From a participant of the Strengthening Families trainings:
February 18, 2010
"When I opened my daycare, I wrote a mission statement right away, and part of my mission was ‘to be a partner for parents.’ This is something I wanted to do, but it was the Strengthening Families training modules that finally gave me the tools to do it. Perhaps the most powerful thing about Strengthening Families is the impact of realizing the influential position child care providers are in. This knowledge helped me give myself the authority to reach out and talk openly to parents in situations I found extremely awkward before, and it gave me the tools I needed to be able to steer them in the right direction with confidence.
"Over the past couple of years, I've had families facing loss, illness, and financial insecurity—things that place a strain on even the most healthy of families, and I feel I've been able to help in ways both large and small, due to my Strengthening Families training. Just last Saturday morning, one of my mothers stopped by when I wasn't even open. She's going through a divorce and wanted to talk about the difficulty her youngest daughter seems to be having, and ultimately about the guilt she feels at having placed her children in a bad situation, the anger she feels at her ex-husband, and the frustration she feels with her daughter for continually acting out. !"
"Before Strengthening Families, I would have felt compassionate but uncomfortable; now I recognize the role I play for her family places me in a position to openly offer suggestions. I was able to refer her to a wonderful family counselor who can talk with her and her children, a counselor who is a resource on the list I compiled due to Strengthening Families.
"I consider the Strengthening Families training one of the most important things I've done as a child care provider. No matter how high the quality of care I give to the children, they still go home at the end of the day to their families—families I can make stronger and healthier by being alert, informed, and willing to reach out.
Roni's House Family Childcare
From a director of a child care center:
"I've been in child care for many years and they're going to tell me I have the power to prevent the children that I love and care for from being abused? But How?
"Before the series was even completed, we had started implementing it into our center. I was pleasantly surprised to see huge and immediate changes in many of our families. For one instance, we had a mom with several challenges in life. From the class, I noticed the signs, applied what I had learned, put it into action and a week later the mom told me that because of the large amount of stress in her life, she had come very close to hitting her children out of anger, but after our help, she was able to remove herself from the path she was headed down. I couldn't believe how small actions we took forever changed an entire family's life. It is so amazing to see the difference several months later--not only in this family but three others."
From a Strengthening Families trainer:
"What I really appreciate about the IdahoSTARS Strengthening Families' approach to Child Abuse and Neglect is how comprehensive it is. Other classes I've taken gave me a little information, which is good, but left me feeling empty. Like I understood the problem better, but not really what exactly I could do to make a difference.
"Now, working as a trainer, I've seen evidence of the same thing with the! providers I'm working with. Changing your mind over (or making that paradigm shift from being a child-centered facility to a family-centered one) is a process and it takes time. ‘Strengthening Families’ knows that. It is usually somewhere around the 3rd or 4th module that providers excitedly share experiences with me about how they tried something they learned with children or with parents and how well it turned out and what a difference it made. This has happened again and again. It's like the light bulb goes on and they really internalize what they've been learning. When this happens and they share it, others learn from them and it's contagious. This is my favorite part of Strengthening Families and I don't believe the same thing could be accomplished in just a few hours."