Exploring the Café Model: Discovering a New Way to Engage in Meaningful Conversations Jodi Whiteman, M.Ed. Aidan Bohlander, LICSW Purpose & Goals of Cafes Provides forum for person-to-person conversation. Levels the playing field...everyone participates . Encourages deep listening—to self and others. Offers a new way to make connections. Raises awareness both of how much we know and how much there is to learn. Allows for and honors the sharing of ideas, resources, and experiences. Gain insight and hope. Celebrates the wisdom in the room! Background Parent and Community Cafés are derived from the World Café model Cafés are a method of facilitating meaningful, reflective conversations that promote leadership and collaboration Nationally states and organizations are adopting the Café Model. In 2014 ZERO TO THREE created the Minnesota Café Model Facilitator’s Guide. Parent/Provider Cafés PUPROSE: To support and nurture families and/or providers • • • • • Promote CSSP’s Protective Factors Build on parent/provider engagement Reduce social isolation Support community development efforts Emphasize the importance of culture, as woven through ZERO TO THREE’s handout series: Parents and Providers: Sharing the Care Protective Factors Parental Resilience Resilience is the ability to manage and bounce back from the challenges that emerge in every family’s life Social Connections Friends, family members, neighbors and community members provide emotional support, help solve problems, offer parenting advice and give concrete assistance to parents. Concrete Support in Times of Need Meeting basic economic needs like food, shelter, clothing and health care are essential for families to thrive. Likewise, when families encounter a crisis such as domestic violence, mental illness or substance abuse, adequate services and supports need to be in place to provide stability, treatment and help for family members to get through the crisis. Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development Accurate information about child development and appropriate expectations for children’s behavior at every age help parents see their children and youth in a positive light and promote their healthy development. Social and Emotional Competence of Children A child or youth’s ability to interact positively with others, self-regulate their behavior and effectively communicate their feelings has a positive impact on their relationships with their family, other adults, and peers. Nurturing and Attachment Children need warm, caring, consistent relationships in order to support healthy social emotional development. The Café Process • • • • • Powerful Questions Simple and Clear Thought Provoking Open-ended Generates Energy Opens New Possibilities Café Roles Facilitator Provides guidance and coordination for the overall Café process Host(s) Guides the conversations at their table Participants Actively participates in the conversations throughout the café Café Agenda I. Welcome II. Introductions III. One-on-One Conversations IV. Café Table Discussion Questions V. Group Reflection VI. Closing Exercise/Practice/Ritual VII. Additional Resources & Evaluations One-on-One Conversations Facilitator Introduces One-on-One Conversations 1. Pair Up 2. Explain Active Listening 3. Time Limited – 2 minutes each person Each Café has a unique conversation activity! One-on-One Conversation: Importance of Culture We are each made up of our own experiences and stories. Each of us probably has a unique story about our day and how we came to the Café today. A pocket story is a short story about an item that you currently have with you today (e.g., item in your purse/wallet, piece of clothing, jewelry). Please each take 2 minutes to share with your partner your pocket story. Main Café Conversations Host • Be patient • Remember your body language (make eye contact, lean-in, nod to acknowledge contributions) • Be comfortable with silence • Encourage participants to go deeper by asking them to say more or describe how they feel • Share your own understanding of the questions and how it relates to you and your family (as appropriate) Café Conversation Questions : The Importance of Culture Question A Question B • How can you bring a child’s family values and beliefs into the services you provide? • How do your own values and beliefs influence the way you care and provide services for children? Question C • How do you share your beliefs and values respectfully with others? Group Reflection • What came up for you when discussing the question? • What are you taking away from the conversation (one word reflection)? • How might cafes be used in your work? Sensitive Issues Café Conversations can bring up sensitive issues that participants may be facing within their families, local, or national community. Think about… 1. When a participant cries, or becomes overwhelmed, how do we respond? 2. How do we support participants in a helpful way that doesn’t try to fix their situation or comes across as judgmental? 3. How do we guide a participant who dominates the group? 4. How do we help de-escalate a disagreement between participants? 5. What do we do when we are triggered? Adaptations • Culture • Family Composition • Language • Literacy • Adolescent Parents • Father/Male Caregiver Questions?
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