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By: Jason Jowers, MS, MFT

On October 1st and 7th 2020, OneOp hosted two recent webinars called “Healthy Moms, Happy Babies I: Supporting Staff to Help Families Remotely” and “Healthy Moms, Happy Babies II: Virtually Supporting Parents Experiencing Domestic Abuse.” These webinars were, in part, to showcase some of the work being done at Futures Without Violence, a national non-profit organization that has been, for the past 30 years, providing groundbreaking programs, policies, and campaigns that empower individuals and organizations working to end violence against women and children around the world. 

We were joined in these webinars by Rebecca Levenson, a consultant and former Senior Policy Analyst for Futures Without Violence. She shares her expertise in working extensively within primary care, adolescent, reproductive and perinatal health within federal and state programs, community clinics, FQHCs (Federally Qualified Health Centers), and home visitation programs for the past 22 years.

October 1st Part 1 Webinar Highlights

Looking back at this first webinar, we wanted to share some of the highlights from this session particularly beneficial for service providers working with children and families. This webinar sheds light on the importance of being aware of possible trauma occurring in the home and how to help your clients, and yourself, stay resilient. Most importantly, it’s about finding ways to help when you are meeting with clients remotely via technology currently due to the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as opposed to being able to do in-person in-home visitations.

  • This webinar began with Rebecca Levenson introducing herself and sharing how she came to be involved in working for home visitation programs. She then went on to talk about the ongoing pandemic and how in-home visitation with clients has shifted to online or remote platforms. 
  • Rebecca explained the power of home visitation and how home visitors can be a lifeline for families to reach out and connect. She explained her healing-centered approach and how to understand trauma through healing-centered engagement.
  • She then went on to talk about a theory of change called the process of attunement. Attunement is all about connecting with clients and seeing the world through their eyes, especially in regard to trauma. Attunement to self is also very important to realize when you need to implement some self-care and pay attention to your own feelings in order to be better to help your clients.
  • Rebecca then explains mindful self-regulation, where you help to calm yourself during stressful situations or when facing secondary trauma from working with your clients. This includes strategies such as breathing techniques, grounding yourself, self-talk, and using imagery to self-regulate your emotions.
  • She then finishes up by talking about organizational self-care within working with your coworkers and building resilience as a team. Coworkers and supervisors can be a place of respite when needing help to stay resilient when working with trauma.

October 7th Part 2 Webinar Highlights

The next webinar continued the theme of self-care and promoting resilience for your clients, but specifically looked at assessing domestic violence/intimate partner violence instances in-home/online visitations. This includes domestic violence possibly occurring in the homes of your clients, what to do about it, and how to help them. 

  • This webinar began with why it’s important to know about domestic violence and how common it actually is. This includes data showing how prevalent DV and IPV are in various populations.
  • Also shared were statistics on how DV affects birth rates, pregnancy risks, homicide, and suicide rates. This also included the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse in domestic violence situations.
  • Identification and assessment of DV include the use of safety cards, which can be used with clients who might be afraid to speak up about the topic of DV and their own situations.
  • Rebecca then explained the CUES model, which is a trauma-informed intervention that can build safety, set up check-ins between client and provider, and provide education about domestic violence.
  • Disclosure of DV is not the goal but instead to give the client all the help and lifelines needed to support themselves.
  • Rebecca wrapped up by reiterating the importance of self-care for clinicians and providers when working with families experiencing domestic violence and intimate partner violence.

Archived Viewing and CE Credit Info

If you happened to miss these live webinars, the archived recordings are available on the event pages. Get access to the October 1st webinar here and the October 7th webinar here. Free Continuing Education Credits for these events are still available for licensed social workers, professional counselors, case managers, certified family life educators, and family therapists. These CE credits will be available to obtain through October 2022.