Professional Development: an Investment in Staff and Our Families

As the waning days of beach-going are upon us everyone is getting ready to go back to school.  And while many have enjoyed the surf, sand, and sun, the Professional Development Team at Children’s Friend has been busy planning for the three weeks of training that we call our Summer Series.

The Summer Series is a time when we can deliberately focus on staff who, on a daily basis, are the key players in supporting the most vulnerable children and their families we serve. Each year the Summer Series allows us to highlight a new prevention effort in the state and to engage the staff who are most likely to benefit in the context of their work.

Last year we focused on the Department of Health’s Safe Infant Sleep initiative to reduce infant deaths related to unsafe sleep practices.  This year we are partnering with RI SBIRT Center at the RI College School of Social Work to help our staff identify the effects of unhealthy and unsafe alcohol and drug use among their clients.

SBIRT, or Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment, are a set of tools used in many settings that provides excellent opportunities for early intervention with at-risk substance users; and for intervention for persons with substance use disorders.  Our staff is uniquely positioned to use the SBIRT tools since we see our families with a frequency unlike other services the family may receive. Additionally, our staff already have a common understanding of how universal screenings like this benefit not only the client by the community.

So, while the days of summer are fast approaching their end, we of the Children’s Friend Professional Development team continue our commitment to supporting staff to do their best work, for each of our families and for each other.