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FINAL ISSUE - VOLUME 16 # 1

For more than a decade, Child & Family Professional has been a kidsLINK publication dedicated to sharing new learning opportunities for direct service workers in the field of children’s mental health.  As the current managing editor, I have enjoyed creating, with the help of an active editorial board, three issues per year, focused on providing professional education with a multidisciplinary perspective, linking practice, research and training.  Together, we’ve assisted professionals in their endeavours to remain aware, alert and knowledgeable with respect to wellness, resilience, and trauma.  In the classroom, in the workplace, or in the community, it is important to know how to support those at risk. I am proud of our achievements in this regard!

Therefore, I am sad to announce that Child and Family Professional is being discontinued and this will be our last issue. 

At the same time, I am excited to report that kidsLINK has recently amalgamated with Mosaic Counselling and Family Services. Operating as Carizon Family and Community Services, this merger will mean an even stronger, more comprehensive and integrated approach to providing community services and supporting children’s mental health.

This last issue of Child and Family Professional directly addresses suicide concerns and other traumas, reflects on resiliency factors, and provides ideas to promote wellness.

Special thanks go out to the following:

  • Board members  and proofreaders for their time and expertise in reviewing submissions, as well as their advice regarding publication development
  • Book reviewers who inspired us to continue reading
  • Guilford Publications and Wilfrid Laurier University Press for providing review materials
  • M&T Print and Pandora Press for  their publishing services
  • Authors who willingly shared their research and knowledge
  • Subscribers who have taken some of this information and mindfully incorporated it into ensuring that children, youth and families reach their full potential

Paula Brunkard

Managing Editor

You can purchase our previous issues at minimal cost at the kidsLINK Shop.     

In this issue:

FOR THE SOUL AT WORK

Inspiration in the Workplace
Patricia Berendsen
Inspiring employees is the primary responsibility of a leader.  People need someone to follow and will look to those in positions of authority to show them the way.  This article provides practical tips for inspiring leadership in the workplace.

LINKS TO RESEARCH 

Starting the Ball Rolling – Literally
June LeDrew and Danna Cruickshank

Generally, childhood inactivity and obesity interventions have been suggested through school and community-based programs but family-based interventions could be more advantageous and influential as changes can be effected through parental support for all family members, and not only an inactive or obese child. This may result in less sedentary lifestyles and more physical activities for multiple family members (Epstein, Paluch & Raynor, 2001). The challenge to make positive change may come from knowing where to start. The purpose of this research project was to provide suggestions on how families can begin discussions about children’s healthy, active lifestyles.

Cross Over Children: From Welfare to Justice Systems
Anthony Piscitelli

Children in the care of the child welfare system have experienced trauma. While most children in the child welfare system do not end up in the criminal justice system, a larger number, when compared to the general population, end up involved with the justice system. These are known as crossover children. This review found six factors which increase the likelihood of a child living in care becoming a crossover child. They are: multiple moves once in care, being placed in a group home, mental health issues, substance use issues, long time exposure to maltreatment, and being a male.

Person-Environment Domains Influencing Outdoor Program Outcomes for At-Risk Youth
Tamara Este

This article provides a review of the literature on outdoor program domains that influence outcomes. It will begin with a presentation of the history and definitions of outdoor programs, followed by person-environment characteristics that lead to program outcomes and benefits for at-risk youth including: adjustment and adaptation, a connection to nature, social relationships, and challenge activities. Furthermore, risk and resilience constructs will be addressed, since these form a widely used framework in the literature to assess the benefits of adventure programs and measure outcomes. This review will identify outcomes presented in the literature, including a discussion of limitations and gaps in the research due to the numerous variables influencing outcome.

LINKS TO PRACTICE

A Suicide Postvention Challenge for School Social Workers: Parental Attitudes Towards Disclosure
Stephen Roggenbaum and Michelle Bates

School social workers and schools’ responses to a death by suicide are important to help reduce further suicidal behavior, but are complicated when the death is not discussed as a death by suicide. This article presents some ethical challenges and best practice for school suicide postvention.

Impact of Nature on Early Learning
Bonnie Zehr, Kelly Birch-Baker

Why provide a natural playspace? Research has proven that nature enhances children’s natural sense of curiosity, providing opportunities for creativity, problem solving and a life-long love of learning.  A natural environment enhances experiences in which children explore and discover using their senses.  Children’s early exposure to the natural world enables them to become stewards of the environment.  On a field trip, we observed children’s play in nature and were passionate about making this experience happen on a daily basis. Through our journey of transforming our playground into a natural environment, we are experiencing firsthand the findings of such research.

Resiliency: A Social Ecological Perspective
Interview with Michael Ungar

Dr. Ungar answers questions related to his social ecological approach to counselling children and youth.  Dr. Ungar provides clarity on how environmental supports and resources influence children’s ability to be resilient.

LINKS TO TRAINING

Book Review: Smart but Scattered  
Tammy Lyn Cowan

In summary, “Smart but Scattered” is an informative read for professionals and parents.  Although the book is filled with parent and family friendly examples, some readers may find some of the terminology a bit technical. Overall, this book provides an understanding of how strengths and needs in the area of executive skills can impact behaviour.  This book would be an asset to a personal or resource library.

Book Review:  Group Work with Adolescents
Jen Vasic

In his book Group Work with Adolescents: Principles and Practice (Second edition), Andrew Malekoff argues that social work with groups has become a lost art within the profession, as a result of a shifting curriculum within social work education that began in the late 1960s and early 1970s (p. 35).  Malekoff urges practitioners to embrace group work with adolescents, and hopes that his book will begin a dialogue that will help group work “…find its rightful place among the movements and methods for change” (p. xii).

Book Review:  Helping Abused and Traumatized Children
Jamie Keyzer

In this newest book, Dr. Gil sets out to equip child and family clinicians with strategies for offering support to sexually traumatized children and their families.  The book offers theoretical knowledge on the subject, as well as, case studies from Gil’s own practice.  In each case study, she talks about the types of therapeutic techniques used–Art, Play, Story and Drama–and explains how each can be used for different children depending on their specific needs.

Book Review:  One Hundred Years of Social Work
Heather Stuart

One Hundred Years of Social Work reflects both the historical events that necessitated attention to the social welfare of citizens, and the gradual formation of social work as a profession.  The authors clearly identified how regional and cultural diversities and some of social work’s key contributors have shaped the profession. They also remind readers of the historically gendered nature of social work, and the contributions that social work has made to the lives of women despite its patriarchal framework.

Book Review:  EMDR Therapy and Adjunct Approaches with Children
Frances R. Klaff

Gomez carefully lays out an organized and detailed approach to working with children at all stages of the EMDR process. Each stage is reviewed as the therapist is guided through the standard protocol, with specific recognition of the difficulties presented by more problematic children with complex histories. Gomez’ book is rich with case examples and practical scripts for applying the principles taught.

You can download the FINAL ISSUE here.