Instituto Familiar de La Raza Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation San Francisco, CA9/27/10
Presented by Cassandra Coe, LCSW Early Intervention Program Manager Elia Dominguez, MA IFR Mental Health Consultant www.ifrsf.org
IFR Philosophy • La CulturaCura - Culture Heals • All healing practices occur within a cultural framework where healing is about community building and empowerment. • Each sub-culture in the trajectory of the Latino/Chicano/Indigenous experience has a set of healing practices and coping mechanisms embedded in it which should be strengthened and celebrated.
Program History • IFR’s ECMH program grew out of work being done with family child care providers(1986), an effort to support primarily monolingual/monocultural family childcare providers to recognize, value, and trust their own intuitive caring practices. • These efforts led to supporting the providers develop bicultural practices and integrate multiple approaches to childcare. • The Infant Parent Program (UCSF) with support from Foundations implemented in the late 1980’s the first formal Mental Health Consultation Program in SF. • Model expanded in 1999 when there was an effort by infant-parent clinicians in the provider community that resulted in Foundations supporting citywide funding.
Program Model • Well being (mental health) is viewed through the interplay of cultural and clinical lenses. • Mental health consultation practice takes place within multiple settings and relationships which have the healing potential within. • Relationship-based developmental approach focusing on strengths within the cultural context of the family and the childcare center • Client-centered, child-focused promoting reflective practices with consultants and care providers. • Consultation is understood as it is experienced and contingent on relationships and ever changing dynamics.
What is Culture? Set of values, beliefs and experiences that guide how we relate to each other Way of communicating that is beyond language Relationships are formed within the context of these values, beliefs, etc…. Example, from Latino experience - the “we” (collective) is more prevalent than the “I”
Appreciation of Differences Dime, qué es aqua? Tell me, what is water?
What is Culture as the Field? • La CulturaCura - Culture Heals • the belief that each culture has a set of healing practices and coping mechanisms embedded in it. • Tueres mi otroyo - We are one • recognition that we are all interrelated and interdependent and you are the mirror of my own experience. Thus, the subject is not the “I” but the “We”. Both influence the context/field of consultation
The Consultant Demonstrates Cultural empathy/humility -checking assumptions and engaging families from a strengths based perspective. Appreciation and exploration – of cultural values of teachers and families and seeking to support the strengths within those values. Fluidity and flexibility - within the boundaries of the consultative relationship, attuning to the needs of the situation and adapting in response to those needs. (sometimes we are the expert, but often we are joining as partners in supporting a community (classroom or otherwise).
Creating a Holding Space Cultural affirmation supports holding space for reflection Culture Heals La Cultura Cura Relationships Heal Deeper, trusting and respectful mutual relationships are developed “Tu eres mi otro yo” : We are one
Relationship-based and Reflective Model • Enhancing and promoting positive relationships between adult-adult; adult-child; parent-child and child-child is at the core of our practice to create optimal learning and developmental environments. • Consultation begins with developing positive relationships with staff by BEING empathic, respectful, reflective, consistent, and a good listener. • Assumptions: • All learning takes place in the context of relationships and is strongly impacted by the quality of these relationships • All behavior has meaning.
Parallel Process • Reflection begins with the consultant’s attunement to their own internal process and it’s relationship to the experience of consultation. • The reflective stance during consultation creates an opening for teachers to understand their internal experience which we believe leads them to hence begin to reflect upon the internal experience of a child. • Through this process, the child and family begin to build their own capacity for self-reflection. • Wondering with care providers empowers their own knowing and arrive at solutions that resonate from within and are not externally imposed. • Empathic listening and reflection through supervision impacts consultants to do so with teachers and thus, teachers with children.
Program Readinessfor Consultation Practices • Consultants that represent the culture and language needs of families and staff being served. • Acknowledgement and appreciation that culture does exist. • Clear articulated model that grounds consultants in the practice. • Ongoing training and weekly supervision to consultants, holding their experience in such a way that the consultants are thus better prepared to hold the experience of their sites.
Program Readinessfor Consultation Practices • Support and encourage consultant’s development of self-awareness and explore what it is to be the “other”
Resources • Mental Health Consultation in Child Care by Kadija Johnston and Charles Brinamen • AbriendoPuertas – an evidence based leadership training program for Latino Parents with children ages 0-5 based on popular education and draws on real life experiences and cultural strengthshttp://www.familiesinschools.org/site/content/view/228/187/ • Divided by Borders by Joanna Dreby, available at Amazon.com
Del dicho al hecho, hay un gran trecho Actions speak louder than words