Weil Grant Training: Leading Culturally Sensitive Parent Education Support Group
Recently, a group of MSPP students, along with representatives from community agencies, participated in a training program entitled, “Leading Culturally Sensitive Parent Education Groups.” This training was developed and led by Margaret Hannah, M.Ed., Executive Director of the Freedman Center for Child and Family Development and MSPP Faculty, and Nadja Reilly, PhD, clinician and Director of the Swensrud Depression Prevention Initiative at Children's Hospital Boston.
This two-day workshop used an established model of parenting group facilitation modified to incorporate a culturally sensitive perspective. In this workshop, students learned about models of group facilitation, stages of infant and parent development, recognizing signs of post-partum depression and early relational discord, and establishing a parenting series within a community agency.
According to Jamie Siegel, a Latino Mental Health Training student, “Attending this training truly helped me to improve the quality of the parenting group that I co-facilitated at Entre Familia. I definitely became more conscious of providing a nurturing environment and I began to encourage the mothers in the group to answer each other's questions and concerns instead of relying on leader direction only. Furthermore, I was amazed how just two days after discussing Latino parenting traditions in the training, I observed a mother using one of the cultural traditions we had discussed in class with her baby!”
These student participants went on to facilitate 6-week parent groups for Latina Mothers within several community organizations: Cambridge Health Alliance, Lowell Community Health Center and the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC). These groups are supervised by Ms. Hannah and Dr. Reilly.
This training was made possible through funding from the Weil Foundation.