Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Strength Based Collaboration in Action

A strength based approach—building on what's right instead of tearing down what's wrong—has proven to be a successful model for turning around negative behavior in children and their families, especially in Indian Country. Programs like the Navajo Nation's Project K'e, the Passamaquoddy tribes' Kmihqitahasultipon (We Remember) Project and the Chippewa's Mno Bmaadzid Endaad (Be in good health at his house) all encourage participants to draw from their strengths as Natives, especially their cultural resilience in the face of oppression.

For example, the Sacred Child Project, which serves four northern Plains tribes, draws from their shared tribal philosophy of "Walking in Beauty on the Red Road." Participants in this intensive outpatient treatment program, which includes children and their families, focus on cultural issues as much as on substance abuse issues, and help participants identify their strengths as individuals and as part of a proud Native culture. Each participant is encouraged to view their entire community as part of a holistic world view and to draw on community strengths as part of the healing process. Commonly identified community strengths include tribal rituals and celebrations, the support of one's extended family, opportunities to help others, natural beauty, and educational opportunities.

This successful approach to engaging families in the recovery process can also be effective as a tool to identify and report drug endangered children. Learn more with Nadja Jones of NICWA, in our free webinar, coming up July 10, 2013. Register now to save your place!

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