What is the best way to improve the lives of children? Engage more effectively with their parents. During the past three years, United Way Success By 6 has been doing just that by offering Touchpoints training, a parent education program developed by Dr. T. Berry Brazelton.
“The Touchpoints training helped me provide solutions to the mother of a two-year-old whose child cried every time she was left at school,” said Nadine Rueb, Family Service Coordinator of MainSpring Schools. “The mother made a few simple adjustments such as extending the child’s sleep schedule, reading books to help her child understand feelings of separation anxiety, and giving her child a stuffed comfort animal. Within two weeks, the child was doing much better. The mother was also greatly relieved to know this was all part of her child’s normal growth and development.”
Early childhood professionals engaged
in a Touchpoints training session.
In the training, child care providers and early childhood professionals learn how to enhance parenting skills to help parents identify, expect and understand the stages of normal child development. Armed with this knowledge, parents are less likely to become frustrated and more able to enjoy and support their children.
United Way Capital Area subsidizes qualified early childhood professionals to become trainers and leaders in the Touchpoints program. In exchange, each trainer agrees to train others. To date, UWCA has sponsored seven trainers, who in turn have trained 80 individuals from more than a dozen early childhood agencies.
The Touchpoints program provides a vehicle for Success By 6 to implement several priority strategies, including parent education, training for professionals, and linkages with health care providers. Members of the volunteer leadership team include: Isabel Clark, State of Texas; Laura Koenig, Family Connections; Kathy Scherer, psychologist and founder of InConnection; Marsha Caven, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School; Lina Hinojosa, Workforce Solutions; and Mary Sondgeroth, Success By 6. Mary and Marsha, the newest members of the team, were certified in December thanks to a generous grant from Dell.
United Way plans to offer Touchpoints training in the spring for healthcare professionals, plus a future training for child care centers. To learn more about the Touchpoints Approach™, contact Rachel Colombana.