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Registration is now open!

Too young to worry

We’re excited to announce that registration is open for the online workshop:

 

Toxic Stress and Children

Register here:

http://toxicstress.thecenterforchilddevelopment.com/

 

When

July 29th @ 7pm est  online

 

Who should participate:

(Please note certificates of attendance will be issued for professionals who desire continuing education credits)

Parents

Mental health professionals

Day care providers

Educators

Social workers

Pediatricians

Graduate students

 

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the differences between tolerable stress and toxic stress
  • How parents can lessen the impact of toxic stress in themselves and their children.
  • Learn how toxic stress  affects the developing brain, genetics and future generations
  • Increase your ability to accurately assess children who have endured toxic stress.
  • Understand the clinical applications for working with children who have endured toxic stress
  • Learn techniques for improving your effectiveness with families who have toxic stress

 

 

Cost:

30.00

 Presenter:  

Rebecca Roebke, LCSW

Rebecca has 15 years experience working with children and families. She completed her master’s at The University of Pennsylvania and during her studies there, began a focus on child welfare. In 2005, she worked as a DFS investigator and following that position, screened children in foster care throughout the state of Delaware for mental health needs. Through those experiences, she dealt first hand with toxic stress in children and its effects on child development. Rebecca has been a child and adolescent therapist since 2009, working mostly with toxic stress, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and teaching emotional literacy to children. She provides therapy to children in schools within communities where children are dealing with high levels of toxic stress including witnessing daily neighborhood violence. She focuses on teaching emotional literacy to assist children in developing positive coping skills. In 2011, she was trained in Parent Child Interactive Therapy. She also works as the mental health consultant for New Castle County Head Start. Rebecca has given multiple trainings and presentations regarding toxic stress and fostering emotional literacy in children to teachers and parents.

 

 Click here to access the online registration form

http://toxicstress.thecenterforchilddevelopment.com/

 

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Toxic stress — its effect on genes and future generations

stressedchild1

I’ve written about the negative effects of toxic stress in previous posts. It’s a topic of great concern to me, as I see the impact of this form of stress on many children with whom we work.

A *recent article written by a neurologist in South Africa, Barak Morgan, explains how negative signals from a child’s environment contributes epigenetic markers in the DNA during early brain development. This happens even before the child is born. It is during this time that the part of the brain that helps to regulate emotions and aggression control, important factors for success in life. These pathways become difficult to positively change as the brain develops.

A Canadian researcher discovered that rats who were licked and groomed immediately after birth, influenced their response to stress. Those who did not receive this type of attention, had more “epigenetic marks on the brain’s major stress gene”. This research concluded that it did not matter if the grooming and licking was done by the biological mother or another rat.

The researcher explained that if toxic stress affects the DNA, then future generations are impacted and thus, making it challenging to stop the cycle.

Exposure to stress is not the concern, but prolonged and repeated exposure to stress along with disconnected parenting, is what increases a child’s risk.

It’s important to note here, that exposure to toxic stress is not determinant of a child’s future success, but it is a risk factor and should be considered as part of the mental health assessment of children where there are concerns.

Here are some factors that can contribute to toxic stress:

neglect or abuse
inconsistent parenting
instability of living arrangements
poverty
mental or physical illness of parents
domestic violence
prenatal exposure to drugs, alcohol

Parents, caregivers, teachers and anyone in a child’s environment can play a significant role in decreasing the negative impact of toxic stress. Responsiveness, attentiveness, stability are important combatants. Social workers and other mental health professionals can assist by educating parents and guardians on the importance of positive nurturance, stability and relationship building with their children. Social workers can also assist in decreasing some of the risk factors mentioned above, by helping families to access resources.

Parent-child Interactive therapy is extremely helpful for children who’ve been exposed to toxic stress. It helps to calm them down, increases the attachment with the parent as well as helps parents set appropriate boundaries with the child.

I suspect that the more scientists research and discover how toxic stress changes the brain, there will be even more findings on how to positively change the brain to improve the lives of children.

Lisa R. Savage, LCSW and Rebecca Roekbe, LCSW, therapists at the Center for Child Development, will be conducting an online webinar on Toxic Stress for professionals and parents. We’ll announce the date and registration soon. If you work with children or are a parent, this will be a very helpful workshop. CEU’s will be offered as well.

*”Biological embedding of early childhood adversity: Toxic stress and the vicious cycle of poverty in South Africa”

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Parenting Again: Grandparents Raising Grandkids

grandparents1
In the year 2000, the US census found that over 2.4 million grandparents have responsibility for their grandchildren, 4.5 million children are living in grandparent headed homes, and most grandparents raising grandchildren are between 55 and 64. This means that instead of retirement, these grandparents are now taking on diapers, daycare, teacher conferences, and round 2 of raising children.
According to the AARP, the reasons grandparents are raising their grandchildren include the following:
• Drugs and alcohol problems in the home
• Mental illness in the home
• Parent (s) incarcerated
• Death of a parent
• Poverty in the home
• Divorce of parents
• Child abuse or neglect in the home
• Teen pregnancy
• Parents living with HIV/AIDS
• Domestic violence in the home
• Military deployment of parent (s)

Grandparents need to be aware of important things they can do to provide the best care for their grandchildren, while also preserving their own health and well-being. Here are several tips:
• Acknowledge your feelings- raising grandchildren can trigger a variety of emotions. You may feel the love and dedication and relief of providing them with a stable home, but there also could be resentment, guilt, or fear. It is natural to feel both positive and negative feelings and necessary to identify and work though them. Other common feelings may be stress and worry (being a full time parent once again can be overwhelming and you may worry what will happen if something happens to you), anger or resentment (towards the child’s parent for leaving you with this responsibility or resentful of other friends who are enjoying their retirement), guilt (guilty for your child’s failures as a parent or mistakes you made when you parented the first time), and grief (loss of independence, your child and possible difficulties that have led to this situation)
• Take Care of yourself- taking care of yourself is a necessity and not a luxury. If you dot take care of yourself you cannot care for your grandchild. Carve out time for rest and relaxation to avoid burnout and depression. Ask for help when you need it, even from your grandchildren. Seek out support through friends or support groups. Reach out to the community for childcare help. There are often story time hours at the library or services through churches or other religious organizations.
• Realize your grandchildren have feelings too – children may resent being separated from their parents and wish to return to them. The feelings often come out in behavior. Because of the circumstances of the situation, children always need your comfort and support. They are probably feeling discomfort, mistrust, and anger.
• Adjusting/creating a stable environment- routines and schedules help a child feel safe. Create rituals that you and your grandchildren can share. In order to make the child feel comfortable, allow them to have input into their new home, such as decorating their room. Feeling as though they have some control will make the adjustment easier. They should also have a private space such as a room or a tree house. Clear, age- appropriate rules and boundaries should be set and consistently enforced. Make sure you are a consistent reassuring presence for your grandchildren in the morning, after school, and before bed.
• Encourage open and honest communication – Frequent communication can help children cope with their new situation. It may be helpful to plan regular times to sit and talk. Encourage children to talk about and identify their emotions. It’s also helpful to allow young children to communicate through play or art. If you don’t know the answer its ok to tell the child, “I don’t know.” You want to avoid telling the child too many details about the situation but also too little or nothing at all. Both can be confusing for the child. Be careful never to twist the facts or lie, this avoids anger in the future.
Caring for grandchildren can also be financially challenging. There are many benefits available including TANF, SSI, WIC, Medicaid, and guardianship subsidies. These public services can help to ease the stress of financially managing the needs of grandchildren.
If you are raising grandchildren, consider signing up for our group. It is ok to seek out help for both you and your grandchild to help with the adjustment. Our group will focus on
• Identifying challenges related to parenting grandchildren
• Developing positive coping strategies
• Strengthening self esteem
• Releasing negative feelings
• Decreasing sense of isolation through supportive environment
• Talking about and learning to manage caregiver stress

By Rebecca Roebke, LCSW

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Women’s Group for real life changes

circleofwomen1

Please join us for a women’s empowerment group starting July 1st. The group will run for 6 weeks starting July 1 from 6-7:30pm in our Newark office. The group will be facilitated by Lisa R. Savage, LCSW, who has years of experience working to empower women.
302-292-1334 x1 or email Lisasavagelcsw@gmail.com
Dates:
July 1, 2014
July 15th
July 22nd
July 29th
August 5th
August 12th

This is intended to be a very active, goal-directed group. It is expected that you will work on goals you’ve identified and are committed to achieving.

You can expect to:

*identify obstacles
*set achievable goals with steps to achieving the goals
*learn how to walk away from toxic people and situations
*improve self-esteem
*learn useful self-care skills

Agenda
Week One

Define your heart’s passion.
What are the blocks to you achieving your heart’s desires?
Self-esteem assessment—complete an assessment of the status of your self-esteem

Week Two
Review of self-esteem assessment
Setting realistic goals and determining steps to achieving goals
Self-care discussion

Week Three
Review of goals. Review of achievements and struggles
How to move beyond obstacles
Creating a support network

Week Four
Review of goals and achievements
Letting go of negative and toxic people in your life.

Week Five
Creating a vision board—a fun, creative way to outline your goals for the next several months

Week Six
Wake up to your life. The art of living consciously.
Celebrate achievements!
Determine what the next path is for your life.

Costs: 327.00 for all six sessions. If paid in full by June 30th, you’ll receive 10.00 off. Call now to save.
Credit cards accepted for payment.

Please call Lisa Savage at 302-292-1334 X1 or email at lisasavagelcsw@gmail.com

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Summer groups for children

circle1

The summer is a great time to get children involved in therapeutic groups where they can learn or reinforce skills. Group therapy is extremely beneficial and can bolster individual therapy.

Anger management for children ages 7-18. Groups will be formed based on age. They will start June 24 and run for six weeks on Tuesdays.

The objectives of this group are:
*Understand anger triggers
*Decrease emotional outbursts
*Learn how to appropriately express anger
*Improve family and peer relationships

Fostering emotional literacy in children

Research has recently indicated that the most powerful predictor of
success is emotional literacy. Children with emotional literacy perform better
in school, get into fewer fights, cope with negative feelings in more positive
ways, and are overall happier.

Group therapy will focus on defining emotional literacy and teaching emotional
literacy through various activities. Group will meet 1x a week on Tuesday evenings and last for six weeks
Group objectives:
*Define emotional literacy
*Identify factors that impact ability to understand emotions in ourselves and
Others
*Increase positive coping skills in response to negative emotions (anger sadness
Etc)
*Decrease problematic behaviors
*Increase social skills

Grief, loss and abandonment for children and adolescents
Objectives:
*Understand grief
*Identify coping skills to work through feelings that accompany grief
*Prevent depression, anxiety, isolation and maladaptive behaviors
*Develop effective ways to express negative emotions
*Increase ability to accept loss

We’re only accepting a limited number of participants in order to maximize the experience. Please call the office at 302-292-1334
x 1 to speak with Lisa Savage or x2 to speak with Rebecca Roebke.

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Increasing emotional literacy improves behaviors.

PageLines- childdev-groupofchildren.jpgSam is in his classroom. He is trying to do his work. Other students are bothering him, being loud, and calling him names. Sam becomes frustrated, turns around and pushes a classmate. He then gets up and angrily storms out of the room. School staff reprimands Sam for his behavior and sends him to the in school suspension room. This is the third time this week, Sam has had an outburst in class. Sam is signed up for counseling services. When asked about his behaviors Sam reports people say he has “anger problems.” He has difficulty talking about his feelings and blames his behavior on others. The story of Sam is all too common. Why can’t Sam control his anger? Why can’t he express how he feels? Why can’t he make better choices? Is there something wrong with Sam? He appears to be intelligent in class…
What factors contribute to overall success for children? Research has currently suggested that emotional literacy is the key to success and in fact, is a greater measure of intelligence than typical IQ scores. So just what is emotional literacy and why is it so important for children like Sam? Emotional literacy is the ability to identify, understand and respond to emotions in oneself and others in a healthy manner. Children such as Sam often lack the ability to identify their feelings as they are happening or often mislabel their feelings. Sam is aware he is angry, but perhaps not aware that his anger is triggered by other feelings – frustration, embarrassment, hurt. Here are some important concepts about feelings that counseling would begin to teach Sam:
 Feelings are normal. We all have them.
 People are capable of feeling many different feelings. We are entitled to all of them.
 You can have more than one emotion about anything.
 You can feel differently than someone else about the same thing
 All emotions are valid it’s what you do with them that counts
 Sometimes we feel contradictory feelings
 Some feelings are pleasant, some are unpleasant
 No feeling lasts forever
 There are over 4,000 words to describe emotions in the English Language
The benefits of emotional literacy are extensive. Children who are emotionally literate tolerate frustration better, get into fewer fights/form stronger friendships, exhibit less destructive behaviors, are healthier, are less lonely, are more focused and less impulsive, and demonstrate greater academic achievement (EL is the best predictor of school performance). Additionally, children who can regulate emotions are better at self-soothing and therefore experience negative emotions for a shorter period of time. Unfortunately, it is a developmental skill that is not present at birth. It must be fostered, or taught, through parents, teachers, and counselors. By naming feelings, labeling children’s feelings, and teaching children that feelings are normal and ok to express, adults can help children to develop this extremely important skill.
Sam attended weekly counseling sessions that included games to help Sam express his feelings, identifying new feeling words, and eventually working on coping skills to use when he experienced negative emotions. Through this training, Sam was able to express to his classmates or teachers when he was beginning to get frustrated. They were then able to assist Sam in calming down in appropriate ways. Sam’s time outside the classroom decreased and his overall academic achievement increased. He is just one example of how fostering emotional literacy can change the path of a child’s behavior, self-esteem, and overall success.
Rebecca Roebke, LCSW

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The benefits of group work

groupwork1

Center for Child Development and The Center for Adult Wellness and Counseling are offering groups this summer.
Here is

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a list of several benefits to group therapy.
– group participants gain emotional support, understanding, and encouragement
from one another
– group therapy can increase self- confidence
– participants will feel less alone
– understanding others often helps us understand ourselves
– members experience a common HUMANNESS with others
– group therapy enhances acceptance of the self and others
– provides social interaction
– confidentiality and respect are key
– improves listening skills
Sign up today!
302-292-1334. Ask for Lisa Savage, Rebecca Roebke or Robin Gillis.

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Summer groups for children and adults

group1We’re excited to announce that CCD and Center for Adult Wellness and Counseling will be offering various groups for the summer.
Here’s a brief description of the group:

Anger management for children ages 7-18. Groups will be formed based on age. They will start June 24 and run for six weeks on Tuesdays.

The objectives of this group are:
*Understand anger triggers
*Decrease emotional outbursts
*Learn how to appropriately express anger
*Improve family and peer relationships

Fostering emotional literacy in children

Research has recently indicated that the most powerful predictor of
success is emotional literacy. Children with emotional literacy perform better
in school, get into fewer fights, cope with negative feelings in more positive
ways, and are overall happier.

Group therapy will focus on defining emotional literacy and teaching emotional
literacy through various activities. Group will meet 1x a week on Tuesday evenings and last for six weeks
Group objectives:
*Define emotional literacy
*Identify factors that impact ability to understand emotions in ourselves and
Others
*Increase positive coping skills in response to negative emotions (anger sadness
Etc)
*Decrease problematic behaviors
*Increase social skills

Grief, loss and abandonment for children and adolescents
Objectives:
*Understand grief
*Identify coping skills to work through feelings that accompany grief
*Prevent depression, anxiety, isolation and maladaptive behaviors
*Develop effective ways to express negative emotions
*Increase ability to accept loss

Groups for Adults–This group will be offered in person as well as online

Parenting difficult children: ways to manage behavior issues in
children ages 2-7. A group for adults raising children.
Objectives:
*Increase knowledge regarding child development
*Develop strategies in working with difficult behaviors, including defiance and
tantrums
*Foster positive relationship between caregiver and child
*Learn to increase compliance in your child
*Develop effective discipline strategies

Grandparents as parents Offered in the office as well as online
Objectives:
*Identify challenges related to parenting grandchildren
*Develop positive coping strategies
*Strengthen self-esteem
*Release negative feelings
*Decrease sense of isolation through supportive environment

We’ve already received a tremendous positive response to the group offerings. Please sign up now to secure a slot for you or your child. Simply call the office and ask for Rebecca Roebke, LCSW or Lisa Savage, LCSW. 302-292-1334

Alternatively, you may email for a prompt response.

Rebecca@thecenterforchilddevelopment
Lisa@thecenterforchilddevelopment

Please note that your insurance might not reimburse for participation in the groups. Please discuss the rates when you call to register. We’ll be glad to help you through the process.

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