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Strengthening Families Pennsylvania
Collage of families smiling and working together
 

July 2017

Leadership Team Update

The Strengthening Families leadership team meeting was held on February 8, 2017; a brief report follows.

The meeting began with Reports from the Ground, a recurring segment which focuses on Strengthening Families Protective Factors implementation, featuring Denise Continenza from Penn State Cooperative Extension in Lehigh County. Denise is a certified Bringing the Protective Factors Framework to Life in Your Work instructor and has provided this training to many organizations in the Lehigh Valley including Volunteers of America and Nurse Family Partnership of St. Luke’s. She has incorporated using several resources from the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) including the protective factor action sheets. Information about the program self-assessments available through CSSP was also shared. These tools can be used to help programs evaluate how the create environments where families can build protective factors.

Committee reports were shared. The steering committee is choosing new dates to meet for the year. The marketing committee reminded the group to watch for the next newsletter which will be released soon. The professional development committee met in January to discuss upcoming professional development projects. The Center for Schools and Communities is working with PA Key to develop a Professional Development Instructors Institute that will prepare instructors to offer a two-hour introductory course on the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework through the PQAS system. The roles and evaluation committee will be meeting in the spring to restart to development of a survey to assess how Strengthening Families is being used in the field and to determine how the leadership team might support the work in the field. Leadership team members were reminded that they are welcome to serve on any committee.

Members continued to discuss ideas regarding how to utilize the documentary series "Raising of America" in local communities to further conversations about supporting families. An ad hoc committee was formed to support this work. The committee determined that the role of the Strengthening Families leadership team could be to relate the themes found in the films back to the protective factors and the importance of working with the whole family to improve outcomes. The group brainstormed various upcoming events and groups where the documentary series could be shown.

The next meeting is scheduled for July 19, 2017 at the Center for Schools and Communities.

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Practice Spotlight: Pennsylvania Home Visitation and Family Support Week

Staff and parents from five commonwealth programs – Family Centers, Parents as Teachers, Early Head Start, Nurse Family Partnership and Healthy Families America – gathered at the State Capitol to highlight their efforts and call on lawmakers to consider the impact of their work as the legislature negotiates a 2017-18 state budget.

Rep. David Millard (R-109) presented a proclamation on behalf of the House of Representatives marking the week of April 23, 2017, as Pennsylvania Home Visitation and Family Support Week. He credited those involved in family support work and remarked their effort impact communities "in ways that are very valuable." Millard read from the resolution, HR 258, which in part reads, "Model programs and family center organizations promote the protective factors that keep families strong by increasing parent knowledge and practices, providing early detection of developmental delays and health issues, preventing child abuse and neglect, meeting concrete needs, increasing children's school readiness and school success, connecting families with each other and increasing family involvement and leadership in the community."

Governor Tom Wolf issued a proclamation recognizing April 23-29, 2017 as Home Visitation and Family Support Week.

Sen. Jay Costa (D-43) sponsored a resolution affirming the work of Early Head Start, Healthy Families America, Nurse Family Partnership, Parents as Teachers and Family Centers in the Senate that was approved.

Bruce Clash, Pennsylvania state director of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, emphasized the positive impact of programs that help parents develop the skills needed to raise healthy children. He stressed evidence-based home visiting programs work.

Lisa Parker, Division Chief at rally   Ashley Mensch accepts award
     
Lisa Parker, Division Chief, Departments of Education and Human Services, Office of Child Development and Early Learning Bureau of Early Intervention Services addresses those assembled for Family Center and Home Visitation Rally.   Ashley Mensch, Columbia County Family Center accepts Resolution from Representative David Millard.

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Partner Spotlight: Share the Impact of Early Learning

Pennsylvania's Promise for Children provides an opportunity for families and early learning partners to provide their stories about how early learning has made an impact in the lives of children. Now is the time for families and partners in your communities to share the impact of early learning. Early learning and school district staff can also their story.

Family or partner stories don't have to be long or poetic, dramatic or perfect. Some of the most amazing stories are from families whose children participate or have participated in programs like PA Pre-K Counts, Early Intervention, Head Start, Nurse-Family Partnerships or receive or have received Child Care Works or attend or have attended a Keystone STARS early learning program. Check out these stories from parents in Pennsylvania.

Kristina W, Allegheny County
Michelle P, Washington County
Becky R, Lehigh County
Sara S, Clarion County

Sharing a story is easy. Submit your story (with photo – optional) online at Pennsylvania's Promise for Children or sent via email.
Let your voice be heard! Share your story!

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Resource Spotlight: Using the Protective Factors to Understand Substance Abuse and Recovery

Using the Protective Factors to Understand Substance Abuse and Recovery is a resource from the Birth Parent National Network facilitated by the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds. Parents from around the country who have experienced addiction and have had involvement with child welfare lend their perspective to what works in programs to support recovery. The brief also discusses how building protective factors relates to recovery.

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Resource Spotlight: Be Your Child’s Champion – Now Available in Spanish

PA’s Promise for Children has a variety of early learning materials for Spanish speaking families. The newest resource, Be Your Child’s Champion, guides families through the four parts of having a difficult conversation on behalf of their child. Both the English and Spanish version of Be Your Child's Champion can be ordered or downloaded at the PA Promise for Children website.

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Pennsylvania’s Mission:

The Strengthening Families Leadership Team works to sustain and weave the Five Protective Factors, which are social and emotional competence of children, knowledge of parenting and child development, social connections, concrete support in times of need and parental resilience, into policies, program and practice across child and family service systems.

Relationships • Strong Families • Respect

 

 

Strengthening Families Pennsylvania | www.pa-strengthening-families.org | PA-StrengtheningFamilies@csc.csiu.org | (717) 763-1661
275 Grandview Ave, Suite 200 | Camp Hill, PA 17011

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