Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Applications for NYSPEP Mini-Grants Now Available

2016-2017 NYSPEP Mini-Grants Are Here!

The New York State Parenting Education Partnership (NYSPEP), through funding from the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH), is once again pleased to offer NYSPEP Mini-grants.

A limited number of grants, of up to $2,000 each, will be awarded to service providers in New York for the purpose of increasing access and/or reducing barriers to participate in evidence based and promising parenting education programs that support parents and primary caregivers of children in their role.

Awardees will also be eligible to present a poster session at the 2018 New York State Child Abuse Prevention Conference, slated to be held in the Capital District in the Spring.

In awarding these grants, NYSPEP is interested in how the funds will increase access and/or decrease barriers to participate in quality parenting education programs that promote one or more of the five Strengthening Families Protective Factors. NYSPEP is also interested in evidence that the funded program has a positive impact on parents' lives. Mini-grant funds are expected to be used with other funding or in collaborative work to support sustainability.

Please visit www.nyspep.org/mini-grants where you can find:
  • 2016 Mini-Grant Application (fillable form*)
  • 2016-2017 Reporting Template Sample
  • Additional information including previous awardees
At least one grant will be awarded in each of the five OMH regions, if applications that meet eligibility and application requirements are received from each region. Applications received by 5:00 PM, Friday, October 14, 2016 are eligible for consideration. 

Selected applicants will be notified by email on November 23, 2016 with awards to follow by postal mail. The expenditure period starts December 1, 2016 and ends September 30, 2017. Reports are due October 15, 2017.

If you have a question, please email: nyspep@nyspep.org with the subject line: Mini-Grant Question.

Timeline Reminder for 2015-2016 Awardees

For those who received a mini-grant during the previous award cycle for 2015-2016, please note the important dates below.
  • Expenditure Period Ends: September 30, 2016
  • Reporting Template Due: October 31, 2016
2016-2017 Applicants can download and type directly into the fillable application form. Toggle back and forth between fields using the "tab" key to advance or the "shift" + "tab" keys to return to the previous field. Save the completed application file and email as an attachment to: nyspep@nyspep.org with the subject line: 2016 MG APP. Options to submit by fax or postal mail appear on the application form.

Monday, August 29, 2016

9/12 - SUNY Albany School of Social Welfare Presents Two Back-to-Back Workshops

On Monday, September 12, UAlbany's Continuing Education program presents two workshops by Charles Appelstein, MSW, an experienced national trainer and youth care specialist who has worked in child welfare for over 25 years.

"The Glass Ain't Half Full. Heck It's Overflowing!" Understanding & Responding to Kids & Families with Emotional & Behavioral Challenges Using a Positive, Trauma-Informed, Strength-Based Approach

8:30 AM - 12:30 PM. This workshop centers on the strength-based approach and incorporating positivity and creative cognitive behavioral strategies into individual practice with youths. 

"Use the Force, Luke!" Managing Number One, First & Staying Motivated to Make a Difference

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM. This workshop focuses on difficulties one faces when working with at-risk populations and provides strategies for self-management.

For more information and to register, please visit http://tiny.cc/UAlbanySSWCE

Monday, July 18, 2016

Online Course on Responding to ACEs Across the Lifespan

Restorative Integral Support for Post-Trauma Wellness: Responding to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Across the Lifespan 

Accumulated adversity and trauma in childhood is strongly associated with mental health, substance abuse, serious health problems, and homelessness. These interconnected concerns call for a comprehensive approach to helping people. The Restorative Integral Support (RIS) model guides the selection of interventions and services that can be combined within a flexible framework. Ideally, the whole community would be engaged in ACE Response

This free asynchronous online course was developed by Heather Larkin, Ph.D., and her team at the University of Albany. While designed for social service providers and program directors, this course can be useful for other family support providers. Continuing Education Units are optional and available for a fee at the conclusion of the course.

This training addresses intervention selection, leadership, policies, and organizational culture with an emphasis on provider self-care. The modules offer additional resources such as videos, webinars and articles. Complete the quizzes to advance to subsequent modules and accumulate credits towards optional continuing education hours.


  • Learn how research informs social work programs and practice that respond to the adversity and trauma characteristics / backgrounds of those served 
  • Describe how “Restorative Integral Support” (RIS) applies research to assist families in achieving wellness after trauma and the potential for resilience and recovery 
  • Identify and apply key elements of RIS to assessment and post-trauma wellness practice and program planning 
  • Learn about emerging practices for supporting post-trauma wellness: the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Integrative Restoration (iRest), Somatic Experiencing (SE), and Mindfulness Meditation (MM)
  • Learn how to identify and increase opportunities for interagency collaboration, including provision of mutual support among agency leaders with coordinated advocacy efforts and strengthening knowledge of program and community services
  • Identify and describe how your own self-care, relationship-building and role modeling skills contribute to a culture of recovery and wellness in your agency or community as well as specific ways that prevention of vicarious traumatization supports your ability to live up to the National Association of Social Workers’ ethical principles 

Module 1: ACE Overview explores the ACE Study, different ACE categories, prevalence of ACEs and their impact on society, and efforts to reduce and prevent them. 

Module 2: ACEs, Toxic Stress, and Consequences further explores ACEs, the neurobiology of early life toxic stress, and some of the long-term consequences of high ACE Scores.

Module 3: ACEs and Service Implications explains how and why service delivery systems are being transformed to address ACEs and the characteristics of an ACE-informed program.

Module 4: Resilience and Recovery covers resilience, protective factors, post-traumatic growth, and ways to support resilience and recovery.

Module 5: Self-care and Vicarious Trauma teaches you to stop, breathe, reflect, and apply information from previous modules to yourself while emphasizing how self-care is key to living well and effectively and ethically helping others.

Module 6: RIS Overview builds on previous modules, highlighting how implementation of RIS includes a culture of recovery helping to break ACE trajectory.

Module 7: RISing Program Leaders reveals what supports a RISing leader and how RIS guides program development.

Module 8: Evidence-Supported Interventions (ESI) overviews and offers examples of ESIs and examines how RIS guides their use.

Module 9: Emerging Practices offers examples of emerging practices through a RIS lens. 

Module 10: Community Examples of Holistic ACE Response illustrates community movements that promote holistic ACE Response, stressing how you can contribute to, and/or start, community efforts to reduce and prevent ACEs. 

Module 11: ACEs and Homelessness discloses the relationship between ACEs and homelessness and reviews ACE-informed homelessness programs that use the RIS model. 

Module 12: ACEs and Healthcare justifies how and why healthcare providers would respond to ACEs and clarifies some of the challenges faced by healthcare providers engaging in ACE Response efforts.

Module 13: Course Review and Applications demonstrates identifying RIS elements in real world program examples

Online Registration Instructions 

  1. Create an account at www.ualbanymoodle.net/login/index.php 
  2. Click the confirmation link that will be sent to you in order to automatically log into the University at Albany Moodle site 
  3. Scroll down to “Course Categories”
  4. Click the “School of Social Welfare” folder
  5. Click the course title
  6. On the subsequent page, look for the section titled “Administration” and click “Enroll me in the course”
  7. Scroll down to select the blue “Enroll me” button. 
The course may be stopped and returned to at any time. 

QUESTIONS? Please email sswceu@albany.edu 

CEU APPLICANTS: If you’re applying for CEUs at the end of the course, you’ll receive 12 Self-Study CE hours when you have successfully completed all course module content and quizzes, and have paid the associated fee ($180 for NYS social workers -or- $90 for UAlbany SSW field instructors). Please email sswceu@albany.edu after you’ve completed payment to request a certificate by email. The University at Albany, School of Social Welfare is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

New York State Department of Health: Preventing Zika Virus Infection in Pregnant Women

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has taken actions to detect and prevent Zika virus infection in pregnant women. 

Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito and has been known to spread through sexual transmission as well.
The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after onset and many people may not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus.

Infection with Zika virus during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects and has been linked to problems in infants, including eye defects, hearing loss, and impaired growth. For these reasons, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NYSDOH recommend special precautions for pregnant women.

To date, all cases of Zika virus detected within the continental United States, including New York, have been travel associated. Therefore, women who are pregnant should not travel to areas of the world with Zika virus transmission. However, if a pregnant woman or her male partner must travel to one of these areas, precautions should be taken to prevent Zika virus transmission through mosquito bites and sexual transmission.

Below are links to the poster (appearing above) that conveys this message, and is intended to serve as an educational tool that may be used to educate pregnant women regarding potential exposure to Zika virus and the potential risk of infection for her unborn baby.

ENGLISH KNOW ZIKA VIRUS POSTER: www.health.ny.gov/publications/13010.pdf

SPANISH KNOW ZIKA VIRUS POSTER: www.health.ny.gov/publications/13011.pdf

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Please visit www.health.ny.gov/diseases/zika_virus/pregnant.htm

Monday, June 20, 2016

Reflections on the Marshmallow Experiment

By Donna Morrison, Deputy Director, The Guidance Center of Westchester 

July 4th starts the official “s’mores” season in my family...you know the roasted marshmallow on top of a chocolate bar and graham cracker...yumminess? Then at a recent staff development training I had the opportunity to watch once again the “Marshmallow Experiment” video.

During the 1960s a classic longitudinal study was started by Michael Mischel at Stanford University. It has since become known as “The Marshmallow Experiment”. You can watch the original experiment as well as more recent replications on the internet. Basically the researcher presented two options to hungry four year‐old children. They could have one marshmallow right away or get two marshmallows fifteen minutes later when the researcher returned after “running an errand” as long as they didn’t eat the first one. One third of the children opted for one marshmallow. (Mischel, Walter; Ebbesen, Ebbe B. October 1970). 

I have four grown children of my own. I thought about how different they each are and how perhaps they would have completed the “Marshmallow Experiment” when they were four; 

My oldest was the “perfect child” and followed directions to the littlest detail. She lived to please and couldn’t tolerate any one being unhappy with her. She would have sat very patiently singing a song to herself while waiting happily for her second marshmallow to arrive. When she got it she would eat one and save one for later! Some of the videos of the “experiments” had two children in the room at once. My twins were problem solvers and worked together. They were also a bit “active” so I could see them wiggling, tapping the table, and wrestling with each other while they waited. They would probably agree to share one of the marshmallows and eat half each, when the other got his second marshmallow because he “waited” he would share it with his twin so they both would get one and a half! 

My youngest was a tester and a tornado! She had a questioning spirit and always asked “Why and How come!” She wanted it all, at all times! I could see her getting off her chair the minute the researcher turned to go to the door. She would grab the marshmallow, pop it in her mouth, and slip out the door behind the researcher, at which time she would follow her to the marshmallow stash, wait for the researcher to leave and then help herself to a full bag!

After several years they did a follow up of the original participants who then graduated from high‐school. Mischel found that the children who waited (for the second marshmallow) now possessed the habits of successful people (Beachman, 2009). They were positive, self‐ motivated, and persistent in their pursuit of goals (Beachman, 2009). These habits point to successful marriages, higher incomes, and better health. The study also showed that the participants who did not wait earned lower SAT scores, were indecisive, less confident, and stubborn; all predictors of unstable marriages, low incomes, and poor health (Beachman, 2009).

Self‐control in the early years is expressed by the ability to trust adults, internalize rules, delay gratification, control angry impulses, find internal ways to be more patient despite frustrations, empathize with others’ feelings, take turns, and find ways to cheer up when feeling sad (Honig & Lansburgh, 1991). Young children are expected to regulate their behavior and emotions. They are expected to “delay, defer, and accept substitutions without becoming aggressive or disorganized by frustration, and [to] cope with arousal, whether due to environmental challenge or fatigue” (Bronson, 2000 p. 71). Well, those are some high expectations!

Going back to my kids and reading about the long term outcomes, one would expect at least one of my kids to be in a low paying job, an unstable marriage, or at the very least stubborn and indecisive! Two of my four children have masters’ degrees, one is completing their master’s degree and one has two years of college and very successful in their chosen career. The youngest who would have eaten the marshmallow quickly, has multiple teaching certifications and has taught at the college level! 

Why don’t they follow the expected results? Maybe my kids are unique (I like to think they are!)? But more likely they started internalizing the boundaries and self ‐regulation skills they were learning at home and their quality Early Childhood Programs. Perhaps because they grew up with consequences for both their good, and not so good, behaviors? Perhaps they were held responsible for their behaviors? Perhaps when they were not so good I was able to acknowledge and not deny their behaviors? I know I wasn’t a perfect parent but I also know I would have eaten the marshmallow!

Friday, May 20, 2016

NYSPEP Professional Development Webinar Series to Address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

New York State Parenting Education Partnership (NYSPEP), with support from the New York State Office of Mental Health and New York's Greater Capital Region Healthy Environments And Relationships That Support (HEARTS) Initiative out of University at Albany, along with Prevent Child Abuse New York, is pleased to offer an exclusive series of professional development webinars for parenting educators and family-support providers.

Presenter: Heather Larkin, Ph.D.
Heather Larkin, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare, Director of the National Center for Excellence in Homeless Services, and Project Director of the HEARTS Initiative, will present the series.

This educational audio-visual series will address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Focused topics offer flexibility to attend any of the webinars independently from the series. Pick and choose which webinars you want to attend, or register to attend the entire series. Following each presentation, registrants will have an opportunity to present questions.

Below are five webinars offered in the series. Please register for each webinar you would like to attend. Registrants will have an opportunity to complete a brief survey. A link to the pre-webinar survey will be provided in the automated registration confirmation email, which only needs to be completed once for any or all of the webinars in the series.

Please visit www.nyspep.org/webinars to access links to previously recorded webinars, as they become available on the website. 

1.) Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE): Overview and Implications

Wednesday, June 01 at 12 pm EST

Click Here to Register Now

This 90-minute webinar will review research findings on adverse childhood experiences (ACE), starting with the original ACE Study as well as extensions of the ACE Study. Distinctions between adversity and trauma will be addressed. We will present findings, including the health and social consequences of accumulated adversity and trauma, and discuss implications for ACE‐informed policies and programs.

2.) ACE Response: Introduction to the Restorative Integral Support (RIS) Model

Wednesday, June 15 at 12 pm EST

Click Here to Register Now

Following a review of ACE research findings, this 90-minute webinar will provide a framework for ACE Response. The Restorative Integral Support (RIS) model is presented with key elements of ACE‐informed care.

3.) Supporting Parents: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and Responding to the Caregiver

Wednesday, July 13 at 12 pm EST

Click Here to Register Now

Following a review of ACE research, this 90-minute webinar applies the RIS model for ACE response specifically to supporting parents / primary caregivers and breaking intergenerational cycles of ACEs.

4.) ACE Response: RIS Model Application for Community Capacity Building 

Tuesday, July 19 at 12 pm EST

Click Here to Register Now

Following a review of ACE research, this 90-minute webinar applies the RIS model for ACE response specifically to community capacity building, with an emphasis on the power of social networks and peer supports.

5.) Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) & Substance Abuse Treatment Implications: Developing ACE‐Informed Substance Abuse Programs 

Tuesday, August 09 at 12 pm EST

Click Here to Register Now

Following a review of ACE research and implications, this 90-minute webinar focuses on breaking the trajectory from accumulated adversity and trauma to substance abuse problems, as well as the development of ACE‐informed substance abuse treatment programs.

UPDATE! Social Work CEUs are available for the series. The University at Albany School of Social Welfare Continuing Education program is offering 6.25 CE hours for those who complete all 5 of the NYSPEP Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) webinar series in full. A CEU registration link will be sent after the final webinar in the series concludes. There is no cost to attend the webinars. The cost for CEUs is $46.25. 

To qualify, please ensure you: 

  1. Register for each webinar in the series using the same name and email address 
  2. Log-in to each webinar using your unique join link and fully attend each live webinar in the series 
  3. Complete the pre-webinar survey and the FINAL post-webinar survey at the conclusion of the series using the same identifier (initials and date of birth). NOTE: The instructions have been modified: Moving forward, please ONLY complete the final post-webinar survey at the conclusion of the final webinar in the series, which will evaluate all five webinars. 
  4. Retain all copies of the automated "thank you for attending" emails 
Kindly note, webinar activity reports will also be reviewed. Live attendance is required. CEUs cannot be given for recordings or partial attendance. Please contact sswceu@albany.edu with questions about CEUs. 

HEARTS agencies only: When 10 or more staff sign up for continuing education, each may receive 20% Off the CEU cost. To receive this discount, you must provide all the names to Heather Larkin - hlarkin@albany.edu - by Tuesday, July 19. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

NYSPEP Announces Our 2016 Member Meeting

Please join the New York State Parenting Education Partnership (NYSPEP) on Monday, June 6 from 10 AM to 3 PM for Resiliency & Relationships: The Nature of Nurturing presenting Haji Shearer. 

REGISTER NOW (Deadline 5/26): www.nyspep.org/member-meeting 

All professionals who support parents and primary caregivers of children are welcome to attend.