November 2009


Diversity makes for a rich tapestry. We must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value, no matter their color; equal in importance no matter their texture.
–Maya Angelou


In the News

Are You Looking for Ways to Engage Young Fathers?

MOAPPP is planning a pre-conference Institute on May 5 to help you do just that. We are working to assemble all the latest practical information and bring in speakers who have been successful at engaging young fathers to help you in your work. Research shows that children, mothers and fathers benefit when dads are involved. You can’t afford to miss this great opportunity! More details will be forthcoming in 2010.


Focus Group Participants Needed

A doctoral student at the University of Minnesota will be conducting a focus group of professionals who provide parenting education to adolescent parents in the Twin Cities (parent educators, social workers, public health nurses or others).

Date: to be determined
Time: 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Where: MOAPPP office
1619 Dayton Ave. Ste. 111, St. Paul

Dinner will be provided.

Your help would be greatly appreciated! Let your voice be heard as we share our experiences in an effort to improve best practices for working with teen parents. Contact Laura Kjenstad at 612-724-7717 or lkjenstad@msn.com if you are interested in participating.


Networking Groups

Occasionally we get requests from professionals enquiring about networking groups for teen parent providers. We would love to know if any of you belong to such a group in the state so we can refer people to these groups. We are aware of only three in the state: Minneapolis Teen Parent Connection, Northwest Hennepin Teen Parent Connection and Dakota County Adolescent Parent Network. If you know of others or if you would like to be part of one in your region, please contact Sue Fust at 651-644-1447 x15, sue@moappp.org. We are currently looking to start one in the Washington County area. Also, if you have an interest in developing a reflective practice group, please contact Sue.


Research

Fathers and Parenting Interventions: What Works?

The Fatherhood Institute's new research briefing (PDF) examines evidence about the engagement of fathers in parent education and training, and makes practical recommendations for how policymakers and service providers can improve local parenting services. The briefing highlights mounting evidence that, for many types of fathers, participation in parenting interventions can change behavior and beliefs and increase knowledge, skills and understanding; and that children and mothers can benefit as a result. When both parents are involved in a parenting program, families are less likely to drop out and positive change tends to occur earlier, and be maintained for longer. This is especially true where there is significant parental conflict. Order the full report here.


Adolescent Parents Shown to be Harsher in Discipline

Results from this study support findings from previous studies that adolescent mothers are at higher risk for physical child abuse. The study used data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing (FFCW) Study. Harsh parenting behaviors by mothers who were 19 years or younger at birth of the focal child (n = 598) were compared with that of adult mothers 26 years or older (n = 1,363). Multivariate analyses indicated that adolescent motherhood has a significant impact on harsh parenting behavior outcomes even after controlling for demographic and other maternal characteristics. Maternal depression, paternal support, expected social support and attendance at religious services made independent contributions to the prediction of harsh parenting behavior. This pattern of findings indicates that untimely, early childbearing is a significant risk factor for harsh parenting behavior. In addition, the findings suggest that the prevention of adolescent motherhood must be a priority for professionals working with youth.


Resources

Positive Discipline Revised - Now Available in Spanish

Enseñando a crecer: Una guía para padres y madres (Positive Discipline: A Guide for Parents - Spanish) is an easy-to-read, easy-to-use 64 page booklet that looks at common parenting challenges from birth through early elementary years. It gives parents ways to address behavior using positive discipline techniques to guide and teach their child(ren). It is filled with ideas that really work. This has been adapted into Spanish from the related, recently revised English booklet. Free Somali and Hmong versions are also available.


Free Professional Youth Development Consultation with Youth Work Institute

Professional development gives youth workers the opportunity to step outside the culture and lens of their individual program, connect and network with other youth work professionals, reflect on their practice and test out new learning that can be shared back at programming sites. Contact U of M Extension Youth Work Institute's Education and Training Coordinator Marika Pfefferkorn at marikap@umn.edu or 612-625-363 to schedule your free professional development scan and consultation. She will connect you with a local Extension Educator from your area to continue facilitating your professional development needs!


Meeting the Needs of Pregnant and Parenting Teens: Local Health Department Programs and Services

This report (PDF), published by the National Association of City and County Health Officials, discusses the importance of addressing the special needs of pregnant and parenting adolescents to improve their own and their children's health and life outcomes. The report provides background information on the impact of adolescent childbearing and services and programs for pregnant and parenting adolescents. The Teen Parent Program of Saint Paul-Ramsey County Department of Public Health is one of four local health departments highlighted. Challenges faced by programs targeting pregnant and parenting adolescents, recommendations and conclusions are also presented.


Take Time to Be a Dad Today

Take a look at some wonderful PSAs encouraging men to be great dads!


Upcoming MOAPPP Trainings

December 8-10, 2009
Teen Outreach Program (TOP) - Facilitator Training
Take advantage of this extremely reduced price!

GrandStay Faribault
1500 - 20th Street NW, Faribault

$175 MOAPPP Member/$210 Non-Member

The Teen Outreach Program (TOP) is a nationally acclaimed, science-based program that has been shown to prevent adolescent pregnancy and help youth succeed in school. Designed for youth ages 12-19, TOP incorporates a strong service-learning component based on principles of youth development. TOP has been successfully implemented in a variety of settings and with diverse populations. In addition to the 2½ days of highly interactive training, one participant from each agency receives a copy of the TOP curriculum. This is possibly the LAST CHANCE your organization has to participate in this training at this reduced price. For more information and to register, contact Jocelyn Broyles at 651-644-1447 x19, jocelyn@moappp.org.


December 15, 2009
Two Trainings: Meeting the Unique Needs of Adolescent Mothers & Fathers and Practical Tips for Working with Teen Moms & Dads

Both trainings on Tuesday, December 15 in Redwood Falls.


Meeting the Unique Needs of Adolescent Mothers & Fathers

9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Pizza Ranch
1360 East Bridge Street, Redwood Falls
Includes light continental breakfast and lunch

Three common goals of adolescent parent programs are to facilitate long-term self-sufficiency, build parenting capacity and ensure the healthy growth and development of the children born to young parents. This workshop, for professionals new to adolescent parent work, examines national and state data related to adolescent parents; systems that impact adolescent parents; the strengths and opportunities, as well as the challenges young parents bring to their new role; current research on best practices for working with adolescent parents; and the role every provider can play in enhancing the lives of these young families.


Practical Tips for Working with Teen Moms & Dads

2:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Pizza Ranch
1360 East Bridge Street, Redwood Falls

Working with adolescent parents can be both rewarding and challenging. Adults may find themselves unclear how to communicate concepts to young parents in a way that is meaningful and produces results. This workshop provides guidelines for how to develop activities and communicate with youth along with several specific take-away ideas and activities.

Cost for both trainings: $50 MOAPPP members/$85 non-members
Cost for Meeting the Unique Needs training: $35 MOAPPP members/$70 non-members
Cost for Practical Tips: $25 MOAPPP members/$60 non-members

For more information and to register for one or both of these trainings, see the flyer and registration form (PDF). Registration scholarships are available. Questions? Contact Sue at 651 644-1447 x15 or sue@moappp.org.


Other Upcoming Trainings

December 2, 2009
Fatherhood in the 21st Century: From Pregnancy Planning to Parenting

3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Amherst H. Wilder Auditorium
451 Lexington Parkway North, St. Paul

Presented by the National Children's Study Speakers' Series, Robert (Clarence) Jones, MA, Community Outreach Director for Southside Community Health Services/Q Health Connections will address the cultural shifts that are challenging stereotypes of fatherhood and re-defining parental roles and explore the new role men may have in optimizing pre-conception health and family planning.

Following the 45-minute presentation, participants will be invited to engage in a small-group discussion to share personal perceptions of fatherhood and suggest next steps to optimizing healthy fatherhood. This event is free and open to all but seating is limited. RSVP to Laurie Ukestad at ukest001@umn.edu. Click here (PDF) to view event flier.


January 13-15, 2010
Engaging Fathers; Strengthening Families

Arrowwood Resort
2100 Arrowwood Lane NW, Alexandria

The Minnesota Fathers & Families Network and the Strong Foundations Conference are coming together to offer a joint conference, "Strong Foundations & Fatherhood Summit." The joint conference is designed for professionals in public health, health care, social work/mental health, child care, early childhood education, ECFE, ECSE, School Readiness, Early Head Start, child abuse prevention, home visiting, parenting education, family law, child support, and those who work with refugee and immigrant communities, the field of fatherhood, and other helping professions. Visit www.mnfathers.org for more information.



For more resources and information about adolescent parents, visit the Adolescent Parent Program page on the MOAPPP website.