September 2009


We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.
–Marian Wright Edelman


Announcements

Seeking Parents for Statewide Leadership Team

Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota (PCAMN) and the Minnesota Department of Human Services are looking for parents to form a Statewide Parent Leadership for Child Safety and Permanency Team. The goal is to bring the "parent voice" and perspective to the table to help plan, implement and evaluate family support services in the child welfare system. For more information on the Parent Leadership Team, contact Rena Moran at 651-523-0099 or rmoran@pcamn.org or go to www.pcamn.org to find out more about this initiative.


Home Visiting Coalition Seeks Members

A grassroots coalition of groups doing home visiting throughout the state has been meeting on a quarterly basis to explore ways to secure stable sources of public and private funding so targeted, intensive home visiting is available statewide for parents of greatest need—including teen parents—on a voluntary basis. The coalition intends to work together to:

  • preserve current state funding;
  • make the case for expanded state funding;
  • enhance the availability of health plan coverage for home visiting;
  • and position Minnesota for increased federal funding for home visiting.

If you are interested in joining the coalition, first review the job description (PDF) and a fact sheet on home visiting. Then contact Sheila Kiscaden, Coalition Consultant at 507-287-6845, skiscaden@gmail.com.


Research

Fathering With Multiple Partners Poses Problems for Children

In a study using data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Survey indicate that multiple partner fertility exerted both a significant direct and indirect effect through paternal depression to influence children's externalizing behaviors. Fathers' multiple partner fertility also exerted a significant indirect effect through one mediator—father involvement—to influence children's physical health.


Distress May Be Pre-Existing Condition in Adolescent Moms

Adolescent mothers are more distressed than their childless peers, but their distress usually precedes their pregnancy and results from family, school, socioeconomic and other factors. Read the abstract here.


Resources

From Zero to Three:

Activities for Birth to 12 Months:
Wrap It Up. Make a Ribbon Book. Take 5-10 index cards (4x6 is a good size) and glue a piece of brightly colored ribbon (or a square of wrapping paper) to each one. Punch a hole in the corner of each card and tie with a length of ribbon or yarn. Show your baby each page and let her touch the ribbons. Which pages and textures does she seem to prefer? Which ones don't seem hold her interest?

Activities for 12 to 24 Months:
That's a Wrap! Give your toddler pieces of newspaper or wrapping paper to play with. What does she do? Scrunch it? Rip it? Throw it? Follow your child's lead and watch how she discovers what these pieces of paper can do in her own hands. As your child explores, talk about what is happening: Do you hear the sound the paper makes when you shake it in your hands? It crinkles and crackles!

Activities for 24 to 36 Months:
Tie a Yellow Ribbon…Cut lengths of ribbons and lay out used bows from the last birthday party. Let your toddler make his very own piece of artwork. Squirt some washable glue onto a paper plate and show your child how he can dip the ribbon and bows in and stick them on a piece of sturdy cardboard. Then let him at it! P.S.: As he works, you can name the different colors (red, green, etc.) and compare the lengths of ribbon (longer, shorter) and the sizes of the bows (bigger, smaller). 


Highlighted Programs

Congratulations to an Outstanding Program!

A best practices award was given by the Minnesota Workforce Council Association to Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) Services for Young Parents in Ramsey County. Read about their work (PDF).


Jeremiah Program - Assisting Young Moms Going to College

Jeremiah Program is a fast-paced, supportive, safe and inspiring environment for women and their children. At Jeremiah Program, young women make a commitment to self-improvement through education and employment. At the Campus communities in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Jeremiah Program staff work to empower single moms to complete their education, launch successful careers and create a stable foundation of prosperity on which their children can grow and thrive. Childhood Learning Centers are part of the program where the focus is on literacy and school readiness to positively impact families for future generations.

Currently, 39 families reside on the Minneapolis Campus and 38 on the St. Paul Campus. When women enter the program, they are:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A resident of Minnesota for a minimum of two years
  • A high school graduate or GED certified
  • Enrolled in a post secondary educational program with one of our educational partners
  • Have dependent children under the age of 5

In turn, program participants and their children benefit from:

  • Safe, affordable housing
  • A fully licensed, on-site Child Development Center
  • Empowerment training and Life Skills education
  • Individual coaching and personal development planning
  • Access to employment mentors, academic tutoring and livable wage jobs
  • Alumnae services to support ongoing success

For more information, contact Beth Garland at 651-332-5019, bgarland@jeremiahprogram.org or visit their website.


Upcoming MOAPPP Trainings

September 21, 2009
Access to Education for Pregnant and Parenting Students: Title IX and Beyond

8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Minnesota Department of Education, Room CC16
1500 Highway 36 West, Roseville

This forum features Lara Kaufmann, Senior Counsel of the National Women's Law Center. It is designed for those who develop school policies, those who implement school policies and all who work with adolescent parents. Attend this training and learn:

  • How the law protects access to education for pregnant and parenting students: Title IX is not just about sports!
  • What we know about dropout prevention—best practices
  • What barriers exist for pregnant and parenting students
  • What about the boys? Young fathers need support too
  • What do pregnant and parenting students need to stay in school, graduate and move on to post-secondary schools and/or job opportunities?

For more information, see the flyer and registration form (PDF). Click here to register online. Questions? Contact Lorie Alveshere at 651-644-1447 x12 or lorie@moappp.org. Registration scholarships and a limited number of travel scholarships are available.


September 24-November 5, 2009
We Can Parent Together
Tools for Engaging Fathers, Mothers and Others

September 24-Fergus Fall
September 25-Bemidji
September 30-Twin Cities Metro Area
October 14-Duluth
October 22-Owatonna
October 27-Twin Cities Metro Area
October 30-Little Falls
November 5-Redwood Falls

All workshops from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

When parents are consistent and support each other in the task of parenting, children benefit. This workshop presents the basics and benefits of co-parenting, and offers strategies and best practices to utilize in supporting any family working to raise children in a healthy, safe environment. Specific focus will be given to the unique challenges of divorcing and never-married parents, adolescent parents, or those with substance-abuse/dependence-related concerns. This workshop is designed for professionals working with families.

Objectives:

  • Understand the co-parenting relationship and how it differs from the couple relationship
  • Learn how to implement strategies and tools to help parents improve their co-parenting relationship
  • Learn how to talk about the importance of fathers and how to support mothers in engaging fathers
  • Understand the special needs of teen parents
  • Assist in empowering parents with prevention strategies and tools specific to substance abuse and dependence
  • Understand how all the strategies presented can help prevent child abuse and neglect before it happens
  • Participate in the unveiling of our new web-based co-parenting toolkit for professionals and parents.

Follow this link to register. View the event brochure.

Presented by Minnesota Fathers & Families Network, Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota, Minnesota Prevention Resource Center, Minnesota Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Prevention and Parenting, University of Minnesota Extension and Department of Human Services Children's Trust Fund.


Saturday, September 26, 2009
2 Trainings: Meeting the Unique Needs of Adolescent Mothers & Fathers and Practical Tips for Working with Teen Moms & Dads

Both trainings on Saturday, September 26 in Bemidji.


Meeting the Unique Needs of Adolescent Mothers & Fathers

9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Beltrami Electric Cooperative Community Room
4111 Technology Dr. NW, Bemidji

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. For costs and registration details, see below.


Practical Tips for Working with Teen Moms & Dads

2:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Beltrami Electric Cooperative Community Room
4111 Technology Dr. NW, Bemidji

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. Registration scholarships are available. Questions? Contact Sue at 651 644-1447 x15 or sue@moappp.org.


Other Upcoming Trainings

September 14-November 16, 2009
Parent-Infant Pathways: An Educator's Guide to Providing Information and Support to New Parents

Center for Early Education and Development
College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota

The Parent Infant Pathways online course is designed to enhance the work of professionals in the fields of early education, early intervention, parent education, nursing, pediatrics, social service, and health care by providing specific training around early infant development, parent education and parent-infant relationships. Upon completion of the course, participants will be better able to address new parents' questions, thoughts, and concerns as well as help parents more easily identify infant communication cues and capabilities. For more information and to register, click here.


September 14-November 16, 2009
Prenatal Developmental Interventions: Strategies Working with Professionals During Pregnancy

Center for Early Education and Development
College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota

This online course is grounded in the belief that pregnancy, regardless of the outcome, begins the parent-infant relationship. It is designed for family educators, social workers, health care providers, and others working with families during childbearing to facilitate positive parent-baby interactions beginning in the prenatal period. For more information and to register, click here.


September 15 & November 17, 2009
Positive Parenting and Emerging Research for Abuse Prevention: Statewide Videoconference Sites

The final two in a series of four videoconference events broadcast simultaneously to 20 locations around the state designed to stimulate conversation, encourage collaboration and engage all communities in the protective factors to prevent child abuse and neglect.. The topics of the two events include:

September 15: Positive Parenting, 1:30 - 4:00 p.m.: "Why do we talk about Positive Parenting?" with Roxy Foster of PCAMN; "It's all About the Kids - Collaborative for Success" with Amy Smith of Lutheran Social Services

November 17: Emerging Research and Messages, 1:30 - 4:00 p.m.: "Social Norms and Child Abuse Prevention" with Dr. Jeffery Linkenbach from Most of Us; "Connecting the Protective Factors to New Research about Fatherhood" with Paul Masiarchin and Melissa Froehle from Minnesota Fathers & Families Network; "Prevention Messaging Research Update" with Becky Dale of PCAMN.

For more information and to register, visit www.pcamn.org. Questions? Contact Ka Youa Vue, PCAMN Prevention Program Coordinator at 651-523-0099, kvue@pcamn.org.

This videoconference is presented by Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Human Services


September 15-16, 2009
Building Relationship Within Family Systems

Center for Families
3333 North 4th Street, Minneapolis

Building positive relationships with families is one of the most important aspects of what we do. An understanding of diverse family systems is key to establishing a solid rapport and building a relationship. This two-day course will help professionals understand how to connect with and deliver parenting information to various types of families using a strengths model. Facilitated by Regina Law Smith and presented by Parents as Teachers. Contact Jennifer Barshack, Parents as Teachers, at 612-332-7563 x305 for more information.


September 17, 2009
Parent Group Facilitation

Center for Families
3333 North 4th Street, Minneapolis

This workshop is for those who facilitate parent groups. Participants will examine and practice group facilitation techniques to form supportive and informative parenting groups. Facilitated by Regina Law Smith and presented by Parents as Teachers. Contact Jennifer Barshack, Parents as Teachers, at 612-332-7563 x305 for more information.


September 24, 2009
Advocacy for the Truly Intimidated

9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
2314 University Avenue West, Suite 20, St. Paul

This workshop is designed for individuals who have no previous public policy experience but who are curious and want to engage. Are you scared away by the thought of testifying at the Legislature, getting a bill sponsored or convincing your board to commit to an advocacy effort? Come join us for coffee and conversation and you will receive a basic introduction to the role of nonprofits in advocacy, a review of the lobby law for 501c3 organizations, and some ideas on how to get started back in your own organization. Register online at www.mncn.org.


October 2, 2009
How History Affects American Indian Family Dynamics

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Cloquet Forestry Center, Cloquet

How do the experiences of past generations affect American Indian youth today? An understanding of the experiences of generations past can help increase one's capacity to work effectively with young people. This conference will guide participants through an introduction to the Boarding School, Adoption and Foster Care Eras. American Indian youth, practitioners and community members will share their experiences through interactive sessions and panel discussions. A "Youth Vision" pre-conference will be held the evening of October 1 to showcase youth-driven digital media projects. Details available here (PDF). Register online here.


October 5-December 7, 2009
Introduction to Infant Mental Health

Center for Early Education and Development
College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota

This course is designed for professionals interested in an introduction to the field of infant mental health and intervention with infants, toddlers and their parents. Readings, video and observational tasks are included to familiarize students with the foundations of infant mental health and direct work with infants and parents.While not a clinical class, this course introduces the role and function of the infant mental health specialist and the use of relationship and reflection in work with families. Earn 24 clock hours (CEU Certificate). For more information and to register, click here.


October 20, 2009
Bridge to Benefits Conference

8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Sponsored by Children's Defense Fund Minnesota, this conference will provide an opportunity for Bridge to Benefits partners from Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota to learn about B2B work support programs, recent updates to the B2B project, promising B2B practices, and more. In addition to current partners and funders, organizations that are new to Bridge to Benefits are encouraged to attend.

Registration is free and limited! Click here to register and for information about accommodations.


October 26, 2009
Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition Meeting

9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. (tentative)
St. Cloud Public Library
1300 West St. Germain Street, St. Cloud

Join this statewide meeting to:

  • network with other breastfeeding advocates;
  • learn about the Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition;
  • discover what local coalitions are doing in their communities;
  • and hear plans for the Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition's project for 2010.

Contact Linda Dech at ldech@charter.net for more information.



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