ia Na Lei
1001 Kamokila Boulevard, Suite 106
Kapolei, HI 96707
Contact person: Noelani Kamekona
Kako o ia Na Lei (Hawaiian for "beloved children are supported) is a project administered by the University of Hawaiis Center on Disability Studies and funded by OSEP. The project goal is to improve the cultural competence and nondiscrimination of services for students with or at risk of developing SED. The project operates on the Island of Oahus Waianae Coast, where most residents consider themselves Native Hawaiian. The projects major activities are demonstration and dissemination of a culturally competent guidance curriculum and cultural training for providers of mental health and other related services.
The guidance curriculum was locally developed by kupuna (Hawaiian elders) through a previous grant from the U.S. Department of Education. It teaches and illustrates seventyone specific social, coping, and selfmanagement skills. The core of the curriculum is a series of stories featuring Native Hawaiian youngsters facing various moral dilemmas. Students are guided to use traditional Native Hawaiian values to resolve these delimmas through small group activities, roleplaying, class discussion, and Hawaiian arts and crafts. Kako'o 'ia Na Lei hires, traines, and supervises educational assistants to demonstrate the curriculum at four elementary schools. Preand post test results using standardized instruments of behavioral functioning have indicated improvements in clinical symptoms and aggressive and hyperactive behaviors. The project has reproduced and disseminated the curriculum to about 45 schools and Native Hawaiian agencies. Teachers have also been provided inservice training for curriculum use.
The project's other major component is Native Hawaiian
cultural training through the local community college. A total of 43 mental health
providers, educators, parents, and community members have been trained in traditional
Native Hawaiian values and in the traditional conflict resolution process known as
345 Fleet #5
Plymouth, MI 48170
Fax: (313) 2521761
Contact person: Sally Repeck
Project Impact is funded by OSEP through the Easter Seals Society of Southeastern Michigan. The program offers educators working in collaboration with social service providers, families, and community members a means for establishing a culturally competent system of support in schools for students with behavioral difficulties. Program activities support preventative, shortterm supplemental, and longterm intensive strategies in the school setting.
The program provides a variety of preventative supports to 357 students in the 7th and 8th grades. Student academic needs are supported by extended day programs and social skills training. In addition, project staff and school administrators develop schoolwide policies to help students manage their own behavior. Project and school staff collaborations ensure selection of culturally responsive strategies. In addition to supporting students and administrators, the project provides support for classroom teachers.
When teachers feel that individual students have additional needs, project staff provide shortterm support. Some of these students receive individual counseling services. Other students participate in group meetings to improve anger management and conflict resolution skills. These interventions are often provided by community agency personnel who were brought to the school.
Intensive services provided by the program involve
collaborations with families and community agencies. Community agency, school, and
project staff support students while at school. Families work with project staff as
partners throughout the planning process. If the family needs assistance, however,
it is provided. Family support might take the form of developing new reinforcement
strategies, substance abuse treatment, or provision of basic necessities. Project
staff also serve as resources to connect families to community agencies.
|World of Difference
1351 42nd Avenue, Room 105
San Francisco, CA 94122
Contact person: Yvette Smith
World of Difference (WOD) is an OSEPfunded collaborative effort of the San Francisco Department of Mental Health, Every Child Can Learn Foundation, and the San Francisco Unified School District. WOD is a multidimensional program designed to support academic and social needs of students with or at risk of developing serious emotional disturbance. The project also operates in classrooms supporting students identified as having learning disabilities. Culturally competent teams of teachers, family members, mental health service providers, and paraprofessionals address students needs.
WOD has served 35 students in 3 classrooms. Students range from 8 to 13 years of age. Most students reside in low income communities, and many are in foster care or residential day treatment. The majority of students are AfricanAmerican or Latino. A small percentage are AsianAmerican or Caucasian. Academic performance has increased, and behavior problems, particularly behavioral crises, have decreased for students participating in the program.
WOD assists school staff with the development of
culturally competent intervention and prevention strategies. Cultural competency
training is provided for paraprofessionals who worked with students.
Schoolbased mental health counselors are provided by the Center for Applied Cultural
Studies and Educational Achievement based at San Francisco State University.
Counselors also participate in cultural competency training. Optimal Learning
Environment (OLE) is offered to all K-8 San Francisco Unified School District
teachers. The training prepares teachers to develop balanced literacy instruction
for students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Culturally
competent books and supplies have been purchased and distributed to create classroom
reading corners. WOD sponsors monthly team meetings for all service providers and
families involved with the program. Meeting participants share information and
support strategies. Monthly meetings promote continuity between a child's school,
home and community supports.
|Actualizing Cultural Competence in
Educational and Preventative Techniques
Tucson Unified School District
750 North Rosemont
Tucson, AZ 85711
Contact person: Betsy Bounds, Ph.D
The project, Actualizing Cultural Competence in Educational and Preventative Techniques (ACCEPT), is operated through the Tucson Unified School District and funded by OSEP. The program offers schools additional support to children with or at risk of developing serious emotional disturbance. A multidisciplinary schoolbased team trained in crosscultural intervention works with school personnel to develop effective intervention strategies.
Students served by the project come from lower and lowermiddle socioeconomic backgrounds. Sixtyseven students in grades K5 have participated in the program. There have been 35 AfricanAmerican students, 17 Caucasian students, 14 Latino students, and 1 Native American student.
Cultural competence training and a cultural simulation workshop are provided by the program. Brown and Associates, cultural competence consultants, conduct workshops exploring the dynamics of culture and cultural interactions. The Conciliation Court of Pima County conductes cultural simulations where participants act out crosscultural encounters. Simulations provide realistic situations permitting deeper understanding of cultural competence concepts. All school and project personnel participate in these workshops.
Each school that works with ACCEPT has a Teacher Assistance Team (TAT), or Child Study Team. The TAT consists of administrators, teachers, counselors, and other school staff. TAT members participate in cultural competence and classroom discipline training workshops. Prereferral intervention strategies and individual intervention plans are designed jointly by the TAT and ACCEPT staff.
Five project ACCEPT staff work with, and in, the schools:
the Coordinator, the Case Manager, the Behavior Specialist, and 2 Instructional
Specialists. The Coordinator organizes and coordinates the daily activities of the
grant. The Case Manager works with an identified child's family, and coordinates
training workshops. The Behavior Specialist works directly with the regular class
teachers offering behavioral support through recommendations. The Instructional
Specialists provide one-on-one and group support to help students better manage their
behavior. ACCEPT staff are trained in both cultural competence and classroom
|Community Approaches to Improving Child Success
Englewood Public Schools
c/o Project CAICS
12 Tenafly Road
Englewood, NJ 07631
Contact person: Florence Eddings
OSEP funds Community Approaches to Improving Child Success (CAICS) through the Englewood Public Schools System. The primary goal of CAICS is the utilization of cultural knowledge to reduce behavior related referrals to special education. CAICS coordinates a support network consisting of schoolbased personnel, family members, and communitybased organizations to reach this goal.
The project addresses institutional and individual barriers which contribute to special education placement for marginal reasons and program development in restrictive environments. Actions cluster around the themes of prevention, intervention, and remediation. An advisory panel consisting of key stakeholder groups (school, family, and communitybased service providers) ensures feasibility and collaborative input for project activities. Participation in cultural competency workshops is mandatory for panel members. Workshop participation includes demonstrating knowledge of distributed materials. Subgroups of the advisory panel concentrate on specific themes. The Prevention team addresses new roles for school and community agencies in reducing low student achievement. The team submits recommendations to alter school and agency practices identified as barriers. The Intervention team designs school interventions (in conjunction with community agencies) that also address recidivism through empowerment. These collaborative interventions involve families, students, teachers, and special education decision makers. The Remediation team designs programs and strategies to reduce academic and behavior differences isolating children in schools and communities.
Rather than create new structures, CAICS staff work through existing ones when possible. Pupil Assistance Committees (PAC) previously operated in the schools specifically addressing special education issues. CAICS augments the impact of PACs by providing their services to all students. The role of the PAC also includes communityagency liason. PACs consist of school, mental health, and community agency professionals. PACs receive family engagement, multicultural, and behavior management training. Focusing on cultural dynamics, PACs also help to identify school practices that trigger negative behaviors. Schooland communitybased PACs work with other professionals to ensure that culturally competent principles are integrated in practice.
Families use CAICS to identify and reduce home environment factors that reinforce undesirable behaviors. Recognition of the necessity of family and teacher collaboration has led to family workshops designed to compliment teacher training. Behavior management workshops are attended by both teachers and parents. Weekend retreats attended by parents, teachers and PACs are also held. The retreats facilitate accountability. They enhance caretakerchild communication and support collaborations to solve behavior problems. Additionally a six week literacy program designed to enhance family/child academic interactions is provided. As attendance incentives, CAICS provides refreshments and child care.
CAICS provides a schoolbased link with families to help them negotiate physical and cultural barriers to services, and to increase support for education in the home. Each family developes longterm objectives for children. Objectives consist of plans to reach specific shortterm goals. As a family neares completion of one goal, the plan for the next goal is developed. The CAICS liason assists each family in implementing its plan and overcoming unforseen barriers. Family activities include weekly meetings; appointment reminders; followup after missed appointments; benefits assistance; identifying and supporting enrollment in parent education programs; and assisting family advocacy at school meetings. This process and these activities empower families to gradually take more control of their lives.
CAICS also collaborates with community agencies and families
to address family specific needs. Developing family knowledge of
communitybased services is achieved through publishing the CAICS monthly newsletter
in English and Spanish; distributing the Community Resource Guide through experienced
PACs; and through interactions with community liasons who work with families to advocate
in schools and guide families to preferred community services.
|Families and Schools Together
(FAST), University of WisconsinMadison
1025 West Johnson St.
Madison, WI 53706
Contact person: Lynn McDonald
The FAST program has been in existence since 1988. It has been implemented in 29 states, the District of Columbia, and two foreign countries (Australia and Canada). The multifamily program has run in rural, urban, and suburban settings. OSEP recently funded the University of Wisconsin at Madison to demonstrate FASTs effectiveness with children and youth with or at risk of developing serious emotional disturbance.
The FAST program at UWMadison is currently identifying schools with which they can form partnerships. The program will serve the Madison, Wisconsin area in primarily suburban schools. The racial composition of prospective schools is primarily AfricanAmerican and Caucasian. The children in FAST do not have to be in special education classes or receiving Title I funds. FAST works as a partner with an identified childs school and family to strengthen the natural supports they both provide.
The focus of FAST is to prevent referral to more intensive services, and school failure through family empowerment and social networking. The program philosophy begins with the family providing the primary support and direction for children. The FAST program philosophy reflects the following values:
The program addresses family functioning, academic performance, substance abuse, and behavior problems using FAST teams. The team members are identified collaboratively by the referring school and UWMadison. The parent partner is paid a stipend, and must be a parent of a child with behavior problems. She or he serves as a family resource for other FAST team members that may not share the same perspective of cultural understanding regarding students and families in the program. The school partner is a member of the faculty or staff at the school housing the program. This partners role is to facilitate faculty relationships with family members and other program staff. The mental health partner, who may work at the school or for a community mental health agency serves as a resource for families navigating the service system, and other team members interacting with the child and family. The alcohol and other drugs (AODA) partner is an employee of a community service organization, and serves as a resource for substance abuse knowledge. The entire FAST team must reflect the diversity of participating families, and complete FAST training.
The FAST training program includes a two day training workshop that involves a discussion of FAST values and how they are integrated into the program. Team members roleplay family responsiveness, strengthsupporting behaviors, and strategies that highlight parent authority while simultaneously enhancing parenting techniques. Training also includes three site visits to assess program integrity, and to modify the program as according to local community culture and values. Certified FAST team members have signed a contract committing them to the FAST philosophy and values.
Families participate in the program after initial home visits during which the team invites them to a weekly meeting. The meeting is hosted by a randomly selected family. During each meeting children and parents work together using play techniques that reduce disruptive behaviors. Also during the meeting, either couples or two single parents spend time listening to each other to increase feelings of support. The FAST meetings provide an opportunity once a week for families to interact with the direct goal of enhancing cohesiveness and supports available from each other and members of other families.
The parent selfhelp groups usually develop as families
interact and begin to use each other for support. Selfhelp groups continue to
meet once a week even after graduation from the program. The families use FAST team
members as resources according to their own needs in these meetings. This is very
empowering for families, and serves to continue the growth that families begin to
experience in FAST, but only the families determine development direction and speed.
Mental Health Association
555 North Woodlawn, Suite 3105
Wichita, KS 67212
Contact person: Wayne Jennings
New Pathways is a program provided by the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas (MHASK) in collaboration with Wichita Public Schools to serve children ages 510 who have a serious emotional disturbance or who are at risk of receiving that diagnosis. The program serves the entire family including siblings. Adapting the FAST program, New Pathways is designed to strengthen and empower families to meet the needs of young children and prevent problems commonly experienced by these children in later years.
New Pathways has served 126 students and their families in seven elementary schools. The families come from low to lowermiddle socioeconomic backgrounds. Students served by the program are Latino, African American, Native American and Caucasian. When New Pathways completed its second year evaluation, team members and key stakeholders viewed the program as positive and promising. Evaluators noted improvements in family functioning and child selfesteem. In addition, parents reported that family members were closer, family relationships were warmer, and that there was greater clarity in rules and roles. The school system evidenced strong regard for the program and a desire to continue referring atrisk students.
The program goal is to prevent special education referrals and assist families already involved in the system through family cohesion activities and family empowerment. Up to ten families can participate in each eight week cycle of the program. Each session of the cycle is designed to increase family bonding, (through a shared evening meal and family activities) and develop supportive relationships among and between participants, as well as the service provision team (through support group and other activities). All interactions (both formal and informal) between the team and families are conducted in such a way as to empower and support the caregiver in their parenting role.
The program is presented by a collaborative team including a parent who serves as a cultural liaison; a school partner who assists in family/teacher relationships and acts as ambassador for the school; and a mental health partner who coordinates the team effort and concentrates on student and family needs. The mental health partner also participates in school teams as necessary to provide information and expertise on serious emotional disturbance and cultural issues as well as to advocate for the student and family.
Regular contact with the family by team members between meetings throughout the cycle is provided to assist families in identifying their needs and referring to appropriate services to meet those needs. The mental health partner also works directly with the classroom teacher and school administrative and support personnel to assist in developing ways of preventing and intervening with the childs problem behavior(s). This team members familiarity with SED, intervention methods, and the familys cultural specifics not only helps in meeting the immediate needs of the identified child, but can be infused into the classroom and school climate thus providing a more positive environment for all students.
The program cycle culminates in a major graduation ceremony
designed to recognize the families accomplishments and to set the stage for the
follow along portion of the program called Pathfinders. Participating families have
been empowered toward independence throughout the eight week program cycle and now take
the lead in planning monthly activities to bring groups back together to maintain
supportive relationships, maintain program contact, practice and polish skills developed
during the cycle, and have fun, positive family outings.
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