PA-AIMH Breakfast Network Meeting Series - Family Narratives: An Infant Mental Health Intervention

Friday, June 8, 2018 -
8:30am to 10:30am

Breakfast Network Meeting #5:
Family Narratives: An Infant Mental Health Intervention
Christopher Dunkerley, M.S. & Vivian Herman, M.S.W.
Friday, June 8, 2018, 8:30-10:30 AM
University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development
400 N. Lexington St., Pittsburgh, PA 15208

This presentation will provide a description of the use of Family Narratives in an existing EHS home-visiting program as an intervention to support healthy relationships between parents and their very young children. The presenters will describe the setting of this intervention as well as implementation strategies. The use of Family Narratives has been shown to provide a clearer picture to both families and intervention teams of the impact of life events on the mother-child relationship. More importantly, the development of these narratives has helped both home visitors and families see that “change” is possible. The presenters will provide case examples that have utilized genograms, family discussions, development of “listening skills”, reflective supervision, and case and team conferences as the basis for narrative development.

About the speakers: Vivian Herman, M.S.W., provides Infant Mental Health consultation and has spent the past 25 years promoting and establishing Infant Mental Health services in Allegheny and surrounding counties. Her work primarily revolved around programs for mothers & babies living in poverty particularly with the University of Pittsburgh Early Head Start. She is a founding member of the PA-AIMH Board and provided instruction in IMH principles as adjunct faculty in Chatham University. She has been trained and rostered in Child-Parent Psychotherapy and provides home visitor coaching services based on IMH Endorsement competencies. Her focus has been on the promotion of relationships with families to support their own relationship to their children. She has both studied and presented in multiple arenas on Family Interactions and parent-child relationships.

Chris Dunkerley, M.S., is the Director of the University of Pittsburgh, Family Foundations Early Head Start program. He has a Master's Degree from the University of Pittsburgh's Child Development/Child Care program and an Infant Mental Health Certificate from Chatham University. Chris began his work with the Family Foundations EHS program in 1997 first as a Home Visitor, then as the Child Development Specialist. He became the Program Coordinator for the Family Foundation’s Clairton site in 1999. In 2005 he was hired as the Family & Community Engagement/Training Coordinator and most recently he was named the Program Director in 2012. Family Foundations Early Head Start’s philosophy is based on Infant Mental Health principles and the work with dyadic relationships/ interactions between babies and their mom/dad/primary caregiver. In addition, Chris was an adjunct faculty member in the Infant Mental Health Certificate Program at Chatham University. He participated in the Development of and continues to teach the online Practices & Principles of Infant Mental Health Intervention course to Certificate, Bachelor-level and Master-level students.

The PA-AIMH Breakfast Network Meeting Series includes five breakfast meetings between September 2017 and June 2018, each providing education about issues related to infant and early childhood mental health. Every meeting will include an expert speaker, opportunities for Q&A, some time to network with others, and a light continental breakfast.

All are welcome! General public can attend for $10 per breakfast or $50 for the full series; discounts available for students and PA-AIMH members.