Storyteller Children’s Center, a preschool for homeless and at-risk children, will host a three-day training seminar with the nationally recognized Brazelton Touchpoints Center for the Storyteller staff and its partners in the community.
Founded by Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, a well-known and celebrated pediatrician, Touchpoints is a powerful approach to child development rooted in more than 60 years of practice and research, which helps service providers better support the families they serve.
Storyteller serves vulnerable children and families who have suffered risk factors such as domestic violence, parental substance abuse, poverty, developmental delays and behavioral problems. To make a meaningful impact in their lives, teachers must be well equipped to address the critical issues that these families face and be able to effectively communicate with them.
“The Touchpoints framework is a perfect fit for our organization,” Storyteller Executive Director Terri Allison said. “Touchpoints focuses on the relationship between the service providers and the parents, knowing that one of the most effective ways to improve the lives of children is to successfully engage their parents.”
Touchpoints training specifically helps early childhood educators identify and anticipate spurts and regressions in a child’s development, as this often increases anxiety in parents.
“If we can prepare families to expect these regressions and to understand that they are all a part of normal childhood development, parents can learn to feel less stressed and more confident in their parenting abilities,” Allison said. “This can be especially crucial for at-risk families that are already feeling weary dealing with homelessness, food insecurity, volatile home situations or other challenging issues.”
To be held next Monday through Wednesday, the seminar will include 21 hours of onsite training, comprised of role playing and applied problem solving, followed by six months of continued education and mentorship to ensure what is learned in the training is fully integrated into practice. Storyteller has invited staff from partner agencies such as CALM, THRIVE Westside and Transition House to attend as well.
Once this training is complete, Storyteller will explore future steps in becoming an official Touchpoints site, which would allow Storyteller staff to train others in the community on Touchpoints.
For more information about Storyteller or this training, call 805.682.9585.
— Melissa Walker is the director of development for the Storyteller Children’s Center.