CONNECTIONS MATTER

Group Seflie
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Session learning objectives:

  • Understand the impact of stress and trauma on a child’s development and support families in reducing children’s exposure to stress

  • Apply relationship-based practices and family-centered practices to support the family in reducing risks that may negatively affect child health and development

  • Provide families with information and strategies to promote social and emotional development

  • Respond sensitively to families’ concerns, ways of coping, and child-rearing practices

  • Engage in respectful, goal-oriented partnerships with families to promote parent-child relationships and family well-being

  • Recognize the impact of family stress on child development and family function and work closely with the family to link them to appropriate community resources

  • Implement strength-based, family-centered practices that engage families in meaningful decision-making opportunities

  • Support and encourage families to identify and use a network of formal and informal supports (i.e., neighborhood groups, faith/spiritual communities, civic organizations, parent support groups)

  • Implement creative ways to provide families with support

  • Advocate for needed services and resources for families

PRESENTERS

Michele Baranaskas is the Coordinator for Partners in Community Outreach, the coalition of 23 In-Home Family Education programs in West Virginia utilizing one of two evidence-based models:  Healthy Families America (HFA) and Parents As Teachers (PAT).  Michele has a Master of Social Work degree from WVU, is a Certified Social Worker licensed in the State of West Virginia and a WV State Training and Registry System Professional Development Provider.  She has 34 years of experience working in nonprofit social services in West Virginia.  Michele is a founding member of the WV Infant/Toddler Mental Health Association. 

Jessica Dianellos is the Community Partnerships Coordinator for Prevent Child Abuse WV. She works with 42 Partners in Prevention teams across West Virginia that prevent child abuse and neglect through family support, educational workshops, resource distribution, and other local community initiatives. Jessica has a Master of Science in Child Development from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Marshall University. She has worked in a variety of roles to improve the well-being of children including early childhood education, childcare quality initiatives, childhood obesity prevention, and abuse and neglect prevention.