On Wednesday the MFLN Military Caregiving concentration hosted their monthly webinar on ‘Empowering Those We Help: Building Trust and Credibility’ to military helping professionals that may be working with family caregivers of wounded service members and those caring for someone with special needs.
The professional development training was more of a “back to basics” guide that focused on principles to effective services on empowering families and increasing resilience, while recognizing that families have expert-level knowledge regarding their own experiences and key insight into the needs of their loved one.
Upon completion of the webinar, presenter Alicia Cassels, Extension Professor from West Virginia University, provided key takeaways for professionals to think about as they go forth in their work with military families. As you read the following key takeaways, think about how these may affect your work experience. Do these represent your current work environment or are there areas for improvement?
- Effective service provision empowers families and helps increase resilience.
- Effective service providers recognize that families have expert-level knowledge regarding their own experiences and key insight into the needs of their loved ones.
- Communication styles, family culture, base culture, special needs and other factors impact family decisions to seek support. Professional skills, personal attributes and experiences influence provider interactions with families.
- It is important for providers to learn as much as possible about the cultures that they serve.
- Effective helping professionals convey key characteristics when collaborating with families. These characteristics include: unbiased, emotionally mature, culturally competent, non-judgmental, accepting, empathetic, objective and empowering.
- Comprehensive needs assessments should be conducted prior to goal setting and should identify family strengths and needs.
- Periodic reviews of goals should be conducted in order to address changing family needs and priorities.
- Providers are ideally seen as hubs for accurate information, family support and needs-based referrals.
- Collaborative working relationships with organizations that serve your population will increase your capacity to help families access necessary services.
- It is important to assist families in adjusting expectations regarding services based on knowledge of typical timelines and experiences.
If you missed Wednesday’s MFLNMC webinar there is still time to watch the recording and receive continuing education credit or a certificate of completion for training hours. Simply go to, ‘Empowering Those We Help: Building Trust and Credibility’ to learn more.
This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on August 21, 2015.