UP Children's Coalition educates professionals on strengthening families and children

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Upper Peninsula Children's Coalition is an organization dedicated to promoting family and children through growth and development.

Individuals involved in human service professions, such as child welfare workers, foster parents, and school counselors attended the UPCC conference.

"Our keynote speaker is Michelle Chenier from the Early Childhood Investment Corporation” said Evi Lindquist, Director for Marquette-Alger Great Start Collaborative. “She will be talking today about ‘Strengthening Families Through the Protective Factors Framework;’ which is a research based approach demonstrated to effectively achieve better outcomes for families and decrease the likelihood of child abuse and neglect."

One of the points made at the conference is to partner with parents and point out their strengths rather than weaknesses in order to create a stronger team.

"I already know what I'm not good at” said Michelle Chenier, Technical Assistance Specialist for the Early Childhood Investment Corporation. “If you come and point that out to me then you are just like every other person in my life that's really brought that out to me, thank you, I needed to hear that again. But if we think about what they are doing well, what are some of their strengths; that automatically creates an open relationship with them."

Professionals received information that will help them work towards building parental resilience, social connections, and concrete support systems.

"It's a great demonstration to the commitment of many individuals, agencies, service providers, even parents who really desire to achieve better outcomes for families and children within our communities" said Lindquist.

The last speaker presented the topic called "Distracted Parenting; the effects of using technology around children.”

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