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During the past year, Joyful Together® has grown and thrived. This model developed by OhioGuidestone’s Institute of Family & Community Impact (IFCI) infuses play and joy into everyday moments. Despite the struggles of 2020 and 2021, we have seen families and caregivers embrace joy with their children, in ways both new and old. Living joyfully in a time of uncertainty and stress not only helps get us through the tough times. It also helps build a brighter future. Read below to find out some of the ways that Joyful Together® has made a path toward that future. What Is Joyful Together®? Above all, Joyful Together® is founded on the simple idea that care + play = joy. In the Joyful model, caregivers infuse play into everyday moments, helping to build childhood resiliency and lower parent stress. Thus, play and joy are key to preventing and combatting the adverse effects of toxic stress and trauma. Joyful Together® is evidence-based, parent-implemented, and play-centered, created with and for families with young children. It’s simple and effective, specifically designed to help kids, their caregivers, and their communities thrive. Joy Can Be Experienced Anywhere, Anytime! The best part about Joyful Together® is that it can be used in any situation where an adult is providing care or services to a child. We’ve adapted the basic model for all kinds of homes, daycares and early learning centers, elementary schools, and more. Read more below about where and how we are expanding Joyful Together® throughout our communities, our state, and beyond! Now an Evidence-Based Practice! The Ohio Children’s Trust Fund (OCTF), Ohio’s Prevent Child Abuse America Chapter, recently announced Joyful Together® as an evidence-based practice. Joyful Together® ECE Pilot: Innovation and Successful Outcomes In partnership with the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University and with funding from the Hemera Foundation, IFCI recently completed a Frontiers of Innovation (FOI) Joyful Together® pilot project that equipped early childhood education (ECE) professionals in Cuyahoga County with the tools to improve the quantity and quality of joyful interactions with young children in their care. This pilot study demonstrated success in every outcome we sought to effect, including: Lower teacher stress; Increased teacher applied understanding of the role of play and relationships in early childhood; And increased childhood protective factors. The IFCI team soon will present on some of our experiences from this Joyful Together® ECE pilot project at an FOI Fast-Cycle Iteration Workshop, led by the Center on the Developing Child. And More Joyful Together® ECE to Come! We are excited to announce that we have received new funding to extend Joyful Together® ECE over the next three years to six more centers, thanks to funding from the Joyce M. Stielau & Herbert W. Stielau Foundation. National and Local Recognition Within the last year, Joyful Together® was featured at national conferences for the Society for Prevention Research and the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs. The model and its research outcomes to date also were presented to the Ohio Children’s Behavioral Health Prevention Network Stakeholder Group earlier this year. Furthermore, we are developing a partnership with the Ohio Department of Health to train home visiting professionals in the Joyful Together® model. Read more below! New Products! We recently published two new Joyful Together® books: one for parents, and one for professionals in early childhood education (ECE). Joyful Together: Using Everyday Moments to Build a Loving Relationship with Your Child helps guide parents through Joyful Together® activities, as well as background on why joy and play are vital for child brain development. Meanwhile, our ECE version of the Joyful Together® manual provides much-needed context for implementing the Joyful model in early learning centers, giving tools for ECE professionals to use in their work with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. All our products are available in our online shop. What’s Next for Joyful Together®? Joyful Together® now is embedded into our suite of innovations for parents, children, and families, including new interventions for parental depression during the perinatal period. Because Joyful Together® incorporates everyday life into its model, it helps foster joy in ways that are culturally responsive, focused on social and concrete supports, and cognizant of the realities of economic hardship, racism, discrimination, and marginalization experienced by many of the families we work with. While Joyful Together® alone cannot solve these problems, it can help give parents of young children a renewed sense of playfulness and joy and reduce some of the worst effects of toxic stress. Joyful Together® and OCTF: Phase 2! Our research team recently completed another study phase of Joyful Together®, and now is recruiting for the next phase! Families in Lorain, Medina, Summit, or Wayne County with children between 3 months and 10 years old are eligible to participate. This study is generously funded by the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund (OCTF), as was the previous phase in Lorain, Medina, and Summit counties. Participants can sign up online by visiting bit.ly/JoyfulTogetherNow. Help Me Grow™ Professionals Training Beginning this fall, we are partnering with the Ohio Department of Health to train Help Me Grow™ home visiting professionals in the Joyful Together® model. This opportunity will help strengthen and build relational health throughout the state, as well as offer more evidence for the effectiveness of Joyful Together® in a diversity of contexts. For more information, email us at email@example.com. Expanding Joy in ECE Centers After completing our first study of Joyful Together® in early childhood education (ECE) centers, we soon will be expanding this project into six more sites. This expanded project has been made possible thanks to generous funding from the Joyce M. Stielau & Herbert W. Stielau Foundation. We also are working to make our new Joyful Together® ECE manual available to more professionals throughout Ohio! Parent Voices: Reclaiming Joy We are developing a new Joyful Together® paradigm: since Joyful Together® is implemented by caregivers, what do parents experience and feel as they try to infuse joy into their relationships with their children while facing the …
Dr. Katherine Lamparyk, OhioGuidestone’s Director of Clinical Training and Development and a Clinical Fellow at the Institute of Family & Community Impact, recently published a paper on the ways clinicians can utilize interprofessional skills to improve community mental health. Her article, “Interprofessionalism as a Cross-Cutting Skill: A Perspective on Transitioning from Academic Medicine to Community Behavioral Health,” appears in this year’s edition of The Ohio Psychologist, published by the Ohio Psychological Association. Through her insightful perspective, Dr. Lamparyk details her own experiences and how interprofessional skills translate into community-based services such as OhioGuidestone’s. She particularly focuses on why these skills play an important role in whole health — physical, mental, and social. Additionally, as she notes, “The skills and values of a psychologist make us uniquely primed for leadership and advocacy efforts outside the direct clinical work we have been trained for.” Leveraging collaborative relationships between health providers as well as their patients is key, Dr. Lamparyk argues. That way, providers can treat people as whole persons who are part of dynamic communities. Even better, it can help empower clients to gain the kind of transformative care they need. Whether care is provided in academic medical settings or community mental health services, interprofessional skills can help build a better, more holistic model of healthcare. The Institute of Family & Community Impact is a initiative of OhioGuidestone, one of Ohio’s largest behavioral health agencies. From research to products to clinical innovations, we provide tools for mental health treatment. For questions or more info, email us at IFCI@ohioguidestone.org.
Cultural humility — whether seen as the foundation of cultural competence or the garden in which cross-cultural relationships grow — is necessary for all behavioral health providers. It is closely entwined with trauma-informed care and therapeutic alliance, as vital keys to unlocking the best possible patient outcomes. Thus, healthcare organizations of all stripes should not merely make cultural humility a type of program or component of their training, but infuse it into every aspect of their operations. A desire to learn and an attitude of respect toward all the many intersecting cultures will enhance care and benefit both clinician and client, particularly those in underserved or marginalized communities. Our white paper, “Humble Before the Culture: The Power of Immersive, Ongoing Multicultural Learning for Behavioral Health Professionals,” serves as an introduction to cultural humility and a resource guide for clinical training and supervision. In it, we define cultural humility and highlight its importance in building therapeutic relationships. Then, we offer resources for cultural competency training and further exploration of innovative clinical frameworks and models. Read this white paper at familyandcommunityimpact.org/white-papers/cultural-humility. You also can view and download all our white papers at familyandcommunityimpact.org/white-papers. The Institute of Family & Community Impact is a initiative of OhioGuidestone, one of Ohio’s largest behavioral health agencies. From research to products to clinical innovations, we provide tools for mental health treatment. For questions or more info, email us at IFCI@ohioguidestone.org.