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Extension > Family > Children, Youth & Family Consortium > Publications > CYFC Update > CYFC Update — January-February 2018

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CYFC Update

CYFC Update — January-February 2018

kids arm in arm laughing

Introducing a New Case Study

By Cari Michaels, Extension educator

logo for Brianna and Tanya Case Study

We at Extension CYFC are pleased to announce the launch of our new case study: Brianna and Tanya: A Case Study About Infant and Early Childhood. This interactive, web-based case study is currently available to teachers of graduate and undergraduate courses in academic settings. We also plan to make the case study available to practitioners and community professionals in 2018.

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This case study is designed to train college students and practitioners in services related to children's mental health. The case study uses an ecological approach in its focus on a young mother, her daughter, and the many influences on their lives (family, school, community).

A primary purpose of this case study is to introduce users to the field of infant mental health, which emphasizes the important relationship between a child and parents or primary caregivers in helping a child grow. A primary character in the case study is trained in infant mental health and serves as a main support to Brianna, the young mother in this story. You can use this case to help users practice the skills, interactions, and conversations that infant mental health providers have with parents.

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What do case study users think?

Here's what three students said about the "Brianna and Tanya" case study:

"What is compelling to me about this case study is that it starts before the child is born. It allows for discussion of the pre-history of what you may see depending on where you enter the family story. In terms of helping students understand why prevention and supportive services are so critical — the way this case study is configured creates a pathway for discussion and teaching. While the story line is easy to follow, the added readings and activities provide ways to dive deep into each topic as well as make direct links to the current research on children's mental health."

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"[This case] brings more awareness of mental health and the way mental health and mental illness can impact many generations of a family."

"[The case] allowed me to see the big picture beyond the child in the classroom. We can only best help the child when we could get everyone [parents, educators, specialists, etc.] involved."

Learn more about this and other Extension CYFC case studies. Or Contact us with questions about using this case.

CYFC Program Updates and News

Katie Lingras Named New Scholar in Residence

We welcome Katherine (Katie) Lingras, Ph.D., as our new scholar in residence! This coming year, Katie will work closely with Extension CYFC staff and a team of University and community professionals to focus on mental health promotion education and research. She succeeds Jenifer McGuire, Ph.D., who has served as scholar in residence for the past three semesters.

The Extension CYFC Scholar in Residence Program offers the opportunity to engage a team of experts in bringing University research to both urban and rural communities in Minnesota. Through our long-standing programs and publications, such as Lessons from the Field and the Children's Mental Health eReview, as well as new approaches created by the team, we are able to strengthen the relevance of family-related research for Minnesota communities.

Katie is an assistant professor and licensed child psychologist with the University of Minnesota Department of Psychiatry. She directs the department's Early Childhood Clinic, which provides outpatient assessment and parent-child treatment for young children experiencing emotional and behavioral challenges. Katie also works in the community, providing mental health consultation and professional development training in early care and education settings. She also works with pediatric and family medicine primary care clinics.

We are also sadly but gratefully completing our activities with Jenifer McGuire, our outgoing scholar in residence. Jenifer is an associate professor with the University Department of Family Social Science who has brought her considerable expertise and experience in working with transgender youth to her role as scholar in residence. She has served as author of an issue of the Children's Mental Health eReview and as lead presenter in the 2017 Lessons from the Field seminars held throughout Minnesota. CYFC thanks you for all your great work, Jenifer!

The Scholarship in Residence Program team hosted several public events about transgender youth and created a number of print and online educational materials in 2016-2017. The team continues to create resources for parents and providers for the CYFC  Transgender Toolkit. See the following article for details on 2016-2017 activities from S. Okrey Anderson, graduate research assistance with the program.

Everyone at CYFC thanks Jenifer for her contributions!

For more information

Learn more about Katie Lingras

Learn more about Jenifer McGuire

Learn more about the  Scholar in Residence Program

Scholar in Residence Program reports on 2016-2017 Activities

By S. Okrey Anderson, former graduate research assistant, Extension CYFC Scholar in Residence Program

I was privileged to be part of the Scholar in Residence Program as a research assistant in fall 2017 for its third and final semester with Jenifer McGuire, Ph.D. (She also served as Extension CYFC's scholar in residence in the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters.)

In 2017, Jennifer, along with Cari Michaels, Extension educator with CYFC, Nathan Hess, SNAP-Ed educator, served as presenters for the annual Lessons from the Field seminar series. They traveled around Minnesota delivering educational talks about mental health and wellbeing for transgender youth. These workshops were in high demand and always packed.

I joined the scholar in residence team in August 2017 to help produce some resources for groups and individuals who had not been able to attend workshops or who simply wanted to learn more. Over the course of the fall semester I was able to contribute and participate in various capacities.

For example, I co-wrote a manuscript with Jenifer assessing the impact of bathroom accessibility on the lives of transgender people. This paper will soon be under review for publication. Before I joined the Scholar in Residence Program, I worked with the program team in spring 2017 to produce an 18-page Children's Mental Health eReview covering the topic of transgender youth mental health.

After I joined the team, I helped develop a three page, lay language summary of that eReview (see "New Publication on Transgender Youth" below to access this publication). I also helped expand the distribution list to make sure that the summary made it into the hands of teachers, social workers, therapists, activists, and parents.

I assisted in planning facilitation of an expert research panel featuring members of the University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station Coordinating Group. CYFC hosted the panel, called "Health, Well-being and Economic Opportunity for LGBT People in Rural Environments," at the 2017 Extension Fall Program Conference. I wrote a summary of the event that was published in the November 6, 2017 Extension Family Matters blog.

While with the Scholar in Residence Program, I also helped produce educational videos covering important topics related to transgender youth mental health and wellbeing. Using the button studio at the University's McGrath library, I recorded Nathan Hess and Cari Michaels presenting their topics from the Lessons from the Field workshops. I used that footage to produce two short educational videos to be posted soon on our website. The expert panel from the 2017 Extension Fall Program Conference was also recorded, and I am in the process of developing a series of educational videos from that event as well.

Everyone at CYFC thanks S for contributions to the Scholar in Residence Program!

New Publications on Transgender Youth Now Available

Two publications addressing issues related to transgender youth are now available.

newsletter cover

Two publications addressing issues related to transgender youth are now available.

Children's Mental Health eReview: Mental Health of Transgender Youth: The Role of Family, School, and Community in Promoting Resilience. Also check out  past editions of the eReview, which addresses children's mental health research and implications for practice and policy. The eReview looks at the gap between what we know from research literature and what we experience working with families. Each issue explores a specific topic area and reflects the expertise of a group of people working in various research and practice settings.

eReview summary: In response to the interest in and need for training materials about transgender youth, Extension CYFC has created a summary of its most recent Children's Mental Health eReview, titled "Mental Health of Transgender Youth: The Role of Family, School, and Community in Promoting Resilience.".

This summary provides an overview of research on gender variance and transgender identities among children and adolescents, as well as points of intervention within families, schools and communities. The summary is designed for use by parents, teachers, counselors and other community members working with transgender youth.

Surprise, Surprise...

By Judy Myers, Extension CYFC educator (retired)

two boys playing on floor with blocks

I had intended to solely write about the recent launch of a website that captures the story of the four-year partnership between Extension CYFC and the Bruce Vento Elementary School in St. Paul. But it turned out that unveiling the web-based story also contained a surprise for me.

I'll get to the surprise later, but first I want to talk about the website, called  Fostering Resilient Learners at Bruce Vento Elementary School. The website tells the story of the project to remodel the building and make other changes to create a trauma-sensitive learning environment at the school. Bruce Vento Principal Scott Masini explained why he appreciates the website. He had been getting several calls a month from other principals wanting to learn more about the school's model for creating a trauma-sensitive learning environment. "Now I can refer them to the web story and then suggest they call me with specific questions after they view the story components," Scott said.

Judy Myers teaching a class

I am proud to be part of the creative team involved with redesigning the school. Other team members were Emily Becher, research associate with the Extension Center for Family Development (FD); Nicole Helgeson, graduate research assistant with FD; and Kristen Heimerl, independent communications and marketing consultant. We developed the website over the past four months. We also plan to create other versions of the Bruce Vento story in Hmong, Karen, and Spanish.


Here's the surprise. As part of the creative team, I thought we were going to share the web-based story with Bruce Vento school teachers, social workers, and administrators on Dec. 18. However, my husband used this ruse to surprise me with a retirement party at the school. With help from Principal Masini, my CYFC colleague Cari Michaels, and personal friend Cathie Fischer, they sent invitations to many of the University and community partners with whom I've worked over the past seven years, as well as close friends and family. I was very touched by this honor.

Guests were asked to consider financial donations to Bruce Vento Elementary School. Their generosity yielded just over $300. With current plans to create a mobile kitchen for parent and student cooking classes, this money might help fund cooking equipment

Save the Date: National Health Outreach Conference

National Health Outreach Conference logo

University of Minnesota Extension will be hosting the 2018 National Health Outreach Conference in Bloomington, Minnesota May 2-4. This year's theme is "Engaging in a Culture of Health: Making Waves in the Land of 10,000 Lakes." The conference will focus on community-based strategies for encouraging holistic health equity. Extension CYFC staff and partners will be among the many presenters featured in the three day event. Conference registration opens Feb. 5, with early bird pricing through early March.

Community Events

Following are a selection of upcoming events that we think CYFC constituents may be interested in. Brief descriptions are provided, and we encourage you to follow up with the sponsoring organizations to learn more.

MACMH Infant and Early Childhood Training Series

This winter the Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health (MACMH) is holding a series of professional training events focused on infant and early childhood mental health. "When Families Lose a Loved One: Grief and Loss in Families with Young Children" will be held in Minneapolis on Friday, January 26."Rebuilding Connections After Caregiver Disruptions for Children Birth to 5 will be held in Maple Grove on Tuesday, February 13. "Reflective Consultation: Building Skills for Supervisors and Consultants" will be held in St. Paul on Wednesday, February 28. Finally, "The Effect of Parental Incarceration on Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Well-Being" will be held in St. Paul on Thursday, March 8. Each of these sessions offers six continuing education hours. To find out more about these sessions and register.

MACMH Child and Adolescent Training Series

This winter the Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health (MACMH) is holding a series of professional training events focused on child and adolescent mental health. "Supporting Anxious Children & Youth: Addressing the Anxiety Beneath the Behavior" will be held in Maplewood on Tuesday, January 30., "Strategies for Supporting Youth with Co-Occurring Disorders and FASD" will be held in Eagan on Tuesday, February 6. "Invisible Children: Healing Children of Mentally Ill, Chemically Dependent and Incarcerated Parents" will be held in Andover on Thursday, February 22. Finally, "Key Warning Signs for Early-Onset Mental Illness in Children and Adolescents and Suicide Prevention Best Practices" will be held in Maplewood on Friday, March 2. Each of these sessions offers three continuing education hours.

Prenatal to Three Policy Forum

There will be a Prenatal to Three Policy Forum on Tuesday, January 23. The event is focused on state-level early childhood policy in Minnesota and will provide an overview of key issues, updates on county and state projects, and conversations with representatives from early childhood coalitions about the 2018 legislative session. Information on registration and live web-streaming of the event is located on the p3minnesota website.

Equity and Access: Strategies for Reaching Diverse Communities Training

This training event, sponsored by the United Health Foundation Training Institute at the Washburn Center for Children, will look at topics such as economic integration, racial and other issues of equity and access, and gender inclusion. This training session will be held Wednesday, February 7, at Washburn Center for Children in Minneapolis. Learn more and register.

Research and Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health

This two-day summit, hosted by the University of Minnesota Future Services Institute, will highlight research for those interested in integrating publicly funded human services to better serve families in a holistic manner. The key theme is "What needs to be taken into account to design more effective programs and systems to support families?" The gathering is set for Tuesday, May 14-15, at two venues in Minneapolis. U of M researchers also will hold a series of lunch conversations on topics connected to supporting whole families in the months leading up to the summit. Find out more and register for the summit and/or the lunch conversations.

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