Before I became a father, I was very unaware of my own mental health. Today, on the eve of World Mental Health Day, I’m reflecting on how fatherhood has reshaped my identity and improved...
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Looking to merge community mental health, research, health equity, and advocacy? Great! We’re looking to hire research assistants to join our research team! We’re currently looking to invite 2 full-time and several part-time team members. Check out our part-time and full-time research assistant roles. We even have space for students looking to satisfy internships, practicum, and course requirements. Check out our Institute Scholar role with openings starting in June. Know a great person? Please tag them, or share this post with them! — We know safety, professional development, and belonging are a very important qualities you might be looking for in a full-time, part-time or volunteer role. That’s why we want you to know right away that these things are important to OhioGuidestone and the Institute of Family & Community Impact teams. Feel free to click through our website and even review more about these job openings on Linkedin (a professional social platform and job posting site).
Looking to learn how to engage fathers in child and family matters, link them to services, and provide father-specific support? Then this is for you! The Father’s Feelings Project will host a 1-hour “Lunch & Learn” webinar Friday, May 6 at noon. (Click to Register) This session will be geared towards to healthcare (mental, physical) professionals, but open to anyone working with perinatal fathers or mothers, or babies. During this virtual seminar, participants will learn about first-hand experiences from professionals working with new dads, including insights from fathers themselves. We’ll also discuss the importance of engaging dads in child care and family services, as well as strategies for engagement. Most importantly, this webinar will detail the needs and desires of male parents, how to support them and their mental health, and the impacts this can have on families and communities. Following the presentation, attendees will be invited to join a Community of Learners for more in-depth exploration of how to better serve fathers and support healthy fathering. Fatherhood practitioners, mental health providers, teachers, barbers, church ministers, early childhood educators, home visitors, librarians, community liaisons, community health workers, women’s health and pediatric providers, and WIC professionals are just a few examples of family-serving professionals who would be perfect to join part one of our two-part Community of Learners sessions. Each session will be virtual and will build a network to identify the health and personal needs of fathers with babies and connect them to services and organizations. To register: Please click here for the May 6 Cuyahoga County Session. (Looking for more “Helping Fathers Thrive” Session Dates? Email Us!) The Father’s Feelings Project is an initiative of the Institute of Family & Community Impact®, OhioGuidestone’s center of excellence for research and advocacy. Funding for the project comes from Ohio Children’s Trust Fund and the ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County. The Father’s Feelings Project enjoys collaboration and support from Ohio Practitioners Network for Fathers & Families, Fatherhood Collaborative of Hamilton County, Stark County Community Action Agency- Community Action Hub, Lucian Families, and The Healthy Fatherhood Collaborative of Greater Cleveland, and Ohio Commission on Fatherhood.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 …
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