Written by Julie Higginbotham, Senior Case Coordinator, Mecklenburg County CDSA
We had another great Concept of the Week, or COW, here at the Mecklenburg County CDSA, and we wanted to share it with all of you to see what you think! We went a different way with this one to focus more on how we connect with families, and more specifically, recognize how everyone is feeling throughout the process of our visits. Here’s the prompt we sent out for discussion during team meetings last week:
What feelings? I don’t see any feelings?
What are some simple strategies to acknowledge feelings during visits with families?
To take it a step further, take a look at some thoughts from Robin McWilliams’ book, Working with Families of Young Children with Special Needs – Chapter 5, “Talking to Families,” gives some more information on pages 140-142 about how families may view it when they’re being vulnerable, as well as how we fit into that process as professionals. One quote jumped out at me when I read through this information. “Obviously, bringing emotions out in the open is a frightening proposition, both for the bearer of the emotions (the parents) as well as for the professionals who must respond. It presents a level of intimacy far beyond that found in most business relationships, but family-professional relationships remain incomplete unless this level of intimacy can be attained.”
Gracious – how impactful is that? Taking it all into consideration, what do you think? When working with families, how do you address families’ feelings, and what makes it easy or uncomfortable for you? Share your thoughts – we all learn from each others’ experiences, and this is a great place to take advantage of that opportunity!