From December 2020 through May 2021, the Department of Developmental Services sponsored two Early Start webinar series. The Telepractice Series focused on effectively engaging families in early intervention activities using remote and alternative methods for service delivery, necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Wellness, Mental Health, and Resilience Series concentrated on strategies for preventing, recognizing, and addressing stressors for children, families, and professionals, especially stressors arising from the pandemic. The video version of the webinars is available with the permission of the lead presenters.
2021 Telepractice Webinars
Presenter: Naomi Younggren, PhD, Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center
Panel: Edyth Gallardo (Inland RC),
Elena Sanchez (Parents Place FRC),
Marion Springett (Saddleback Valley USD),
Beth Tucker (Parent Infant Programs)
In this webinar, recorded on February 9, 2021, Dr. Naomi Younggren, from the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center, examines tools, approaches, principles, and practices for remote assessment. Dr. Younggren’s presentation addresses the importance of and requirements around assessment; considerations related to choosing and using assessment tools; strategies for conducting authentic assessment, connecting with families, and collecting data; and working with parents as assessment partners. Dr. Younggren was joined by a panel of Early Start field partners to discuss the perks, problems, and possibilities they’ve experienced or anticipated for conducting the assessment process ‘remotely.’
Presenters: Katie Hornberger, Disability Rights California
Erin Sullivan-Pico, Department of Managed Health Care
Diana Maffei, Warmline Family Resource Center
In this webinar, recorded on April 29, 2021, experts in the areas of insurance, access, and family support covered information concerning the use of public or private insurance for early intervention services provided remotely. Presenters discussed laws and policies governing public and private insurance reimbursement for tele-intervention, as well as strategies for supporting families in accessing insurance for remote Early Start services.
Presenters: Joy Garcia, Shasta County Office of Education
Tawnya Roesner, Shasta County Office of Education
Elena Bramble, Rowell Family Empowerment
Building and sustaining a strong, engaged relationship with a family takes time and effort. For providers in rural areas, or with high caseloads, keeping in touch with families can be a challenge. In this webinar, recorded on May 5, 2021, presenters offered strategies and tools for using technology, such as Bloomz, to connect and communicate with families.
Presenter: Dr. Cheryl Williams-Jackson
Panel: Howard Doi, Christy Gonzalez, Maria Moberg, Marlene Pena
This webinar, recorded on May 25, 2021, engaged a diverse panel of Early Start stakeholders in conversations around expectations and concerns for “post normal” early intervention service interactions for Early Start service delivery, once COVID restrictions are lifted. The presentation team discussed strategies for setting and maintaining boundaries and establishing practices to support wellness in families and professionals.
2021 Wellness, Mental Health, & Resilience Webinars
Cheryl Williams-Jackson, PsyD, WJ Developmental Consultants
Family support professionals and others working with families on a regular basis are in a unique position to support healthy family functioning. This interactive workshop, recorded on January 12, 2021, explored the importance of family wellness and resilience and the basic concepts and skills of supporting the wellness of families served by Early Start.
Cristina Preuss, Los Angeles Mission College
Has a family you work with shared a concern around addressing their child’s behaviors? In this session, recorded on January 19, 2021, participants learned culturally-sensitive tools and strategies for coaching families on addressing their child’s challenging behaviors using a positive, strengths-based approach.
Presenters: Dr. Genevieve Skale and Dr. Eliza Harley, USC University Center for
Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), Children’s Hospital
Infants exist in the context of relationships with others. When we talk about “mental health” in an infant, we are considering how their relationships with adults help them to feel loved, protected, safe, and cared for. In this webinar, recorded on February 23, 2021, infant mental health specialists described how they use observation to recognize signs of infant and toddler stress or well-being.
Presenter: Fran Goldfarb, University of Southern California University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Talking with a parent or caregiver who is expressing strong emotions like anger or sadness can be challenging for early intervention professionals. In this webinar, recorded on March 22, 2021, the presenter offered concrete strategies for family support professionals and Early Start service coordinators to listen to and support a parent experiencing distress while effectively regulating their own emotions.