DCRC in the News
How do you keep your cool when your child is pressing your buttons? Early childhood mental health specialist Rachel Wagner knows it’s not easy.
The author of FLIP IT! Transforming Challenging Behavior, Wagner has developed four simple, positive and effective steps for parents and early educators to use in the heat of the moment of tantrums and other behaviors that adults find challenging. We asked her to tell us more about it.
Featuring guidance from DCRC Director Susan Damico
Close your eyes and picture it for a moment: pure joy. It could be sitting in the sun on a warm day, basking in the knowledge that your grown kids are on their way to visit. Or, it could be just the opposite: Finally, a moment of peace and quiet in the house after a chaotic week. Joy can seem fleeting—rare, even—but there are ways to get closer to joy on a daily basis.
In order to better support young children who have experienced trauma, including helping to support their social and emotional development, Head Start programs are “folding in new services.” They’ve expanded their team of mental health professionals, they’re implementing and emphasizing social and emotional learning (SEL) elements, and they are ensuring that adult resilience is a focus as well.
Nefertiti Poyner, Ed.D. , Early Childhood Specialist and National Trainer for Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health’s Center for Resilient Children, discussed mindfulness and coping methods for family, work and the holidays.
Training provided through the South Dakota Early Childhood Mental Health Collaborative includes use of the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment.
DCRC Director Susan Damico discusses resilience being a fundamental building block toward social and emotional health
Everyone experiences setbacks in life, family issues, job insecurity or personal loss to name a few, but some of us bounce back better than others. We all know someone who grew up with childhood trauma, in poverty or with an abusive parent, yet they went on to succeed career-wise and personally. What makes some of us better able to adapt and persevere despite these obstacles? Resilience. A fundamental building block toward social and emotional mental health, resilience gives us the skills to cope with adversity and overcome challenges.
But is it something that parents can pass on to their children?
“It is,” confirms Susan Damico, Director of the Devereux Center for Resilient Children (DCRC) at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health. “Parents and all of the important adults in a child’s life need to know that it’s possible and that they are really the most instrumental people to make it happen.”
Children & Families First, a Large Nonprofit Child and Family Services Agency, Utilizes the DARS (Devereux Adult Resilience Survey)
In a data collecting journey, Children & Families First from Delaware needed “a plan for how to collect the data [and] what to do with it once [they] did.” The staff reached out to their clients in order to find out what was needed, and the agency learned that it needed guidelines, strategies, and tools. One of the tools the agency selected was the DARS.
Assessment company Apperson, Inc. and the Devereux Center for Resilient Children – a prevention focused service of the nonprofit organization, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health – announced today the launch of a new company, Aperture Education, which provides strength-based assessments and resilience-building resources to help schools and out-of-school-time organizations address the whole child.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) plays a key role in children’s academic readiness and success. Students with strong SEL skills participate more in the classroom, have more positive attitudes about and involvement with school, are more accepted by classmates, and are given more instruction and positive feedback by teachers. Without SEL skills, young children are more likely to dislike school and perform poorly on academic tasks, and later experience grade retention and dropout (Raver & Knitzer, 2002).
“I recently attended a leadership symposium with others in the early childhood field who had been dubbed ‘Exceptional Emerging Leaders.’ As I participated in the events throughout the day, I found myself noting the characteristics of the individuals who were getting their voices heard most often and, in essence, shaping the direction of our work together to advance the field of early childhood. These individuals were often the vocal ones with strong opinions, who used their assertiveness to move their thoughts into actionable next steps.
Educators know many highs and lows. Some of these highs comes when our students show us that they have learned deeply, taken what we have presented, and used it in creative ways. One of our greatest highs comes when students persist despite significant challenges in accomplishing a goal. Our lows come from wanting our students to succeed and seeing them come up short. They also hit us from the many changes and challenges in the educational landscape, the shifting rules and criteria, for example.
Kaplan Early Learning Announces Unique Assessment and Planning Solution for Early Childhood Classrooms
Kaplan Early Learning Company, a leading international provider of products and services that enhance children’s learning, announced today that it will offer an exclusive, web-based assessment as part of a new partnership with Conscious Discipline and the Devereux Center for Resilient Children. The Conscious Discipline & eDECA Assessment and Planning System will allow early childhood professionals and families to screen, assess and promote protective factors associated with the resilience and healthy social and emotional development of preschoolers between 3 and 5 years old.
[A grant provided by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware to the Ministry of Caring Child Care Centers] allowed the Devereux Center for Resilient Children in Pennsylvania to provide a two-day training and curriculum materials to the Ministry of Caring’s teachers. They were instructed to identify three “protective factors” within the students: establishing self-regulation, taking initiative, and building trusting relationships.
Assessment leader Apperson today announced major updates to its award-winning Evo Social & Emotional (SEL) online assessment tool. Evo SEL 2.0 enhances an already sophisticated tool by adding a fresh new look, streamlined functions for both adminstrators and educators and improved efficiency, making it faster and easier to screen students for social and emotional competencies.
Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Center for Resilient Children Announces New Trauma-Informed, Resilience-Building Resource for Parents and Children
A leading provider of social and emotional learning tools and resources, the Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Center for Resilient Children, announced today – during Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week – the introduction of its latest resilience-building curriculum, Your Journey Together. Focused on promoting resilience among vulnerable children and their families, Your Journey Together (YJT) provides parents and guardians with skills and techniques to promote resilience in the home.
Written by Paul LeBuffe, Vice President for Research & Development at Aperture Education: Self-confidence is a significant factor for children in achieving success both in school and life. Fortunately, like other social and emotional skills, self-confidence can be taught. It is a “Goldilocks” characteristic – too little confidence can cause children to self-doubt, discouraging them from trying new things; too much confidence may set children up for an unexpected failure and may alienate others. As parents, our job is to enable our children to develop healthy, realistic self-confidence. Here are three tips for helping them achieve that goal.
It is often easy to get lost in the GPAs, the test scores, and the “how well did Bobby do in math this quarter?” questions. But have you asked your child or student lately how they are feeling? “It’s not just how (children) perform academically, but how they feel inside,” said Adele Penrod of Piqua Parents as Teachers before a presentation on “Steps to Support Strength, Security and Self-Control in Children” led by national speaker and author Nefertiti Bruce Poyner. Poyner, who was also representing the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, came to the Upper Valley Career Center on Wednesday to discuss the theory of resilience — being a child’s way of using their strengths to bounce back from negative or difficult situations — to parents, teachers, and the like.
The YMCA of the USA is expanding a pilot after-school program designed to close the achievement gap for low-income children, following early signs that students are gaining the skills and motivation they need to do well in school. Researchers found that after one year, students in the original seven pilot programs improved their social-emotional skills, school behavior, confidence, and school attachment by 53 percent to 70 percent, as shown below in the YMCA’s graphic, based on the Devereux Students Strength Assessment (DESSA), which evaluates nonacademic predictors of school success.