Wednesday, May 25, 2016

MCH staff trained for new parent education program

Several staff members at Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) now have new tools to help families after receiving Circle of Security training from May 16-19. Twenty staff members attended the training in Plano, Texas, while two attended in Santa Fe, N.M. Another training session will be offered in Las Cruces, N.M., in June.

Circle of Security is described as “a relationship-based early intervention program designed to enhance attachment security between parents and children.” The program is based on research revealing that secure children exhibit more self-esteem and empathy while also forming stronger relationships and performing better in school. Through the program, facilitators help caregivers to identify children’s needs and determine the best ways to meet those needs.

MCH decided to implement Circle of Security after a recommendation from partners at Texas Christian University’s Institute of Child Development. It will be offered in addition to Nurturing Parenting and Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) programs.

“The program marries well with Nurturing Parenting and TBRI and it’s simple to facilitate,” said Kelly Smith, program administrator for the Western region of MCH Family Outreach. “After these rounds of training, all offices will have a trained COS Parenting trainer. Circle of Security provides participants with a model for parenting through secure attachment, allows exploration of attachment styles and teaches skills to facilitate a secure attachment with their children.”

Brooke Davilla, MCH Family Outreach director in Waco, attended the training in Plano.
“Often in our roles at MCH we hear ‘fix them,’ ‘fix us’ or ‘tell us what to do’ from families and community members who are seeking assistance,” she said. “The COS training is unlike other programs or interventions that offer a three-step guide to this or a behavior intervention that does that. The COS approach moves past the distraction of the behaviors and gets to the heart of the issue, our innate need for connection.

“During our training we were immersed in attachment theory and reminded that if we can help create or repair connection then we can move towards security with resiliency and wholeness,” Davilla added. “This specific model pairs nicely with TBRI and other services we currently offer at MCH. Circles of Security is rich in research and theory but simplistic in implementation. I believe we will continue to bring a message of hope to families through this approach and look forward to offering it in our community.” 

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