Exploring the Café Model: Discovering a New Way to Engage in

Exploring the Café Model: Discovering a New Way to Engage in
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
Gain insight and hope.
Celebrates the wisdom in the room!
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
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
The Café Process
Powerful Questions
Simple and Clear
Thought Provoking
Generates Energy
Opens New Possibilities
Café Roles
Provides guidance and coordination
for the overall Café process
Guides the conversations at
their table
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
• 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
Question C
• How do you
share your
beliefs and
with others?
Group Reflection
• What came up for you when discussing the
• 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
5. What do we do when we are triggered?
• Culture
• Family Composition
• Language
• Literacy
• Adolescent Parents
• Father/Male
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