shutterstock_71921521All Family Strengthening Trainings are uniquely interactive and engaging. Culturally relevant communication and intervention skills are imparted that aid helping professionals with establishing authentic interactions that produce sustainable, measurable, and actualized change. The 8-hour, full-day training OR 12-week 2-hour per week training involves lecture, interactive discussion, and skill demonstration.  In this module, trainees will be introduced to the history, principles, philosophy, and key aspects of the FSP model.

WIN Trainers begin this Introductory training with the history and development of the model.  Practitioners learn about FSP’s origin in the Structural Family Therapy (SFT) model developed by Minuchin, other clinical experts, and indigenous practitioners in the 1960’s.  They will learn how a unique grassroots effort brought together the innovation and natural connectedness of indigenous practitioners with the intellectual power of an expert clinical panel.  Practitioners will learn about the Guerney’s, developers of the Parenting Skills Sequence and co-authors of the influential book, Families in the Slums.  Practitioners will learn about the efforts of Ford, to “enrich” the SFT model with Kinship Love, as a socially accepted reality in the human community, and therefore, urban families.

HOSTTrainees will engage with the fundamental principles of the FSP model which include:

  1. The family is the basic unit involved in the development of the individual and society.  Its primary tasks of nurturance, socialization, and protection are motivated by deep, positive feelings.
  2. The family system operates primarily through characteristic role transactions.  It is a system wherein the behavior of one member affects and is affected by all other members.
  3. Strengths are inherent and discoverable in family life.  Strong families help communities thrive!

The 7 Rules of Family Strengthening are then taught to practitioners as a philosophical base for

operating within a strengths-based, non-pathological paradigm that prioritizes engagement and involved interactions with youth and families.  The 7 Rules help practitioners “buy in” to the paradigm and consequently utilize additional FSP skills.  It also empowers practitioners to avoid fault-finding, which is a common barrier to effective communication.  The 7 Rules ultimately guide practitioners in healthy, progressive communication and interactions.

Thereafter, practitioners will learn some of the key aspects of the FSP model:

  1. It’s holistic approach that takes into account the individual, family structure, and specific environmental influences;
  2. It’s non-pathological approach to seeking solution to problems in the here and now;
  3. It’s behavioral basis that focuses on actions, enactments, competence, strengths, change of behavior patterns, and the transfer of concrete skills;
  4. It’s emphasis on the hierarchical nature of families and determining a family’s locus of power, control, and influence;
  5. It’s natural sequence of clearly delineated skills that are used to offer both reflections and directives.

Learning Objectives:  By embracing the history, principles, philosophy, and key components of the FSP model, practitioners decide to be non-fault-finding, direct, open, straightforward, and honest when engaging youth and families.  Consequently, they are more confident in developing outcomes based on strengths and are able to communicate more effectively with youth and families.  As staff members practice acknowledgement of strengths and good intentions, they will aid youth and family members in also recognizing and acknowledging their good.  Consequently, youth and families will be empowered to utilize strengths and talents to bring about the change and adjustments necessary for sustained success.  A number of learning objectives are met as a result of this training.  At minimum, practitioners will:

  • Learn the history and development of the Family Systems approach to care, as it was developed for improving outcomes for urban youth and families;
  • View and execute their roles from a positive, strengths-based perspective, as part of a community initiative.
  • Interact with youth and families focusing on observable strengths (“good”) more than undesirable antics and behaviors.
  • Practice a non-pathological thought process that monitors responses and readily finds opportunities to “join” positive enactments and interactions.
  • Increase their ability to consistently key in on strengths and observation of “good” in behaviors, intentions, and processes.
  • Increase acknowledgement and acceptance of personal choices and values while neither fault-finding nor condoning the choices and values of others.
  • Increase their ability to facilitate culturally relevant experiences.
  • Increase their ability to communicate empowering directives, positive recommendations, and meaningful outcomes.

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