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Category : Youth

Providing Emotional Support to Children After a Disaster
Children play with a parachute at Camp Noah.Recent hurricanes such as Harvey, Irma, and Maria have presented stark images of the terrible damage that can come from natural disasters. These disasters are often followed by a national outpouring of much-needed resources and support, to help those impacted meet their immediate needs for food, drinking water, safe shelter, and other necessities. While these resources are clearly essential, another aspect of disaster recovery also warrants attention – the emotional well-being of the individuals, families, and communities. Experiencing a disaster first-hand can be extremely traumatic. Stress and anxiety can also result from hearing about losses experienced by others, the ongoing challenges of rebuilding homes and communities, and watching media coverage of these events. For some people, feelings of stress or anxiety may be mild and subside quickly, but for...
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Youth Participatory Evaluation: How to Start?
For the Youth Leadership Initiative, evaluation is one of the many ways that they meaningfully engage youth in their program. By practicing Youth Participatory Evaluation (YPE), evaluation is no longer just a task on their to-do list, it is a way for youth and adults to collaboratively assess and guide the program.   The Youth Leadership Initiative has practiced YPE for almost five years. They believe in YPE because they’ve witnessed its benefits for youth, adults, and their program. Other researchers have also documented YPE’s benefits for youth (such as improved social competencies and increased self-confidence), for adults (such as increased self-efficacy and increased sense of belonging), and for programs (such as democratization of knowledge and balancing power between adults and youth).1   After years of being asked...
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Supporting Families Through Parenting Groups
Parenting can be rewarding, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. In fact, it’s the toughest job you’ll never get paid to do. That’s especially true when families are struggling with homelessness, mental illness, unemployment, poverty, special needs and legal concerns, all of which disparately affect families from cultural and ethnic minorities. One of the ways that we can support families as they work to find stable lives is through resources that can help parents succeed. Parenting groups – and the natural networks of peers that form when parents learn and grow together – can be an important source of support and learning. With this in mind, the Kofi Services team at Wilder recently coordinated a parenting group with funding from the Ramsey County Community...
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Hello, Fellows: Meet Chong Lee
​Wilder employees have the opportunity to apply for Kingston Fellowships, an honor awarded annually based on accomplishments, commitment to human services and leadership potential. In March 2016, Wilder awarded fellowships to 11 employees spanning a variety of professional backgrounds. The fellowships help these professionals to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and develop innovative programs to address community concerns. In “Hello, Fellows,” we introduce the 2016 Kingston Fellows. This week, we catch up with Chong Lee. What is your role at Wilder? I’m a program manager for the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood. I manage our partnerships. I manage contract agreements and provide logistical supports to partner programs. One of the roles that the Promise Neighborhood plays in all of our partnerships is support for infrastructure and capacity building....
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​​Is Play Therapy Right for Your Child?
Johnny just started first grade this fall. Kindergarten went well, but so far this year, Johnny’s parents have received five calls home about Johnny being aggressive with other children, not following adult directions and not sitting still. When asked what is upsetting him, Johnny says “I don’t know” or “I was mad.” After struggling to help their son’s behavior, Johnny’s parents make the difficult decision to pursue therapy for him. Then comes another challenge: What kind of therapy? The number of options can feel overwhelming. In this blog post, I hope to make that decision easier by using Johnny as an example to provide information about experiential play therapy, a type of therapy that I practice in the Wilder Foundation's Community Mental Health and Wellness Services....
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"Though We Are Small, We Try Hard": Centering Youth Voices Through Collaboration
Wilder’s Community Initiatives team works alongside communities to address complex challenges involving our systems, organizations, communities and individuals. Recently, our team committed ourselves to ensuring that all of our work advances racial equity. Recognizing that this work must be done intergenerationally in order to be relevant and sustainable, we wanted to disrupt our ageist patterns of thinking and organizing by engaging the thoughts, experiences, feelings, and voices of young people first. They are not just the leaders of tomorrow, but are also powerful leaders and co-creators of transformative change today.    Take A Moment: What does equity mean to you? In what ways is it different than equality? What would an equitable world look like, feel like, and include? What would it take to get there?   We didn’t have all...
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​Hello, Fellows: Meet Evette Farley
Wilder employees have the opportunity to apply for Kingston Fellowships, an honor awarded annually based on accomplishments, commitment to human services and leadership potential. In March 2016, Wilder awarded fellowships to 11 employees spanning a variety of professional backgrounds. The fellowships help these professionals to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and develop innovative programs to address community concerns. In Hello, Fellows, we introduce the 2016 Kingston Fellows. This week, we catch up with Evette Farley. What is your role at Wilder? I am a Kofi therapist providing school-based mental health services and also in-home family therapy. We provide case management when needed and offer consultations with school staff about mental health.   For me, an example of what’s key to Kofi Services is our focus on...
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3 Ways to Use Speaking for Ourselves Data in Your Work
The recently completed Speaking for Ourselves study provides up-to-date data about the experiences of immigrants and refugees who live in Hennepin and Ramsey counties. The community-wide assessment highlights the needs, strengths, and service gaps among Hmong, Karen, Latino, Liberian, and Somali populations. The study aims to provide information to change perceptions, improve public policies, and provide better services. I’ve outlined three ways you can use the data to help inform your work. These are just examples – the Speaking for Ourselves data and reports may be useful in any situation in which background or information is needed about one of the participating cultural communities. Example 1: Provide context A local news outlet is doing a story about behavioral health needs within the Karen community.   There are two...
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Hello, Fellows: Meet Bobby Morrow
The Kingston Fellowship is an honor awarded to Wilder employees annually from the Kingston Fellowship named endowment fund established with a lead gift from retired Wilder President Tom Kingston and his wife Mary, and contributed to by many friends of the Wilder Foundation. In March 2016, Wilder awarded fellowships to 11 employees spanning a variety of professional backgrounds. The fellowships help these professionals to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and develop innovative programs to address community concerns. "In Hello, Fellows," we introduce the 2016 Kingston Fellows. This week, we catch up with Bobby Morrow. What is your role at Wilder? When I started at Wilder I worked with children in our Family Supportive Housing Services. Now I’m a family case manager for Wilder’s rapid rehousing program, the...
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5 Things About Youth Who Have Had an Incarcerated Parent
1 in 6 Minnesota youth has experienced parental incarceration​If you work with youth in Minnesota, it’s likely you are working with people who have been affected by parental incarceration, even if you do not realize it. Data from the 2013 Minnesota Student Survey reveal some important considerations about youth who have had a parent in jail or prison. Here are five things you should know:   It’s more common than you may think.In Minnesota, at least 1 in 6 youth are affected by parental incarceration. National data show 5 million - or 1 in 14 youth - are affected by parental incarceration (National Children's Study). There are more youth who have experienced the incarceration of their parent than the number of youth who have juvenile diabetes and autism combined.  A disproportionate number of youth of color...
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Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, 451 Lexington Parkway North, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104 Phone: 651-280-2000
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