NYSPEP'S mission is to promote and improve parenting education, in order to enhance parenting skills, knowledge and behavior.

 

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NYSPEP E-News Archives

JULY 2021   JUNE 2021  MAY 2021    APRIL 2021    MARCH 2021    FEBRUARY 2021      JANUARY 2021     DECEMBER 2020     NOVEMBER 2020     OCTOBER 2020    SEPTEMBER 2020    AUGUST 2020         JULY 2020      JUNE 2020 

AUGUST 2021

Child Care Relief Available Through the Essential Worker Scholarship

As of June 23, $25,000,000 is available to help essential workers pay for child care. Child care costs, up to market rate, will be covered for essential workers whose income is less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level. Payment will be paid to the provider on the parents’ behalf. Parents can apply for funding through an easy online application, available at: https://ocfs.ny.gov/childcarerelief.  Applications will be processed and awarded on a rolling basis until funds are depleted.

Any family currently receiving essential worker scholarship under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act MUST reapply to continue receiving funds.

A video to walk parents through the process is available here.

Resources Available to Help Parent Educators and the Families They Serve

Just a reminder that two great resources are available through Prevent Child Abuse New York for Parent Educators and the families that they serve: the Parent Helpline and the Program Search.

The Prevention and Parent Helpline* can help you find programs and services in local communities that can help. The Helpline at 1-800-CHILDREN is an information and referral line that can help direct people directly to the services they need. It is free, confidential, and multi-lingual.  If you need assistance locating services such as parenting skills classes, domestic violence services, or child care, the Prevention and Parent Helpline can assist. 

The Program Search is available online through this link. This tool allows you to search using county and program type to find services in the areas you need.

Both tools are great resources to find parents and caregivers the help they need.

*This is NOT the NYS Child Abuse Hotline. If you would like to report suspected child abuse, please call 1-800-342-3720. If you are in a crisis situation or are having a life-threatening emergency, please call 911.

Gearing Up for Back to School

No one knows yet what this school year will look like, or how close to normal it will be. But we do know that our kids will need our support to help them process what has happened since they were last there in person.

New York's Project Hope has new online support groups available, including one specifically for teens, that is held Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m. The Teen-2-Teen group gives a time and a space for teenagers to freely talk about how the
past year has affected their lives and how best to move forward.

These virtual discussion groups, facilitated by trained crisis counselors, are free and provide a supportive space for
individuals similarly impacted by COVID-19. You may attend as many groups as you’d like and they are all free,
confidential, and anonymous. Sessions began on Monday, July 26th, but can be joined at any time.

Participation is open; no registration is required. Mechanisms are also in place to respect the privacy of
participants. For more information, visit the website at NYProjectHope.org

WIC Flexibilities Renewed Through Mid-November 

Because the national COVID-19 emergency declaration was recently extended, families can keep getting remote WIC services and benefits all summer and fall. Specifically, clinics may serve participants remotely via telephone, text, or videoconference, and remotely load WIC benefits onto eWIC cards.
 
New York State has made maximum use of existing USDA program flexibilities to make it as easy as possible for children and families to participate in WIC during the COVID-19 health emergency.
 
From pregnancy through preschool, WIC is here for families, including dads, grandparents, guardians and others, who can apply for WIC for children under age 5 in their care, too. Many more could participate. Visit WICHelpNY.org to learn more.

JULY 2021

Self-Awareness and Liberating Infant Mental Health – A reflective conversation about THE TENETS:  Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, Children, and their Families. 

 Please plan to join us for Breakfast for Babies event on Friday, July 23rd, 2021 from 9am until noon!  Co-sponsored by the New York Zero-to-Three Network and the New York State Association for Infant Mental Health, Megan Smith and Erick Stephens, colleagues in Rochester, NY, will share the journey of their organizations – and their own journeys – with the Tenets. This initiative envisions a workforce in which all individuals, programs, organizations and systems of care embed principles of diversity, equity and inclusion into their work serving infants, children and families.  Members of the co-sponsoring organizations can attend for free; $15 for non-members. Register at:  https://www.nysaimh.org/events/breakfast-for-babies-july-23/

Report Released: Parenting Education in New York State

This past February, NYSPEP brought together professionals from across New York State at the NYSPEP-hosted virtual SUMMIT ON WORKFORCE QUALITY FOR PARENTING EDUCATION to discuss the elevation of parenting education. Attached you will find the Report on that event, which summarizes the presentations and discussion panels and includes recommendations toward improving and expanding parenting education in communities throughout the state.  

Whether you’re leading an administration or on the front lines, anan independent practitioner or a member of a team, we know that you care about strengthening families; this report focuses on the importance of those providing parenting education services, the critical need for a recognition system and next steps to pursue.  Find out how a statewide standard will help assure quality (as it has in other fields), and how the NYSPEP Parenting Educator Credential is a key component in protecting the public investment in the programs we offer.

We hope you’ll take the time to read the report  — it will make you proud of where we are in the field of parenting education and inspire you to help take the next steps toward excellence. 

Growing Resilience – Summer Self-Care Webinar Series

Cornell Cooperative Extensions of Delaware and Orange County are continuing to offer a free webinar series to support growing resilience individually and as a community. The Summer Self-Care Series will kick off on July 13 focusing on Mindfulness for Stress Reduction. Subsequent webinars will cover Move Your Way A Better Day, Phthalates (7/20), BPA and the Developing Brain (7/27), Free Radical Fighters: Understanding the Importance of Antioxidants (8/3), and Don’t Sleep on Sleep (8/10).

Registration is free but required. Go to http://bit.ly/2021-SSS and register. You will receive ONE link for all five webinars. Teaching Credits are available. For more info please contact Jeanne Darling jmd30@cornell.edu or visit www.ccedelaware.org

3rd Annual WALES BROWN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP Opportunity!

NPEN is pleased to announce the Wales Brown Memorial Scholarship to attend Zero to Three's 2021 Virtual Conference Oct. 25-29, 2021. Wales was a valued member of the NYSPEP Steering Committee and community for many years.

The scholarship will be awarded to a front line parenting educator who is seeking professional development, access to the latest research, and connection to others in the field. It will cover the full Zero to Three Conference fee and also includes a one-year membership in NPEN.

This scholarship is awarded by the National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) in memory and honor of Wales Brown’s dedication to helping parents, especially fathers, build stronger, healthier connections with their children. Wales developed and implemented collaborative programs focusing on in-home preservation, parent education, fatherhood, and reunification of families with a history of abuse and neglect. His ability to connect with parents and children of varying backgrounds, his immense knowledge, focus and dedication led him to state and national recognition in his field. Being awarded the prestigious ZERO TO THREE Fellowship (Class of 2014-2016) was a shining example of Wales’ accomplishments and his desire to always strive to expand his knowledge and influence as a leader in his profession.

If you are interested in applying, please email info@npen.org. The deadline is September 1st! Please share with your networks.

NYSPEP Welcomes Newly Credentialed Parenting Educators

In May, four parenting educators were awarded Credentialed Parenting Educator.  We are proud to welcome them to the list of 52 Credentialed Parenting Educators serving New York State.  These four and the counties they serve are:

       Paula Goodrich - Schuyler

       Corina Allen - Broome

       Christine Freyvogel - Tioga

       Ebony Darlington - New York City, Bronx, Richmond, and Westchester

The next due date for credential applications is July 31, 2021.  NYSPEP does have partial scholarships available to help cover the application fee.  For information on how to apply, contact Credential@nyspep.org

Parenting with Pride: Resources for Parents of Gender-Diverse, Transgender, and LGBTQ+ Youth

In June, we celebrated Pride Month. Research has shown that LGBTQ+ youth are at increased risk for discrimination and bullying which leads to an increase in mental health concerns and suicide attempts. Providing welcoming and supportive environments for these youth is a protective factor. Here are two resources for parents to assist them in supporting their children and youth.

o Healthy Children - Gender-Diverse & Transgender Children 

o Healthy Children - Coming Out: Information for Parents of LGBTQ Teens

JUNE 2021

NYSPEP Parenting Educator Credential Discussion TOMORROW: What is it? Who should get it? How to apply?

A Zoom meeting will be held on Thursday, June 3 at 11:00 a.m.  In addition to learning about the NYSPEP Parenting Educator Credential, you will learn about supports now available to you. These supports include partial scholarships and mentors and Zoom discussion groups to help with development of your application portfolio. 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

REGISTER TODAY: SESSION TAKES PLACE TOMORROW JUNE 3RD!

3rd Annual WALES BROWN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP Opportunity!

Wales Brown Head Shot.png

NPEN is pleased to announce the Wales Brown Memorial Scholarship to attend Zero to Three's 2021 Virtual Conference Oct. 25-29, 2021. Wales was a valued member of the NYSPEP Steering Committee and community for many years.

The scholarship will be awarded to a front line parenting educator who is seeking professional development, access to the latest research, and connection to others in the field. It will cover the full Zero to Three Conference fee and also includes a one-year membership in NPEN.

This scholarship is awarded by the National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) in memory and honor of Wales Brown’s dedication to helping parents, especially fathers, build stronger, healthier connections with their children. Wales developed and implemented collaborative programs focusing on in-home preservation, parent education, fatherhood, and reunification of families with a history of abuse and neglect. His ability to connect with parents and children of varying backgrounds, his immense knowledge, focus and dedication led him to state and national recognition in his field. Being awarded the prestigious ZERO TO THREE Fellowship (Class of 2014-2016) was a shining example of Wales’ accomplishments and his desire to always strive to expand his knowledge and influence as a leader in his profession.

If you are interested in applying, please email info@npen.org. The deadline is September 1st! Please share with your networks.

JOIN NPEN’S MESSAGING CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE PARENTING EDUCATION!

The National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) is pleased to be launching another Parenting Education Matters Campaign message. The latest installment in the campaign promotes awareness of how parents are on a journey of growth and learning throughout the lifespan of their child with the message, “Parenting Education Grows with You.” For more information about adding this message to your website or organization, with or without your own logo, reach out to Rachel Chrastil at info@npen.org.  NPEN acknowledges the generous in-kind support of Grom Social, which offers safe social networking for kids.

PHOTO NEEDED

OCFS Issued Revised Mask Guidance

NYS OCFS on 5/25/21 for children aged 2-5 in child care programs. It can be found here.

NY Project Hope is Available for Free Crisis Counseling: Services are Always Confidential, Free, and Anonymous

NY Project Hope is a FEMA-funded program that provides crisis counseling and public education for NY residents in response to COVID-19.

We offer...

• An Emotional Support Helpline: Our Helpline is staffed by trained crisis counselors who help callers talk through their emotions and find resources to help them cope with the challenges of COVID. Call the Helpline at 1-844-863-9314, any day between 8am-10pm.

• Local Crisis Counseling Providers: Local NY Project Hope COVID-19-related crisis counseling is also available in 12 of the most highly impacted counties in NY, including: Dutchess, Erie, Nassau, NYC (all boroughs), Orange, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester.

• Supportive Resources: NY Project Hope offers digital educational materials, a supportive social media presence, and a website filled with resources and relevant materials that folks can access anytime at www.nyprojecthope.org. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

• Public Education: We provide virtual presentations on a variety of coping and support topics. Contact Cheryl.Gerstler@omh.ny.gov to learn more!

NYProjectHope.org

A program of the NYS Office of Mental Health

Funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency/Administered by SAMHSA

 

MAY 2021

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week: What’s Great in Our State!

We celebrated Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week by recognizing the individuals, programs, and organizations that have worked to meet this year’s challenges with creativity, passion and dedication to supporting the mental health of children, youth, and families.

The event included two free workshops: “Journaling as a Self-Care Strategy for Improved Mental Health in High Schools and College Settings” and “PAX Good Behavior Game in Support of Children's Mental Health.”

This was followed by the Honoree Recognition Event, featuring a keynote by Holly Elissa Bruno, "Happiness is Running Through the Streets to Find You Even During a Pandemic.”

Congratulations to all of the honorees! We will share their names once they are announced.

Parenting Educators Build Your Resume With NYSPEP

NYSPEP Parenting Educator Credential: What is it? Who should get it? How to apply? A Zoom meeting will be held on Thursday, June 3 at 11:00 a.m.  In addition to learning about the NYSPEP Parenting Educator Credential, you will learn about supports now available to you. These supports include partial scholarships and mentors and Zoom discussion groups to help with development of your application portfolio. 

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwscu2pqjsoGdJODVubU0GfKVpBpKRgd1_9

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

For more information contact credential@nyspep.org

Parent Leadership Conference: One Weekend Left and Still Time to Register!

The final weekend of the Parent Leadership Conference is fast approaching, but there is still time to register. CLICK HERE.

Designed by parents for parents, this interactive VIRTUAL event is about building connections and growing together as families! The weekend kicks off Friday night with music, dancing, family activities, and a chance to connect with parents from all around the state. Stress free, ready-made fun for you and your kids!

​Saturday is a chance for parents and caregivers to rejuvenate themselves with fresh information and ideas about meeting the challenges of parenting. Hear from other parents as well as local and national leaders about issues that make a difference for you and your family.

​The final weekend is coming up on May 7th and May 8th! But there is still time to be a part of it. 

APRIL 2021

NYSPEP WELCOMES NEWEST ADDITION TO THE TEAM

Prevent Child Abuse New York is pleased to welcome D’Juan (DJ) Gilmore to the staff as a Prevention Program Coordinator. DJ will be working primarily with the NYSPEP program. He can be reached at dgilmore@preventchildabuseny.org.

NYSPEP ANNOUNCES COMMUNITY COALITION PARTNERSHIPS FOR 2021-22 

NYSPEP is pleased to announce our community coalition partnerships for 2021-22

Early Childhood Alliance Onondaga

The Community Action 3-County Fatherhood Pilot of Allegany, Cattaraugus and Steuben Counties

YES Community Counseling Center of Nassau County

Groundswell's WEPA Coalition of Bronx County

These coalitions submitted strong applications that demonstrated leadership, commitment and determination to mobilize a broad movement to strengthen and support all parents’ skills, knowledge, and talents. These sites were selected to receive a 1-year award to receive training, technical assistance and a $5000 grant to support community identified objectives.

UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES TO APPLY FOR THE NYSPEP PARENTING EDUCATOR CREDENTIAL

It’s time to be recognized as a Certified Parenting Educator! The next two deadlines for applying for the NYSPEP Parenting Educator Credential are April 15th and July 31st.  

Applications packets have been newly revised.  To learn how you can earn the Parenting Educator Credential contact credential@nyspep.org.

Designed by parents for parents, this interactive VIRTUAL, three-weekend event is about building connections and growing together as families! 

​Each weekend kicks off Friday night with music, dancing, family activities, and a chance to connect with parents from all around the state. Stress free, ready-made fun for you and your kids!

​And then on Saturday, a chance for parents and caregivers to rejuvenate themselves with fresh information and ideas about meeting the challenges of parenting. Hear from other parents as well as local and national leaders about issues that make a difference for you and your family.

Follow this link to register: https://preventchildabusenewyork.salsalabs.org/parentleadershipconferencespring2021/index.html

Come join us as we share resources, information and ideas for families on these three exciting weekends! 

ALLIANCE NATIONAL PARENT PARTNERSHIP COUNCIL OFFERS PARENTING TOOLKITS

For National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Alliance National Parent Partnership Council (ANPPC) has developed toolkits around the theme HERO—Healthy Empowering Response to Opportunity. We are continuing to celebrate parents and families as heroes and acknowledging the many ways they are helping their children and themselves manage everyday emotions.Learn more and access the toolkit here: https://ctfalliance.org/partnering-with-parents/parent-voice/

MARCH 2021

Outcomes from NYSPEP’s Summit on Workforce Quality for Parenting Education in New York City on Feb. 22nd, 2021

The NYSPEP Summit on Workforce Quality for Parenting Education was met with enthusiasm with nearly 250 attending representing a wide range of involvement in the field.  A poll taken at the event revealed that nearly everyone at the Summit was either a frontline parenting educator or someone whose work supports parenting educators. Attendees shared in the chat box that they represented home visiting programs, Head Starts, the Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition, NYC Administration for Children Services, child abuse prevention programs, YWCAs, perinatal networks, community health worker programs, the NYS Office of Mental Health, Cornell Cooperative Extension programs, and many more.

The 2.5 hour convening featured keynote speaker Reginald L. Cox, Founder of the Fatherhood Connection, who spoke about the need for different perspectives in parenting education as well as the importance of continuing to pursue excellence, with a statewide credential for the profession being a part of that effort.  His inspiring words were followed by five panel presentations featuring leaders in the field on the following topics:   

- Parenting Education: Defining What We Do and Why

- Parenting Education Across the State

- The NYSPEP Credential -- A Recognition System for New York State

- Learning From Other States’ Parenting Education Systems

- Where Do We Go From Here?

Participants came away with an understanding of the wonderful and diversified array of parenting education programs being offered across New York.  They also learned that, because parenting education is a fairly new profession, there is no national recognition specifically for parenting educators and that the requirements for working in the field vary from position to position and from program to program. However, the National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) has developed a list and description of the comprehensive set of competencies necessary for parenting educators, and NYSPEP has aligned with those competencies in its creation of the NYSPEP Parenting Educator Credential. There is, therefore, the potential for greater uniformity for a standard of foundational knowledge and skills and recognition of those who have education, training and experience to provide high quality services across NY State. And, as highlighted during the Summit, there is now more than ever, the need for flexibility and portability in how we provide parenting education, and the NYSPEP credential is valuable across programs, curricula, and modes of service — it “travels” with the parenting educator no matter the format, the clients, or the setting. 

The NYS Office of Children and Family Services has invested in the development of NYSPEP’s Credential system and will help with next step efforts identified during the Summit: 1) removing financial barriers and simplifying the process for those wanting to earn the NYSPEP Credential and 2) completing a thorough analysis of of all organizations serving parents, as well as partnering institutions, so that there is a growing cohesiveness, collaboration and coordination in the field. Also needed are employers and funders encouraging and/or requiring the NYSPEP Credential. And, policy makers working towards reimbursement from insurance/medicaid for services provided by credentialed parenting educators.

You can watch a recording of the Summit here. (Password: !w9H6q51)

If you are interested in applying for the NYSPEP Parenting Educator Credential or helping members of your staff apply, the next deadline for applications is March 31, 2021 (please inquire if you need an extension.) A limited number of partial scholarships are available on a first come, first served basis. Email credential@nyspep.org for application instructions.  If you have any questions about the NYSPEP Credential — how it works, who it’s for, what the process is like, whether it’s suitable for you or your staff, or how to apply for a scholarship — email Meg Akabas at makabas@earthlink.net

Photo from NYSPEP Summit.png

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Children’s Bureau Has Tools You Can Use

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and The Children's Bureau has tools you can use.

The Children’s Bureau theme for National Child Abuse Prevention Month this year is “Thriving Children and Families: Prevention With Purpose.” Whether it’s a message in your email newsletter, a feature on your website or blog, or a social media post, every action helps to make the well-being of children and families a priority.

You can find more information and a link to their toolkit here.

NYS-AIMH is excited to announce the launch of The Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Early Childhood Mental Health® (ECMH-E®)

The ECMH-E® was created to provide a path to Endorsement® for professionals who are promoting and implementing infant and early childhood mental health principles  in their work with or on behalf of children ages 3 up to 6 years old and their families. ECMH-E® enhances NYS-AIMH’s Infant Mental Health Endorsement®, which has been offered for professionals working with 0 to 3 year olds since 2017.

ECMH-E® is a workforce development initiative, spanning disciplines and sectors that positively impacts the depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding, and skills of early childhood professionals. This career specialty requires education, work, in-service training, and for some, reflective supervision/consultation that support the implementation of practices that promote social emotional health and well-being of very young children. Professionals who earn the ECMH-E® credential will have demonstrated evidence and completion of this kind of specialization.

Please join us on

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 from 3:00-4:30 PM

We will gather via Zoom for a presentation and conversation with the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health (the Alliance) about the ECMH-E®.  

NYS-AIMH is one of 31 states and several countries who offer Endorsement® through the Alliance.

We welcome questions at: reachus@nysaimh.org

Click here for more information and to register.

Parent Helpline is a Resource Available to You and the Families You Work With

The Parent Helpline can help find programs and services in your community that can help you in your work. The Helpline at 1-800-CHILDREN is an information and referral line that can help direct you to needed or requested services. It is free, confidential, and multi-lingual.  This is NOT the NYS Child Abuse Hotline. If you would like to report suspected child abuse, please call 1-800-342-3720. If you need assistance locating services such as parenting skills classes, domestic violence services, or child care for someone you are working with, the Parent Helpline has that information.

Trained staff is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.  If you call outside of those hours, you can leave a message and our support person will return your call as soon as possible. 

Click here for more information.

FEBRUARY 2021

SUMMIT ON WORKFORCE QUALITY FOR PARENTING EDUCATION PRESENTED BY NYSPEP 

Parenting education in New York State takes many forms and is delivered by providers from varied professional and educational backgrounds. How do we assure the statewide quality of the workforce?

Attendees will hear about how the unifying standard of NYSPEP’s Parenting Educator Credential can support coordination and competency across the field. 

The Summit is free, open, and relevant to all who work in the parenting space, in any capacity: funders, policy makers, program leaders, executives, parenting educators, social workers, home visitors, medical professionals, early childhood professionals, and early intervention specialists. 

Please note the new date: 

Monday, February 22, 2021 

11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Register HERE.

STRONG ROOTS VIRTUAL CONFERENCE 

When: 2/08/2021

Cost: FREE!

Attendance is Limited

Platform: ZOOM

 Two sessions are available, you may register for 1, or both.

 Session 1: ACES – Adverse Childhood Experiences & Trauma-Informed Practices

2/08/21 9AM-11AM

This training will:

  • Review ACES Study

  • Identify types of trauma

  • Increase recognition of trauma symptoms in youth

  • Share strategies for creating trauma-informed schools and organizations

 Session 2: SAFE ZONE 101

2/08/21 1PM-3PM

This interactive presentation to increase supports for LGBTQ youth will:

  • Define basic terminology

  • Identify micro-aggressions

  • Provide tips to create accepting and inclusive spaces in your school or organization

There are two separate registration links. Staff of Massena Central School District should register through the first link to get CTLE credit. The Registration Links will take you to the My Learning Plan website. All others should register through the second link that leads to EventBrite registration. Registration Links are listed below.

 Massena Central Staff Registration Links:

Session #1 ACES:

ACES - My Learning Plan Registration

Session #2 Safe Zone 101:

Safe Zone 101 - My Learning Plan Registration

ALL OTHER ATTENDEES, REGISTER HERE (You will be able to select 1 or both Sessions):

Strong Roots Conference - EventBrite Registration


PARENTING EDUCATOR CREDENTIAL APPLICATION SCHOLARSHIPS AND DUE DATE 

NYSPEP Parenting Educator Credential Application deadline has been moved from January 31, 2021 to March 30, 2021.  A limited number of partial scholarships are available for both credential applications and renewals ($100 for new applications and $50 for renewal applications).  Scholarship application details will be available on February 15.  Contact the NYSPEP Credential Coordinator credential@nyspep.org on or after that date for more information.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Delaware and Orange Offering Workshops and Resilience Challenges

 Cornell Cooperative Extension Delaware and Orange are offering the following workshops and resilience challenges:

 February 11th Growing Resilience To Keep Everyone Safe

March 11th Growing and Teaching Resilience

April 8th Growing Resilience and Positive Behavior

May 13th Growing Resilience to Build Organizational and Community Networks

 Workshops will be interactive and collaborative with participants, focusing on essential learning and practical take-aways for immediate implementation. These workshops are intended for schools, organizations, health and human services, as well as the community. No cost, CTLEs and attendance certificate will be provided, registration is required.

SUPPORTING PARENTS BY PROVIDING SHELTER FROM THE STORM

As time rolls on and stress levels increase for both families and the workforce that is intended to support them, we can begin to wonder how to focus our energies to best serve families.  As I ponder this question, my mind goes back to Claire Forest’s “A Bone Deep Longing” quote published in the Empowerment Skills for Family Workers Manual used in the Family Development Credential course: “Within each person lies a bone-deep longing for freedom, safety, hope, self-respect, and the chance to make an important contribution to family, community, and the world.  To live fully, we each need ways to express this powerful, natural longing.

Without healthy outlets, the desire for freedom turns into lawlessness, and the need for safety and self-respect degenerates into violence. 

Without avenues to make an important contribution, hopelessness translates into dependency, depression, violence, substance abuse and other forms of self-abuse. No government program or religious group can help people become self-reliant, contributing members of their communities unless it is built on an understanding of this powerful force inside each human heart.” 

Right now, what I am hearing from my team of Parenting Educators is that the parents they serve are finding ways to cope with the realities of their situations and create a context of safety within their homes for their children.  What that looks like within each individual family may vary depending on the specifics of their situations and needs of the family members themselves.  Resilient parents and caregivers tend to use their personal agency to filter through resources and make choices that work for their families.  Over time, this builds their sense of self-reliance and self-respect as they experience successes in navigating the challenges of family life. 

 As Parenting Educators, we have a unique opportunity to provide support to parents and caregivers as they weather this storm.  To do it well, we need to focus on the essential pieces of our work.  As I see it, those essential pieces are: Remaining non-judgmental and strengths-based, providing high quality information and links to community supports, and working in collaboration with families to help them create their own plans for how they will achieve their goals.  In order for this to happen, we need to create a sense of safety within the spaces we share with parents and caregivers.  That is safety to be vulnerable, explore new ideas, make mistakes, and most of all to just be human! 

 We can create calm in our interactions with parents and caregivers by slowing down the content, being cautious with our suggestions, and devoting time to listening and open discussion within groups.  Watch and listen for what the parents/caregivers are doing well.  Reflect their strengths back to them so they can hear what others see that they may not recognize in themselves.  There are many sources of anxiety surrounding families with all the information about risks in our world.  Let’s be a safe refuge from the storm to support families creating refuge for their children.   

For information about the Family Development Credential please visit: http://familydevelopmentcredential.org/index.htm

Jackie Spencer. Senior Credentialed Parenting Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tioga County

FEBRUARY IS PARENT LEADERSHIP MONTH 

February is Parent Leadership Month and the Children's Trust Fund Alliance created a certificate and will have other materials available at: Parent Voice | CTF Alliance

NPEN'S "PARENTING EDUCATION MATTERS" MESSAGING CAMPAIGN FOCUSES ON DIVERSITY 

The National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) has launched the third installment of its year-long messaging campaign: “Parenting Education Matter.” The latest message is “Parenting Education is for Everyone” and features photos of diverse families holding babies in various ways. This message illustrates that there is no 'one right way' when it comes to parenting, and EVERYONE can benefit from the support parenting education provides when it comes to making the best decisions for their family. NPEN encourages everyone to share this message on their social media and other platforms. If you would like your organization’s logo added to the message, please email info@npen.org.

NPEN is grateful to its partners at Grom Social for helping making this messaging campaign come to fruition.

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JANUARY 2021

NYSPEP SUMMIT ON WORKFORCE QUALITY FOR PARENTING EDUCATION IN NEW YORK STATE

Monday, January 25th from 11:00 am - 1:30 pm

Working with and supporting parents requires specific competencies, skill sets, and the ability to build relationships. Evidence-based programs or curricula are only as effective as the people delivering them. How do we assure the statewide quality of the workforce in the field? What unifying standard can be applied for those working with parents who come from varied professions and educational backgrounds?

This Summit is free and open to all who work in the parenting space in any capacity — parenting educators, parenting coaches, home visitors, doulas, child birth educators, Head Start staff, childcare workers, teachers, pediatricians, nurses, and supervisors and administrators of any program that serves parents. 

Come and be part of the discussion and action plan!

Register HERE. 

COMMUNITY COALITIONS PROJECT: REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS--DEADLINE APPROACHING

The New York State Parenting Education Partnership (NYSPEP) is a statewide cross- systems initiative designed to ensure all children grow up in nurturing families, by enhancing parents’* knowledge, skills and behavior. NYSPEP informs and supports close to 1,500 practitioners, program managers, researchers and policymakers to promote, provide and improve evidence-based parenting education. 

Parenting education is a core component of a comprehensive strategy to strengthen family and community approaches to healthy child development and help prevent child abuse and neglect. When the rate of indicated reports of child abuse is as high as 47/1000 for children ages 0-17 years in some counties in NYS 1, the capacity of families to raise healthy children and the cost to the larger community must be considered a public health issue. Effective parenting education programs have been linked with better physical, cognitive and emotional development in children; increased parental knowledge of child development and parenting skills; improved parent-child communication; more effective
parental monitoring and discipline; reduced youth substance abuse; and decreased rates of child abuse and neglect.

Additionally, according to a recent study published in Pediatrics Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the hardships that families have experienced related to the COVID-19 pandemic have negatively affected both parents’ and children’s mental health. The need to address the well-being of children and their families has never been greater.
NYSPEP provides support through enhancing access to quality parenting education.

(*NYSPEP defines parents as adults who are the primary custodial caregiver of children.)

You can join this effort!

NYSPEP is accepting applications from local coalitions to strengthen community-based parenting education while engaging parents as well as professionals from multiple disciplines. We are looking for community coalitions that demonstrate leadership, commitment and determination to mobilize a broad movement to strengthen and support
all parents’ skills, knowledge, and talents. Up to four coalition sites will be selected to receive a 1-year award to receive training, technical assistance and a $5000 grant to support community identified objectives.

Community Coalition Project Goals:

1. Develop a concentrated, coordinated effort across New York State to strengthen the knowledge, skills and talents of all parents, to support healthy child development and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect.
2. Raise community commitment to promote safe, nurturing relationships and environments for all children and families.
3. Establish community norms that support universal and quality parenting education.
4. Support Parenting Educators to develop skills and strategies to provide effective, evidence-based programming.
5. Engage families as the foundation for community coalition efforts to identify parenting education that addresses their needs.

Eligible Applicants

Community coalitions that are working to enhance parenting skills and practice and are exploring or using the Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors Framework are encouraged to apply. NYSPEP is interested in coalitions that are multi-disciplinary and include parents and/or family representation. It is expected that Parenting Educators
and at least two parents will be involved in the coalition.

The lead applicant must be a Not-for-Profit organization. The coalition can include a wide range of partners, such as, but not limited to: Community Action Agencies, Child Care Resource & Referral agencies and child care providers, libraries, school districts, Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations, health providers, county level services, and representatives from faith-based organizations. Applicants are encouraged to use strength-based approaches that focus on promotion and prevention services which strengthen families, rather than on crisis intervention and treatment services.

Selection Criteria:

NYSPEP is seeking community coalition applicants that exhibit the following:

· A commitment to quality parenting education as demonstrated by:

· Enhancing the social-emotional development of children and families and the primary prevention of child abuse.

· Implementing a strategy consistent with the Protective Factors Framework to promote public understanding and professional development.

· Improving and strengthening opportunities for parenting education (these efforts may address ages birth to 17 years).

· Using proven strategies that identify and integrate existing resources to strengthen the skills, knowledge and talents of all parents.

· Promoting community’s readiness to support families (building coalitions for safe, stable, nurturing communities).

· Evidence of commitment to community-based initiatives that are inclusive and represent the population being served. Coalitions must identify their partners, describe their history of working together as a coalition, their efforts to engage multiple community partners and the use of “shared decision making” (meaning a process of partnership of shared views and actions towards shared goals).

· Efforts to and/or success in the support of family involvement as the foundation for quality parent education by incorporating parent voice in education, health, and social systems. Coalitions must identify at least two parents (in parent role) who will be included as engaged members of the collaboration.

· Commitment to the professional development of parenting educators as demonstrated by support of training for parenting educators, use of credentialed parenting educators, use of evidenced-based and/or research informed parenting education models and practices, and involvement of parenting educators as active members of the coalition.

· Priority will be given to regions of NY not previously funded.

PROJECT DELIVERABLES:

Grant activities are intended to support and extend NYSPEP’s goals across the state. To that end, each selected Coalition is expected to meet the following deliverables:

I. Professional development – Host a Protective Factors Framework overview, offer a regional Strong Roots one-day workshop and attend the Annual Training Institute

· Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors Framework: The five protective factors at the foundation of Strengthening Families are characteristics that have been shown to make positive outcomes more likely for young children and their families, and to reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. NYSPEP will provide an overview of the Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors Framework to community coalitions members through a two- hour orientation to the Framework.

· Strong Roots training day: This one-day training event should emphasize a topic to strengthen parenting educators’ practice and offer a range of evidence-based parenting approaches. This event should align with the Parenting Educator Credential competencies and will be planned with support from the NYSPEP.

· Annual Training Institute: Designed to promote research-to-practice and emerging issues for parenting education practitioners, this one-day event is organized by the NYSPEP leadership with input from the leads of the community coalitions to engage parenting educators, parent partners, and leaders of parent organizations. At least one member of the coalition is required to attend the training institute.

II. Parent-partner leadership and community development –conduct/provide Community Café training and assistance; support parent involvement in coalition meetings and trainings with mileage reimbursement and stipends/incentives for families to attend meetings. Please refer to the following CSSP report here for ideas on parent
engagement.

• Community Cafés: The Café process begins with a one-day Orientation session held for parents and community-based organization staff to prepare them to implement the model;

• Community coalition staff will partner with parent leaders to organize Café Conversations (at least 5 in the same community) for parents and other community leaders to discuss shared concerns. This series of guided conversations will be based on the Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors Framework;

• Reports of the meetings, known as “harvests,” will inform community responsiveness and be shared with NYSPEP to influence state led initiatives.

• Support parent participation: NYSPEP encourages parent engagement in Community Coalition meetings and in Community Café training. To support parent engagement, NYSPEP allocates funds for parents to alleviate the costs
of travel and child care. NYSPEP encourages parents to attend Community Café certification opportunities.

III. Administrative activities - project oversight to strengthen the quality of parenting education with significant input from family and community partners. Administration will contribute by providing leadership in gathering and organizing data about the parent education system; being responsible for grant reporting and fund management to NYSPEP and agree to share NYSPEP resources and training opportunities. Activities include:

a. Develop an action plan for the implementation of grant activities and use of funds.

b. Maintain updated environmental scan of parenting education programs.

c. Participate in monthly one hour learning collaborative conference call with other Community Coalition communities.

d. Submit mid-year summary progress, year-end summary reports and financial summary.

e. Assume fiscal responsibility for grant funds and support for parent participation in related activities.

f. Provide Inventory for 10 families utilizing the Protective Factors Family Assessment Tool.

g. Share NYSPEP materials and messages regarding Professional Development webinar opportunities, ENews, etc., with community network.

h. Select and support representatives, including parents and parenting educators, from the coalition to attend NYSPEP’s annual Training Institute

i. Contribute to the monthly learning collaboratives.

j. Provide reports on the work including:

· A proposed action plan developed as a coalition document within the first two months of the project consistent with the goals in the proposal.

· Submit a mid-year and end of year progress report. Specific dates and format will be provided by NYSPEP staff.

Grant Awards:

Each selected Community Coalition will be awarded a grant of $5,000. This grant is intended to support the deliverables listed above and to increase parenting education opportunities for parents in high need areas. Parents are expected to be included in designing these community-based programs that offer high quality, responsive parenting education, address barriers to parenting education (such as implicit bias, and quality child care, accessible locations and times) and support the Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors Framework. Allowable expenses are detailed below.

Proposed budgets will be reviewed by NYSPEP.

Allowable expenses:

a. Initiatives that increase access to parenting education.

b. Funding may be used to support the one-day Strong Roots event: rent for space, materials, honoraria, travel for speakers.

c. Funding may be used to support hosting Community Cafes, including needed supplies and materials.

d. Up to fifteen percent of funds (or $750) may be used to offset administrative activities.

NYSPEP Partnership Activities

In addition to the outlined deliverables, NYSPEP requests that each Community Coalition participate in and promote the following NYSPEP activities:

• Professional Development Webinars: These training opportunities offered by NYSPEP build on the theme of the Strong Roots events and will be based on evidence from research and consistent with the NYS Parenting Educator
Credential. The topics will be guided by input from parent and community coalitions and from information gathered during Community Cafés (described below).

• NYSPEP Parenting Educator Credential: The work to strengthen and promote the NYSPEP Parenting Educator Credential will remain the responsibility of the NYSPEP Credential Work Group and the NYSPEP Leadership. Community Coalitions will disseminate information about the Parenting Educator Credential and encourage parenting educators to seek the
credential.

• NYSPEP.org website and monthly eNews: NYSPEP promotes best practices and programs and provides current resource information for parent educators and other service providers through the NYSPEP website, that includes an event calendar, and publication of the monthly NYSPEP eNews. These features make communication with parenting educators easier to maintain and promote. Community Coalitions are encouraged to contribute to and disseminate the eNews to their partners and mailing lists.

• Searchable database for parenting support services: This resource of over 4500 programs is searchable by county location, type of parenting education/support sought. Representative parents from the selected community

• Coalitions will be invited to advise on the usefulness of this database and steps to improve it. Coalitions will contribute community specific resources, including current parenting education opportunities, to the searchable database on the
NYSPEP website and will promote the use of the database in their communities;

• Promote quality parenting education resources:

§ Disseminate The New Parent Guide: Starting Life Together, and the companion website www.nysparentguide.org. Both resources for expectant and new parents, will be promoted and distributed to the Community Team.

§ Disseminate other materials and messages from NYSPEP and NYSPEP website.

Application Deadline: January 22, 2021
Grant Announcement: February 8, 2021

How to submit the application:

The New York State Parenting Education Partnership Application is available at:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdY_BDmEnwgWtI3Ytzex0dXpD-6ANeo3bgljV4yQFwc7u4UEA/viewform

If you are unable to access this form, please contact Tamaé Memole at tmemole@preventchildabuseny.org

WEBINAR ALERT: TODDLERS AND TECHNOLOGIES--RISKS AND BENEFITS OF DIGITAL MEDIA USE ON FAMILIES 

JANUARY 22, 2021; 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Mixed messages about digital media use come at us from all directions. We hear warnings about screen time negatively affecting children’s cognitive and language development, but we also learn of innovative educational and psychological apps that enhance development. We are advised against sharing our children’s images on Facebook and Instagram, and yet we rely on social media to stay connected with loved ones. Children are inevitably exposed to various types of digital media. How do we, as parents and professionals, appropriately and effectively manage their (and our own) use of technology? 

This conference will explore how digital media impacts young children, parents, and family relationships – especially in the time of COVID-19 with the increased stress on families. Our presenters will demystify the content of this technology and how its mobility and interactivity influence the relationships we have with our devices. They will also explain how they shape children’s development and family interactions. Presenters will provide opportunities to reflect on digital media and what is needed to be an informed consumer. They will also provide guidance for parents and professionals on how to benefit from digital media. 

Register Here

_______________________________________________________________

DECEMBER 2020

COMMUNITY COALITIONS PROJECT: REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS

Request for Applications, November 2020

The New York State Parenting Education Partnership (NYSPEP) is a statewide cross- systems initiative designed to ensure all children grow up in nurturing families, by enhancing parents’* knowledge, skills and behavior. NYSPEP informs and supports close to 1,500 practitioners, program managers, researchers and policymakers to promote, provide and improve evidence-based parenting education. 

You can join this effort!

NYSPEP is accepting applications from local coalitions to strengthen community-based parenting education while engaging parents as well as professionals from multiple disciplines. We are looking for community coalitions that demonstrate leadership, commitment and determination to mobilize a broad movement to strengthen and support
all parents’ skills, knowledge, and talents. Up to four coalition sites will be selected to receive a 1-year award to receive training, technical assistance and a $5000 grant to support community identified objectives.

An introductory webinar to NYSPEP, our work, and this project will be held Friday, Dec 11 at 1:00. Communities planning to apply are strongly encouraged to attend.

 Link to the session is included here:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82109776413?pwd=Mlo5eWlHZDZtUlpBUXVMQThtR1ZzZz09
Meeting ID: 821 0977 6413
Passcode: 063295
One tap mobile
+16465588656,,82109776413# US (New York)

 Application Deadline: January 22, 2021
Grant Announcement: February 8, 2021

How to submit the application:

The New York State Parenting Education Partnership Application is available at:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdY_BDmEnwgWtI3Ytzex0dXpD-6ANeo3bgljV4yQFwc7u4UEA/viewform

If you are unable to access this form, please contact Tamaé Memole at tmemole@preventchildabuseny.org

Questions:

If you have questions regarding the application or NYSPEP, please contact
Tamaé Memole at (518) 421-1254 or email to: tmemole@preventchildabuseny.org

For complete details, visit our website here.

SAVE THE DATE: SUMMIT ON PARENTING EDUCATION WORKFORCE!

NYSPEP will be hosting a NYSPEP Summit on Workforce Quality for Parenting Education in New York State on Monday, January 25th, 2021.  A parenting curriculum or program is only as excellent as the professionals delivering the curriculum or program. NYSPEP is partnering with Cornell Cooperative Extension to look at the workforce that is engaged with parents to assure quality. How can we establish a statewide standard to make sure that the right people are doing this valuable work? What part can the NYSPEP Credential play in assuring competency and quality for everyone supporting parents across the state? Save the date and look for more details about this event in the next few weeks. If you have questions or ideas, please contact Meg Akabas at makabas@earthlink.net

REACHING FAMILIES IN THE VIRTUAL CONTEXT: LESSONS FROM THE FIELD

Jackie Spencer, Senior Credentialed Parenting Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tioga County

Parenting Educators and Family Serving organizations made swift shifts to continue reaching families while mitigating the risk of COVID-19 spread in early spring. At that time, many of us had not idea that the changes to program delivery would last so long. As we move into mid fall, many of us are still limiting face to face contact in order to protect vulnerable family members from potential exposure. Here are a few things we have learned from our efforts to reach families in the virtual context.

Some families are more likely to engage virtually than in person. Many parenting educators felt great apprehension to offering online programming. New skills needed to be learned very quickly and we weren’t sure if parents would engage. However, we have found that there is an audience for virtual programming. Parents with busy schedules and a high desire for anonymity have shared that they appreciate the option to tune in from home rather than coming out to face to face group sessions in the community. Families with adults and/or children with existing health risks, the value of engaging without face to face contact has been immeasurable.

Providing hard copy resources for at home learning helps. Parents have found ways to tune in to video conferencing or webinars using a variety of devices, however they may not have the software to view documents or a printer at home. Hands on learning is also essential for the majority of participants to ultimately put new ideas into practice. Parenting educators have been able to meet this need by preparing kits and packets for parents to receive by mail, pick up at a convenient location, or even by contactless delivery to their doorsteps. Armed with the resources, parents can complete reading or home practice exercises, reflect on their learning, post visual reminders around the home, or engage in a special craft or activity with their child. Home practice is far more likely to be completed when the resources are provided as families have so many things to do and items to gather already in this complicated time.

Flexible scheduling options can make the difference. With children out of child care and school settings much of the time or even intermittently for shorter periods of quarantine, parent and caregiver availability can shift. Offering opens for early morning or later evening groups can help. Parents and caregivers can provide valuable feedback about the time of day that they can best engage. For example, a group of parents meeting weekly for a virtual playgroup with their young children worked with the staff facilitating to plan the sessions for late mornings based on what worked best for their children.

Access to internet and devices varies widely. Many families still do not have affordable access to internet connection and connection to the internet remains unavailable in many parts of NYS. When families due have access, the service may not be reliable or fast enough for viewing a webinar or engaging in a video conference. Web cams or microphones may not be available on their devices or they may be tuning in from a phone which will allow all features of video conferencing to function. Many families do not have devices at all or the skills to use them. Parenting educators can be flexible with offering sessions by phone or sharing support through text messaging along with resource packets to better serve these families while maintaining social distance.

High Touch programming is still essential in some circumstances. As educators, we know that the most effective approaches do need to take place in person. Depending on the needs of the families and the program model, parenting educators have found ways to continue face to face offerings with the use of PPE, outdoor spaces, and limited numbers of persons for group programs. We recognize that the personal interaction is a core piece of our work and although we may continue to engage in virtual programming long term, we will continue to advocate for the resumption of face to face program delivery whenever it is safe to do so.

NPEN’S “PARENTING EDUCATION MATTERS” MESSAGING CAMPAIGN FOCUSES ON DIVERSITY

The National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) has launched the third installment of its year-long messaging campaign: “Parenting Education Matter.”  The latest message is “Parenting Education is for Everyone” and features photos of diverse families holding babies in various ways. This message illustrates that there is no 'one right way' when it comes to parenting, and EVERYONE can benefit from the support parenting education provides when it comes to making the best decisions for their family.  NPEN encourages everyone to share this message on their social media and other platforms. If you would like your organization’s logo added to the message, please email info@npen.org.

NPEN is grateful to its partners at Grom Social for helping making this messaging campaign come to fruition.

NOVEMBER 2020

Webinar Alert: How to Incorporate Storytelling in your Work with Parents - Follow up to NYSPEP Training Institute 2020

This workshop was inspired by the NYSPEP’s recent training, Storytelling: A Tool for Resilience*, which provided a new and deeper understanding of how narrative process and practice promote resiliency and healing. Participants will develop tools and discuss and share ideas about how we can apply storytelling with confidence and success in supporting parents. The conversation will include implementing strategies for a range of formats (parenting classes, home visiting, counseling, etc.) and across different cultural groups. This will be a participatory session with questions and ideas from fellow parenting educators interested in incorporating storytelling into their work. (*Attendance at NYSPEP’s October Training Institute is not a prerequisite to attend this workshop. You can find a description of the Training Institute and the Resource List here.)

Meg Akabas is a NYSPEP Certified Parenting Educator and the recent Chair of the National Parenting Education Network (NPEN). The founder of New York City-based Parenting Solutions, she specializes in working with expectant parents and parents of young children and is an instructor in parenting, infant development, and infant care at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. She is the author of “52 Weeks of Parenting Wisdom: Effective Strategies for Raising Happy, Responsible Kids.” 

Length: 1.5 hours

Date: November 18th   1:00 - 2:30 pm EST

This workshop will support the following NYSPEP Parent Educator Credential competencies:

· Competency Area 5: Parent Development and Family Systems

· Competency Area 9: Strengths-based communication

· Competency Area 11: Working with Diversity

Register in advance for this workshop:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwkf-2rqDwoGdOCF95U9ao7oNq0qUzlk0G_

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Grab Your Oxygen First: Tips to Manage Self Care*
Webinar Link

With our partner, the NY Zero-to-Three, we were thrilled to host Donna Morrison, the Deputy Executive Director of The Guidance Center of Westchester, for a conversation on taking care of yourself as a basic step in being an effective parent, parenting educator, caregiver.

In the October 6 webinar "Grab Your Oxygen First", Donna shared information on the influence of stress. She provided a “quiz” to gauge your stress level. Regardless of where you are starting, Donna provided a variety of easy-to-implement strategies for care.

Of the many tips Donna offered, a primary strategy is to manage your self-talk. One key idea: “be emotionally responsible for yourself and suspend judgment.” Other coping techniques: Remind yourself, you are doing the best you can. Feed your mind with thoughts of hope, truth, love. Do you know what brings you joy? Can you name your ‘happy thoughts’ and find your ‘happy place’?

A few of the specific steps you can implement today: enhance your physical environment with scents from candles, infusions, sprays; add real plants, consider low maintenance succulents; take breaks as you need them (get up, walk around, go outside if you can); add reminders and inspirations through posters and post-its; limit the time you spend listening to or reading news. Donna offered many more tips and tools. You can watch the full webinar here.

One final note from Donna: This is constant work, so “when all else fails, come back to your happy thought and start again.”

* Edited from the October 2020 New York Zero to Three Newsletter

Resources for Parenting Educators

Parenting Educators are continuously working to expand their knowledge and skills to best meet the needs of diverse families in an always changing world.  There are several online resources that can help you continue to expand your knowledge and skills. The two shared here are free and can be accessed at your convenience.

North Carolina Parenting Education Network (NCPEN) posts links to a variety of resources on parenting education on their website NCPEN.org.  One interesting category is a list of free trainings on topics linked to parenting educator competencies at   https://ncpen.org/free-trainings-for-credentialing-core-competencies

The Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative offers Essentials of Parenting Education Professional Practice, a free online course where students learn the foundations of professional practice for parenting educators through interactive technology, videos, graphics, and readings in a series of seven modules.    Parenting educators have the option of completing the full seven module course for a certificate of completion or focusing their learning on a specific topic within individual modules.  You can learn more and access the course at https://orparenting.org/parent-educators/essentials-modules/

Watch for more resources on parenting educator competencies in future issues of NYSPEP E-News.

OCTOBER 2020

Save the Date: NYSPEP Training Institute on October 20th

The New York State Parenting Education Partnership is excited to announce our Training Institute. Please mark your calendars for October 20th, 2020. The registration information for this virtual training institute can be found HERE.

The topic is Storytelling: A Tool for Resilience. The morning session will feature a keynote with Eva Tenuto, Executive Director of the TMI Project. The goal for this session is to increase understanding of the use of storytelling to support resilience and healing. The afternoon session will focus on group discussions and identifying next steps for incorporating Storytelling in your work. 

The NYSPEP Training Institute will support development in the following NYSPEP Parenting Educator Credential competencies:

Competency Area 5: Parent Development and Family Systems

Competency Area 9: Strengths-based communication

Competency Area 11: Working with Diversity 

October is DV Awareness Month 

 October is DV Awareness Month so we’d like to share some activities you can engage in at work or through social media. Here are some campaigns you can support and participate in.

Campaigns:

· #1Thing – Encourage staff to share #1Thing they are doing or will do to help eradicate domestic violence in both your workplace and in the community. For staff working in the office, create a visible space for staff to share their own #1Thing. Send photos to all staff and encourage staff working remotely to send you their ideas. Though #1Thing might seem insignificant, collectively, we can create true change while creating a supportive space for victimized employees that lets them know their coworkers stand with them against domestic violence.  

· #ListeningFromHome Listen and look for signs of abuse when speaking with family, friends, and coworkers. Reach out to those you might be concerned about. If possible, set up check-ins by video. Share the NY State Hotline and community resources on social media. For more information, visit: https://nomore.org/campaigns/dvam/  (there’s some great social media items on this website – and Spanish.  Also the OPDV website also includes posters in many languages. 

· #NYGoesPurple4DV-Turn your agencies and offices purple and use this hashtag on all of your DVAM posts to join with us to show all survivors in NYS that we stand with them.

Be sure to follow OPDV on social media and visit www.opdv.ny.gov for the latest New York State DVAM plans! You can read the latest bulletin here

OCFS-Funded Prevention Programs Continue to Provide Support to Families During Pandemic

Community-Based Prevention Programs continue to creatively provide vital services to families safely while navigating the Covid-19 pandemic. Community-Based Prevention Programs and Healthy Families New York programs rapidly adapted their services to meet families’ needs during this critical time. In June alone, these programs made over 7,900 service provisions to families across the state. Services include home visits and parenting education done by phone or video, and connections to food and concrete supports. 

The following reports highlight the great work OCFS-funded prevention programs have accomplished April – June.

https://ocfs.ny.gov/reports/cbp-status/CB-Prevention-Status-Report-2020-Jun.pdf

https://ocfs.ny.gov/reports/cbp-status/CB-Prevention-Status-Report-2020-May.pdf

https://ocfs.ny.gov/reports/cbp-status/CB-Prevention-Status-Report-2020-Apr.pdf

These reports are created by OCFS researchers. Additional reports will be posted as they become available.

Social Media--A Tool to Reach and Support Parents

School looks very different this year. Families are trying to be resourceful, and one place they are turning is social media. Parenting educators across the state can look for these groups in their communities and be there to offer resources, support, and information. Check and see if there are some you can find or ask your local school districts for any they may have made. This would be a great way to build connections and supports during this unique and challenging time.

SEPTEMBER 2020

COVID HAS CHANGED EVERYTHING, NOW WHAT?

“Life is no straight and easy corridor along
which we travel free and unhampered,
but a maze of passages,
through which we must seek our way,
lost and confused, now and again
checked in a blind alley.
But always, if we have faith,
a door will open for us,
not perhaps one that we ourselves
would ever have thought of,
but one that will ultimately
prove good for us.”
A.J. Cronin

During this unprecedented time of confusion, chaos, fear and unknown future we are challenged with stress in all aspects of our lives. Things have turned us upside down and have forced us to find creative ways of serving families. We can choose to embrace the change and move into it, through it, around it, over it or we can stop dead in our tracks and wait for things to go back to “normal”.

The futures of our children are far too important. As Parenting Educators, we know that the way to stabilize children is to stabilize their parents. Our work is far too important to abandon. It is time to embrace change and not be afraid of it.

Things to consider as we move into it, through it, around and over it (because stopping dead in our tracks is off the table):

  • Having things familiar can make us happy and maybe even complacent. We can tend to hold on very tightly to “this is how we’ve always done it”.
  • If you do not change you can become extinct. You can become “non-essential”.
  • What would you do if you were not afraid of the loss of a job or funding?
  • Pay attention to the signs, the writing on the wall. Talk to others, network, join a think tank, become a change agent.
  • Moving in a new direction can be exciting.
  • When you stop being afraid it frees you up to be creative, it helps you to remember why you love what you do.
  • Imagine yourself enjoying new ways of reaching families. The quicker you let go of the old way of doing business the quicker you will embrace new creative ways.
  • It is safer to move into, around it, over it, through it; than to stay “stuck” waiting for things to return to “normal”. That is when you become extinct/non-essential.
  • Holding onto old beliefs will not lead to embracing the new future.
  • When you see yourself enjoying new approaches you are freed up to changing course.
  • Noticing small changes early helps you to adapt to the bigger changes that are to come.

Change happens, anticipate change, monitor change, adapt to change quickly, change, enjoy change, be ready to change quickly and enjoy it again and again!!!

Written and submitted by Karen Sweeney, NYSPEP Senior Parenting Educator
Adapted from the Who Moved My Cheese? By Spencer Johnson, M.D.

To take this article another step further we would like to have you submit some of the new, innovative practices that you have tried to meet the needs of the families that you work with. They will be collected and shared in the October newsletter. Please submit to Karen Sweeney at markarensweeney@gmail.com Thank you.

WALES BROWN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FOR ZERO TO THREE CONFERENCE AVAILABLE AGAIN

NPEN is, once again, offering a full scholarship to the Zero to Three Conference October 5-9, 2020 (this year’s conference is, of course, virtual).  As most of you know, Wales was a dedicated member of the NYSPEP Steering Committee. Please share this opportunity with your networks and particularly with anyone you think might be interested and benefit from the experience. This initiative was extremely successful last year, and we are looking forward to giving another deserving parenting educator access to the latest research and to connections in the field.  

Information can be found here. The deadline is September 1st.

EPIC EXPANDS ONLINE SUPPORT FOR PARENTS

Every Person Influences Children (EPIC) Expands Online Support for Parents,  as families everywhere continue to navigate consequences of the past four months.

"Just because we've been doing this awhile, doesn't mean it's getting easier," says Tara N. Burgess, EPIC's Executive Director. "Parents are still navigating homeschooling, unemployment or trying to work from home, caring for their families and potentially dealing with health issues. They need as much support as possible, and that's what these cafés aim to do."

The groups will be hosted every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday via Zoom teleconferencing and are open to all parents. Participants will need a free Zoom account to join the group, but there is no cost associated with participating. 

The Tuesday and Thursday groups begin the week of July 20, and the Wednesday group is currently running. 

Follow this link for more information.

AUGUST 2020

What Is It Really Like to Be A Credentialed Parenting Educator? An Interview with Dawn Bruce

During the summer 2020 round of credential applications, Dawn Bruce; one of the first to be a Credentialed Parenting Educator (CPE) took the plunge; instead of renewing her existing credential she bumped up to the Credentialed Senior Parent Educator (CSPE) level.

After providing exemplary work, we wanted to hear from Dawn as to the value of seeking/obtaining the PE Credential through NYSPEP.

Jennie: Parenting Education is an often misunderstood and under valued profession-what drew you to this field?

Dawn: Initially, I was drawn to Parent Education because of my own experience as a mother. I became a widow four days before my son was born and this life changing experience propelled me into unexpected new territories. I attended the NYSPEP Strong Roots Last a Lifetime Conference in 2012 and enjoyed the presentations that were given. There I learned more about the parent educator credentials, which piqued my interest and wanted to apply for it.  There was so much I needed to learn as a first-time mother, while experiencing grief and an array of emotions and challenges. I also saw the need and the importance of parent education, not only understanding a child’s development, but also recognizing that parent education and reflection are opportunities for parents to grow, heal and develop. Now that I have a young adult, there is so much that I can share with other parents.

My personal work with parents in early childhood observing their challenges, resilience and the many social conditions that impacts their lives has also been a catalyst and encouragement for me to learn more about parent education. As I continue my journey to grow professionally and personally, I see myself continuing to develop as a parent educator. Parenting can and is challenging and at the same time it is an opportunity for parents to get to know themselves better and I would like to assist other parents in this process.

Jennie: Renewals happen every 4 years for the credential. What inspired you to go for the next level of credentialing?

Dawn: My current role as a supervisor gave me the experience, I needed to apply for the CSPE level.

Jennie: This can be a long process of self-reflection, what was the value personally and professionally for you?

Dawn: The most valuable part of this renewal process was reflecting on how much I have grown professionally and personally since I last renewed my parent educator credential. An opportunity presented itself for me to become a supervisor, I accepted the challenge and was able to demonstrate my learning from this role and utilize it in my portfolio process.

Jennie: Because of the nature of funding and the challenges of running programming-what would you say to an employer about the benefit of prioritizing this credential as professional development?

Dawn: The value of this process is being able to reflect on the accomplishments, as well as the professional and personal development that takes place. I think about having a resume and how one must review their skills, places where you have worked and the education you have obtained. I would say that the difference in this process is that one must go further than giving snapshots of skills and experience. This process challenges you to go deeper and write about your learning and professional experiences and how it is utilized in your daily work.

Jennie: We spend a lot of our time in the tension of professional vs. personal lives, how do you relieve that tension?  

Dawn: I really enjoy coloring in adult coloring books. It is a great stress reliever and helps me to draw on my inner creativity.

It was a pleasure to connect with Dawn. Her work in the field will benefit other educators moving forward and we look forward to expanding our opportunities to work directly with her. In the meantime, Dawn is the author of: The Coming of A New Dawn: A book of inspirational thoughts - https://www.iuniverse.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/109965-The-Coming-of-A-New-Dawn

The upcoming application submission deadlines are August 31st  and October 31st, 2020. 

Email credential@nyspep.org for more information or to request the zip file application.

Expand your professional affiliation today!

Join the NYSPEP Credentialing team next month as we discuss resources for meeting the parenting challenges in the age of Covid.

Virtual Professional Development Opportunity: P-3 Summer Institute Virtual Thursday Series
 

The New York State Education Department is partnering with the Council on Children and Families (CCF) to be able to provide the P-3 Summer Institute Virtual Thursday series. The Institute is supported by the NYSB5 Grant awarded to the CCF by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. The NYSB5 project seeks to strengthen partnerships, coordinate services, expand parent choice, and increase quality to ensure that all children in New York State receive equitable and comprehensive services to ensure lifelong success.

JULY 2020

Helping Families Plan for Children Should Parents Be Sidelined by COVID-19

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, families may want to make a plan for their children if the adults experience illness or hospitalization. This may be especially important for families considered essential workers or working "in person" with others.

Minnesota developed resources to help, and encourages others to adapt them for use with families in other states. The tools are available here.

Discipline is NOT A Dirty Word: Virtual Training on Discipline 

CCE Orange is hosting a Facilitator Training for Discipline is NOT a Dirty Word, coming up in September. This updated trauma-informed, resilience-building parenting curriculum supports parents and caregivers feel confident in their parenting skills and create nurturing environments for their children.

The training will begin on September 8th and run every Saturday through September 29th. For more information follow this link or e-mail.

NYSPEP 2020 Annual Report is Available

Wondering what NYSPEP was up to over the previous year? Check out our most recent Annual Report, hot off the presses. Follow our link to learn more about the work we have been doing.

JUNE 2020

NYSPEP WEBINAR: ETHICAL PRACTICES FOR PARENTING EDUCATORS 

A multi perspective integrated approach to ethical thinking and practice- how virtues, principles and relationships shape family work.

The webinar will be held on June 17th at 1:00 p.m.

Register Here

NYSPEP ANNOUNCES 2020-2021 GRANT AWARD RECIPIENTS  

NYSPEP is excited to announce the 2020-2021 (Cohort 3) NYSPEP Grant Award Recipients! Special thanks to the NYSPEP Review Committee and all those across New York State who applied. This year our review committee has decided to fund the following Community Coalitions:

St. Lawrence County: Massena Community Services Coalition

Wayne County: Wayne County Partnership for Strengthening Families

Schuyler County: Early Childhood Community Coalition

THE LOSS AND GRIEF OF COVID-19: REAL CHALLENGES AND PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS

This discussion will focus on the nature of grief surrounding COVID-19 recognizing that grief has no timeline and every pattern of grieving is individual. The presentation will provide real and practical suggestions and advice related to how to cope as a family and how to talk to, listen to and help children adjust and be supported. 

Life as we know it has been drastically altered by COVID-19 with worry about whether the world will ever be the same and anxiety about illness and even death cast over daily life. The losses in our daily lives are many including losing the presumption of health to the expectancies of daily life including food security for some. Grief is a normal process through which we all come to cope with and heal from losses in our lives. The work of grief includes: 1) expressing and regulating strong emotions; 2) shifting focus from the real to the remembered; and 3) internalizing and holding the good and positives that were part of  lost relationships and experiences. Unfortunately, some of our friends and family may  die from COVID-19 and both adults and children will have to process the grief as described above. For most, the grief related to COVID-19 will likely be temporary and more elusive related to missing what we had and did, much of which may return even in a way that is somewhat different and we will adjust to the “new normal”. While most people will not have to face the finality of death, but rather their familiar lives being disrupted and tinged with fear and anxiety. However, for those who must face the absolute grief that comes with loss of a loved one, it is important to provide more support through rituals and other means even if it must be provided virtually at this time. 

The webinar will be held on June 10th from 12:00-1:30 p.m.

Register Here

UPDATED: 03/04/2021