Family Vistas® Training is Over the Rainbow
28 July 2015
|Left to Right: Sharon Cantrell (Tin Man), Glenda Peters (Glinda the Good Witch), Stan Holley (Cowardly Lion), Donna Anderson (Dorothy) and Ann Boyd (Scarecrow)
Alabama MENTOR’s program service coordinators, Family Vistas® team leads and therapists went over the rainbow with a Wizard of Oz themed presentation for their two-day training in March 2015. The training was part of Alabama MENTOR’s comprehensive, ongoing training curriculum, and the unique theme demonstrates staff’s commitment to finding unique and interesting ways of imparting information. The 53 staff members in attendance are the people who work most closely with the youth we serve and their Mentors. They enthusiastically participated in a range of educational and team building exercises, demonstrating both their skills and their shared commitment to helping the children and families we serve.
“It’s inspiring to see the expertise and dedication our team brings to their work,” said Stanley Holley, quality improvement analyst. “I’m proud of the depth and breadth of our staff.”
Staff used the Wizard of Oz during training as an analogy to foster care and our trauma-informed Therapeutic Foster Care model, Family Vistas®. Dorothy, a child in kinship foster care with her Auntie Em, was caught up in a tornado, a traumatic situation beyond her control that transported her to a strange place where she knew nothing and no one. While in Oz, she struggled and experienced many emotional and behavioral challenges, but the friends she made in Oz helped her on her journey back to Auntie Em. By following the yellow brick road—her Individual Mentor Assessment and Planning Process (IMAPP) treatment plan—Dorothy overcame the challenges she faced and was eventually reunited with her family. The educational, themed training and team building provided inspiration, invigoration, and further knowledge for those in attendance.
In addition to integrating an innovative theme in the training, Alabama MENTOR also utilized dance therapy. Having held previous successful trainings with Alabama MENTOR, a dance therapist from the Mobile Altapoint mental health treatment facility volunteered her time and talents to teach the healing therapeutic power of dance, rhythm, repetition and regulation to staff. Movement helps people identify their emotions and share them with each other. The application of dance therapy in the training was a big hit.
“Sharon Cantrell, an area director, organized this fun and engaging training,” said Stanley. “Her hard work and dedication to the continuing education of our staff enhances our training efforts. This innovative program allowed us the opportunity to train in a fun and relaxing environment. We left the event more knowledgeable and even more connected to our mission.”