Submitted by Griselda Williams, Manager Mental Wellness Services
Recently, several coworkers and I met to discuss our annual report for the Children’s Trust Fund (CTF), Missouri’s Foundation for Child Abuse Prevention. The grant funds mental wellness services at Community LINC, for children and youth ages 6-17. Mental wellness services are provided by a Child Therapist to include individual therapy, socialization, coping group therapy and often sibling group therapy. As we were discussing interventions for children and youth our conversation naturally moved toward mental wellness supports provided to the parents. Some of the topics shared with Community LINC parents to support stable families and safety of children include:
- Protective Factors for Strengthening Families (taken from training offered via the Children’s Trust Fund).
- Concrete support for parents in times of need
- Parent Resilience
- Social Connections
- Social and Emotional Competence
- Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
- Parents as Role Model (Open discussion from the, Children See, Children Do video).
- Why Does My Child Act Like That? (We discussed the four archetypes for child misbehavior).
- How Well Do You Know Your Child? (Parents were given a handout with questions about their child’s favorite color, video game, best friend, etc. Parents met with their children to discuss their responses.
- Child Development for children birth to 5 with the Ages and Stages Questionnaire and Social, emotional and cognitive development of children ages 6-17.
- How to Help Your Child after a Traumatic Event (such as homelessness).
When parents have information and feel supported there is less risk for child abuse and neglect. These “protective factors” help families succeed and increase their resiliency during stressful times; like when they are experiencing homelessness.