Family Engagement Series

Module 1: Interactional Helping Skills

Effective use of the Shulman Interactional Helping Skills is crucial to engaging families to meet the needs of children/youth involved in the child welfare system. This module introduces participants to the four phases of the casework process as well as associated Interactional Helping Skills. Participants will have the opportunity to practice the skills of tuning into self, tuning into others, clarifying purpose, function and role, and dealing with issues of authority. Using these skills, participants will be able to successfully break down barriers to engagement and will learn techniques for managing hostile or angry situations.

Module 2: Motivational Interviewing and Coaching Skills

This module focuses on motivational interviewing, which is a powerful approach to helping people make changes in their lives. Motivational interviewing is an integrated and complex set of skills and strategies based on the principles of self-sufficiency and collaboration. This module includes instruction, opportunities for reflection, practice of skills and strategies that are useful in helping clients change their lives. It focuses on strategies case managers use to establish and maintain a helping relationship with case workers and clients.

Module 3: Strength-Based Assessment and Case Management

Case management effectiveness is driven by determination of what clients and their families need in order to be successful at becoming self-sufficient and stable. A significant step in the process of case management is the assessment of client and family needs. This module covers both quantitative and qualitative assessment strategies. It introduces and refreshes the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to implement strengths-based case management, facilitating a client’s recognition and use of individual and family assets, or strengths, and working with a client and family to maximize potential for success. Home visits can be an opportunity to assess issues, strengths and resources that may not emerge in the professional setting and to weave these factors into case management functions. In order to maximize the effectiveness of home visits, the caseworker’s preparation and skills in home visiting should include setting the stage for a visit that emphasizes the emotional, mental, physical and cultural safety of the client and case manager. This module addresses how to use home visits to support crisis resolution and family stabilization through mutual goal setting and development of the family’s own problem-solving skills. In addition, this course will present the skills necessary to deal with crisis situations and ways to practice intervention techniques.

Module 4: Crisis Intervention and Trauma-Informed Case Planning

This module develops the skills necessary for dealing with crisis situations and ways to practice intervention techniques. Participants will learn how to develop trust and respect in work with clients and their families.

Participants also learn a variety of intervention techniques and skills that will support them. The course covers case planning for clients in crisis and who have experienced major loss and trauma, including violence and suicide, which may compromise the ability to develop and work unless their healing/grief issues are also being addressed.

Module 5: Barriers to Self-Sufficiency

This module offers an in-depth examination of significant barriers to self-sufficiency. Using a strengths-based model, participants will develops knowledge and skills in identifying and appropriately responding to clients dealing with mental health issues, substance abuse, domestic abuse and child abuse, literacy, homelessness, legal issues and serious medical issues. As a result of this module, participants have a greater understanding of the dynamics that influence client behavior and can conduct an initial assessment of major health and safety issues. The training also includes an extensive set of exercises to provide the opportunity for practical application as a team.

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