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The Family-Centered Meetings Project in 2005-06 - page 2 / 2

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Support for CFT Meetings in NC from page 1

offers tailored learning activities and customized technical assistance spe- cifically designed to meet the learn- ing needs of North Carolina’s county D S S a g e n c i e s . T A L S

Through the project’s Technical As- sistance and Learning Support pro- gram (TALS), DSS employees in- volved in CFTs and people identified by DSS agencies as facilitators can request or participate in a variety of activities designed to support their classroom learning, including:

ing and debriefing of facilitators

examples, preparing for CFTs, practice of facilitation skills, etc.

from the perspective of families

to prepare DSS agencies and their community partners to work to- gether with families The TALS program also offers activi- ties to acquaint agencies with the benefits of CFTs and to help them develop CFT-related training plans.

As part of your training plan, TALS can offer specialized training at or near your agency. The project may also be able to hold one of its regularly scheduled courses (see list, p. 1) in your area.

TALS, like the other training and services provided by the NC Family- Centered Meetings Project, is free of c h a r g e f o r N C c o u n t y D S S a g e n c i e s . F a c i l i t a t o r F o r u m s

To support CFTs in North Carolina the project also offers an ongoing series of facilitator forums. These are

t a t e d b y t w o o f t h e p r o j e c t s t r a i n e r s . T h e N e x a training, or find out when the next facilitator forum will be held in your area, contact Jenny King, TALS Co- ordinator (919/326-7463, jlking4@ ncsu.edu). If you visit the project’s website you will find additional infor- mation and an online request form. Just go to <www.chass.ncsu.edu/ fcmp/dss/TALS.htm>. especially designed for CFT facilita- tors, with an emphasis on relaxed learning, sharing, and support. They are held quarterly in the Eastern, Central, and Western regions of the state and hosted by various county DSS agencies. They are usually held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and facili- t S t e p T o l e a r n m o r e a b o u t T A L S , r e q u e s t

F r o m t h e F i e l d : P r a c t i c a A v e r y c o n t e n t i o u s f a m i l y c a m e t o a C F T m e e t i n g . B e f o r e w e e v e n w e n t o v e r t h e p a p e r w o r k t h e y s t a t e d t h e y w a n t e d t o v i d e o t a p e t h e m e e t i n g p e r t h e i r l a w y e r s a d v i c e . T h e i r r e a s o n ? T h e y s a i d t h e y h a d b e e n l i e d t o b y t h e a g e n c y . l e a r l y , t h i s i s s u e h a d b e a d d r e s s e d b e f o r e w e c o u l d p r o c e e d w i t h t h e m e e t i n g . A s a f a c i l i t a t o r I h a d t h e o p t i o n t o s h u t t h e m e e t i n g d o w n I n s t e a d , I f r o z e t h e m e e t i n g . Y o u d o n o t w a n t a f a m i l y o r p r o v i d e r t o f e e l t h e y a r e b e i n g i g n o r e d o r t h a t t h e i r s t a n c e i s i r r e l e v a n t . N e x t , I a s k e d t h e s o c i a l w o r k e r a n d h i s s u p e r v i s o r f o r t h e a g e n c y s p o s i t i o n o n t h e r e q u e s t . T h e s u p e r v i s o r s o u g h t l e g a l a d v i c e , b u t n o o n e w a s a v a i l a b l e t o g i v e a c l e a . r a n s w e r . A t t h a t p o i n t I n o t e d t h a t t h e m e e t i n g c o u l d b e r e s c h e d u l e d s o t h e a g e n c y c o u l d a d d r e s s t h i s r e q u e s t . T h i s d e m o n s t r a t e d t o t h e f a m i l to y t h a t t h e C F T p r o c e s s w a s n t b y B i l l y P o i n d e x t e r

l Advice for CFT Facilitators

s e t u p t o b e a n a g e n c y s t e a m r o l l e r a n d t h e i r d e m e a n o r v i s i b l y c h a n g e d T h e s o c i a l w o r k e r a n d h i s s u p e r v i s o r t h e n s t a t e d t h a t i t w a s p o s s i b l e t h a t t h e f a m i l y h a d b e e n g i v e n c o n f l i c t i n g r e s p o n s e s , s i n c e t h e r e w e r e a t l e a s t f o u r w o r k e r s a t t h e h o m e a t d i f f e r e n t t i m e s . C l a r i f y i n g t h i s m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g l e d t o a c i v i l d i s c u s s i o n . T h i s w e n t o n f o r a l m o s t a n h o u r ( i n f o r m a l C F T ) , w i t h t h e f a m i l y b e i n g m u c h m o r e o p e n , s i n c e i t s a w t h e a g e n c y w a s e n g a g e d a n d o p e n t o t h e f a m i l y s s u g g e s t i o n s I s t a y e d q u i e t e x c e p t t o a s k f o r c l a r i f i c a t i o n a c o u p l e o f t i m e s t o e n s u r e a l l p a r t i e s u n d e r s t o o d o n e a n o t h e r . A t t h e e n d I e x p l a i n e d t o t h e f a m i l y t h a t t h e y h a d j u s t e x p e r i e n c e d a C F T . I n o t e d t h a t C F T s s e e k t o s u p p o r t f a m i l i e s a n d t h a t i n a m e e t i n g t h e f a m i l y h a s t h e r i g h t t o b e a p a r t o f t h e d i s c u s s o n . A s w e l e f t t h e r o o m t h e f a m i l y w a s t a l k i n g t o t h e s . o c i a l w o r k e r , w h i c h w a s a b i g c h a n g e f r o m b e f o r e , w h e n t h e y w e r e s h u t t i n g h i m o u t a n . d

complicating the case.

I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r F a c i l i t a t o r s 1 . D o n t p a n i c i f s o m e o n e t h r o w s y o u a c u r v e b l l . T a k e a m o m e n t t o c o n s i d e r t h e m o s t r e s p e c t f u l w a y t o p r o c e e d . 2 . T h e r e a r e t i m e s t h e a g e n d a n e e d s t o g o o n h o l d . T i m e s p e n t d e m o n s t r a t i n g f a m i l y - c e n t e r e d v a l u e s i s m o r e v a l u a b l e t h a n s i m p l y t e l l i n g f a m i l i e s w e w i l l b e f a m i l y - c e n t e r e d . . A l l o w 3 s p a c e f o r d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e f a m i l y s p e r c e p t i o n s . I f n e c e s s a r y , r e f r a m e t h e f a m i l y s c o n c e r n , b u t d o n o t a s s u m e y o u m u s t h e l p o r j u s t i f y w o r k e r / a g e n c y a c t i o n s . B a c k o f 4 f d u r i n ut g d i s c u s s i o n b s e e k c l a r i f i c a t i o n a s n e e d e d . . 5 . A l l o f t h i s g i v e s c r e d i b i l i t y t o y o u a s a n e u t r a l f a c i l i t a t o r a n d t o t h e C F T p r o c e s s a s a w h o l e .

Billy Poindexter is a CFT facilitator with

Catawba County DSS and a trainer for the NC Family-Centered Meetings Project

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