The real key to solving the family separation crisis at the border
May 29, †Ј Conflicting opinions and advice can add to the family's confusion and instability. When the family is unable to find appropriate solutions to the crisis, a chain of events is set off, creating yet another crisis for the family. Rapid intervention is necessary to stop the chain of events from causing a complete breakdown in family functioning. To adjust to a developmental crisis, families often need to adjust family rules and roles to meet the new abilities of family members. Every family must change as their youngster approaches puberty. To become mature adults, teens must gradually get more practice in making decisions.
By Roger Noriega. When it comes to the debate in Washington over separating migrant children from adults, both sides are stoking the fire. If the two sides focused on the underlying cause of the problem Ч the mess in Central America Ч they might agree on sensible solutions. Second, beginning last month US border-security agencies have been dealing with an unexplained doubling of overall interdictions, compared to last year.
Also in May, the number of migrants appearing as so-called family units quadrupled, and the number of unaccompanied minors tripled. It falls to Trump and his team to deal with this crisis. Yes, an effective deterrence at the border is indispensable Ч not only to intercept illegal migrants but to protect the country from drugs and terrorism. In the long run, preventing our border-security resources from being overwhelmed by economic migrants will mean dealing with the root causes of illegal immigration and accepting some responsibility for the problem.
We embraced these nations as important economic partners, a promising destination for US goods and investment. Unfortunately, the destructive forces of corruption and criminality spoiled those plans. Three of the CAFTA countries Ч El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras Ч produce the bulk of the illegal migrants showing up on our border, representing a substantial increase from these nations in the last decade.
Economic growth and job creation in these countries has stagnated. The tougher challenges are soaring crime and violence, fueled by rampant drug trafficking and ruthless gangs. Securing the transit zone through which South American cocaine flows to the US market, transnational criminal organizations use threats and bribes to neutralize local police and government. Lawlessness breeds public corruption, undermining the ability of national leaders to inspire confidence among their own people or foreign investors.
So, Americans who abuse illegal drugs share in the blame for chaos on our doorstep. Peasant farmers who have no livelihood can scarcely depend on assistance from cash-strapped governments. Thus the dangerous trek north, to Mexico and the United States, seems a less-bad option to far too many.
Of course, each of these governments Ч along with Mexico Ч should do more to deter would-be migrants from making the risky journey. Roger Noriega was assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs from He is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
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Remember that your problem is mutual. You need your spouse in order to solve this problemЧand to reach an agreement. You will catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. It . Communicating in a positive way can help reduce conflict so that family members can reach a peaceful resolution. This usually means that everyone agrees to a compromise or agrees to disagree. May 13, †Ј Strategies for Strengthening Families during Times of Crisis To support families in having access to concrete support in times of need, programs can: Create and distribute a virtual newsletter (using, e-mail, Mail Chimp or Google Docs, etc.) with general information about local resource organizations that support families of young children.
Working with children and families means that, at any given time, at least one, usually more, are experiencing a crisis situation. Whether families experience the unexpected loss of employment, a sudden sickness in the family, or have to shift into quarantine during an international pandemic, they are constantly needing to adapt to and navigate these life challenges.
During these difficult times, some families might openly talk about their experience while others might be less than willing to let others know that they are in need due to fear of judgement, concern for their safety, or other factors that we may never know about. Because the families that you serve might be hesitant to let you know that they are experiencing challenges in life, it is important to be proactive rather than reactive. Have strength-based supports available at all times, not only when a crisis arises.
While you might not know what families are living through, we, as early learning professionals, have a responsibility to support families in our efforts to teach and nurture their children. This month, our FE Tip focuses on the Strengthening Families Framework and the 5 Protective Factors, a way of providing support and empowerment to the families that you serve.
By developing a deeper understanding of the research-informed strategies that are a part of this framework, we can move towards a well-rounded and strength-based approach to supporting families through times of crisis. Strengthening Families and the 5 Protective Factors Strengthening Families is a framework, informed by research, which focuses on the development of 5 Protective Factors that are critical to:.
Traditional support services focus on finding and fixing the problems that families face. The Strengthening Families Framework does the opposite. It supports the development of a strength-based approach.
Such areas can include having a strong support system, knowledge of their community, access to educational opportunities, or a desire to identify the best educational opportunities available for their child. It is through the identification of those strengths that educators and families can work hand in hand to determine ways to use those existing strengths to address areas of need. A strength-based approach is a way of interacting with families that is grounded in understanding and developing the strengths and capabilities of the families you serve.
Strengthening Families is not a curriculum that tells programs what to do and how to do it. Instead, it provides a foundation and approach to working with families that programs can build upon based on the unique families and communities that they serve.
These factors are the attributes, as identified in research, that help families successfully navigate challenging situations. These Protective Factors provide a structure for professionals and programs as they seek to identify ways to support and empower families. They also offer a framework for public policy and systems development at the local, state and national level.
To support families in having access to concrete support in times of need, programs can:. To help families develop their knowledge of parenting and child development , programs can:. To support families in developing the social and emotional competence of children , programs can:. There are a variety of different ways to support the families in your program during challenging times. Having a strong relationship with families is key to knowing what they need, what resources and opportunities would help them meet those needs, and how to support and empower them to successfully navigate future challenges.
Hammond, W. A strengths-based perspective. Check out our other family engagement tips! In her current role, Wendolly is proud to support Quality Start Los Angeles by being an advocate for building authentic and supportive relationships with families of young children.
Strengthening Families During Times of Crisis. May 13, Reminder: Because the families that you serve might be hesitant to let you know that they are experiencing challenges in life, it is important to be proactive rather than reactive.
Strengthening Families and the 5 Protective Factors. What is a strength-based approach? The Five Protective Factors. The 5 Protective Factors are: Concrete support in times of need Social connections Knowledge of parenting and child development Parental Resilience Social and emotional competence of children.
Strategies for Strengthening Families during Times of Crisis. To support families in having access to concrete support in times of need, programs can: Create and distribute a virtual newsletter using, e-mail, Mail Chimp or Google Docs, etc. If possible, record these meetings and send the recording out to all families so those who could not attend live, still have access to the information. To help families develop their knowledge of parenting and child development , programs can: Create a virtual list of activities and on-line resources, aligned to the different ages and developmental milestones of the children in your care,that families can do with their children at home.
You can also share resources via social media, text, or other communication platform directly with families. Offer virtual family workshops on different topics that discuss the developmental milestones physical, social, emotional, cognitive of the children currently enrolled in the program To build parental resilience among families, programs can: Partner with a local mental health organization that can provide support to families through workshops, individual counseling, resource sharing, etc.
Provide or host virtual professional development opportunities for staff that focus on strength-based language, Strengthening Families, Trauma Informed Care, and supporting positive interactions with families Send words of encouragement and positivity to families through social media posts, via text messages, through email, etc. May 26, More Resources. Wendolly A. Escobar, Ed.