FACS staff being trained to deliver parenting program

FORT FRANCES—By next week, staff at Family and Children’s Services here will be able to begin offering a multi-level, comprehensive parenting program called “The Triple P—Positive Parenting Program” to residents of Rainy River District.
This week, about 20 social workers and clinicians from the Fort Frances and Atikokan offices are undergoing training for the program, which was developed in Australia.
Felicity West, from Triple P in Australia, has been providing the training through explanations, multimedia, and role-playing.
Although they won’t complete the accreditation process until June, West indicated the staff will be qualified after this week and can start using the techniques as soon as possible.
“Triple P is a system of easy-to-implement, proven parenting solutions that helps solve current parenting problems and prevents future problems before they arise,” the program’s website stated.
Troy Clink, manager of children’s mental health at FACS, said a large part in becoming trained in Triple P is due to that fact it is an evidence-based practice.
“That means there’s research to back it up and it does work,” he remarked.
And since there are several different departments within FACS (the five directly impacted are mental health services, developmental services, community services, child protection services, and children’s services), Clink noted Triple P will give everyone a common language.
“It will help to unify our programs with the hope of serving the district more effectively,” he explained. “We’re hoping to offer our knowledge to the community in many ways, through group and individual counselling and presentations to inform.
“Parents need as many tools and resources as possible,” he stressed.
As well, Clink is thrilled to have so many staff members being trained. He noted often just two and three practitioners participate in the Triple P training, so it’s beneficial to have most of the front-line staff trained.
“What makes this program unique are the many levels of Triple P suited to the specific needs of an agency or clients,” he said, adding FACS staff are being trained in the standard Triple P, which offers a broad perspective, and Pathways, which is specialized training.
“They will be able to work with parents to build the skills and confidence they need in dealing with challenging behaviour,” West explained. “Basically, it makes the job of being a parent easier.
“And it lets parents know that it’s okay to seek help, whether it’s for toilet training or tantrums.”
West said they use positive parenting strategies, such as using praise and rewards when the child is being good, so they learn they can get attention by behaving well.
Other effective strategies practitioners are learning is to teach parents to be clear when letting the children know what is expected of them, and giving appropriate consequences if they don’t obey.
“The practitioners will use these strategies and tailor them to meet the parents’ needs,” West noted. “They’ll encourage them to try new things and it will set the parents up to succeed.”
“Raising children is not easy,” Clink remarked. “Even in the best circumstances, it takes time, energy, and patience.
“It’s even harder when parents have to cope with serious problems such as poverty, unemployment, ill health, relationship breakdown, or substance abuse.
“That is why we are excited [by] the arrival of the Triple P parenting program.”
For more information about Triple P, visit www.triplep.net or call 274-7787.
(Fort Frances Times)