 to 6 continuing education hours per class
Location: Six locations in Twin Cities metro area

Courses in this training series include:

Visit the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health website for more information and to register.

Conference for Advancing LGBTQ Health Scheduled
Sponsor: Rainbow Health Initiative
Dates: February 27 to 28, 2017
Cost: $125 to $300
Location: St. Paul, MN

Join Gary Johnson, Ph.D., Beverly Greene, Ph.D., and Richard Carlbom, for “Opportunity: Advancing LGBTQ Health, A Conference for Policy Makers and Practitioners.” Participants will develop research-based strategies to address health disparities, improve outcomes through practice, and promote policy, system, and environmental change around LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning) issues. Learn more and register on the Opportunity Conference website.

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