All Kinds of News for March 07, 2018
PRN for Families' executive director Charles Elias presented at two sessions during the recent annual conference of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) in Tampa, Florida. Charles collaborated with Grace Losada, Ed.D., Vice President of Education with the Fusion Education Group, to focus on holistic approaches to working with parents and families who are struggling to understand and support a child with identified mental health, emotional, behavioral or learning issues. He also participated in a moderated panel discussion on the topic of Multi-systemic care in the community, along with Leah Madamba (Vive Family Support Program), Tim Thayne (Homeward Bound), and Kris Brightbill (Turning Tides Transitions).
During a presentation entitled “The Whole Child Approach: Strategies for Shifting Parental Focus from Problems to Solutions,” Charles and Grace focused on the primary need for children to first and foremost feel loved and accepted for who they are in order to be able to successfully tap into their internal motivation and help them to find success, whether academically, socially, or emotionally. They identified the challenges that many parents experience when they learn that their child has a mental health disorder or a learning difference, and how their genuinely placed concern and attention becomes focused on “the problem.” While this focus can be useful for a time as a tool for advocacy of their child’s needs, it can become detrimental if their child’s identity becomes wrapped up in the problem to the exclusion of other strengths and attributes. Charles and Grace discussed how parents can begin to ignore their own feelings of grief that the child they are parenting is not the child they had hoped they would have, and how to support parents in both acknowledging and addressing their own needs as parents. Finally, they shared ideas, resources and strategies for building resiliency into the family system, and best practices for educators and mental health professionals who are working to support all family members.
Charles was also honored to collaborate with colleagues in a well-attended and energetic panel discussion on the topic of “Multi-systemic Care in the Home and Community.” With an increasing focus on improving sustained outcomes following transition from treatment, the panelists focused on identifying challenges, strategies and home-based factors that contribute to client and family success once clients are back at home. Using real life vignettes from their collective experiences working with families in their homes, the experienced clinicians from four well-established transition programs shared thoughts, ideas, and resources as to best practices for home-based support. They also fielded and raised questions about how to support the parent choice therapeutic program field in continuing to be forward-thinking about creatively supporting families once they have transitioned from residential treatment venues.
Conference presentations are an exciting opportunity to share the sound clinical work in which PRN for Families is engaged; to collaborate with other industry programs and professionals; and to be part of broader conversations that drive the vision of therapeutic programming forward to continue to meet the needs of families and clients. PRN for Families is pleased to be an active, contributing member of the NATSAP organization and looks forward to future opportunities to provide education and advocacy for home and community-based support for families.
About PRN for Families and Tracks by PRN
PRN for Families and Tracks by PRN are home- and community-based support programs that serve families who have children or young adults who are struggling, or who may be reuniting following an out-of-home placement. Since 2003, PRN for Families has offered intensive at-home intervention, crisis support, transition and reunification services that empower and support families so that they may live together successfully and safely. Tracks by PRN offers concierge-level services for young adults who may require additional support in order to find success in their efforts to live independently.