Specialized Training to Help Staff Coach Clients on Development of Children

In our ongoing effort to train and educate staff, Children’s Aid and Family Services is providing for its staff, at no cost, a training series hosted by Montclair University’s Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health, called Keeping Babies and Children Mind (KBCM). The seven three-hour trainings focus on children’s emotional, relational and social development in the context of parent and caregiver relationships, from prenatal care through age six. The trainings are presented by Montclair’s Socio-Emotional Formation Initiative, which supports the statewide integration of professional development opportunities aimed at promoting the social and emotional well-being and inclusion of all infants, toddlers and young children with and without developmental, emotional and behavioral difficulties.

“These trainings focus on the formative years, which are the basis for every child’s lifetime of learning and emotional development,” says Jo Ponticello, Vice President of Children’s Services. “As an agency, we work with a lot of new parents and very young children, and these innovative trainings will help our staff to better coach our clients about how to nurture the emotional well-being and development of their children.”

The trainings are offered to anyone who works with children, including home visitation services, family and childcare providers, Early Head Start/Head Start, Early Intervention services, preschools, schools, child welfare offices, and faith based communities. Included in the series are topics on promoting infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH), understanding and responding to trauma, supporting children and family strengths, and utilizing reflective practices and self-care.

“This a great opportunity for our staff to better understand early childhood development and teach parents how best to nurture their children,” says Jo. “A child’s development hinges on the steps parents take to bond with their children and encourage their growth, and the more we know as facilitators of growth the better prepared we are to teach parents these crucial lessons. Very few trainings for human services focus on the development of children from birth through age three, so KCBM is an important addition to our development of staff.”

For more information about Keeping Babies and Children in Mind, call Montclair State University at 973-655-3890 or email sefi@montclair.edu.