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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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New Mexico State's School of Social Work receives $200,000 for training project

Continued employee training for contract agencies that work with families and children in New Mexico will be the focus of a $200,000 grant awarded to the New Mexico State University School of Social Work by the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD).

ticultural Family-Centered Training Project will include 33 days of training across the state for agencies that support safe and stable families, said Pat Sandau-Beckler, an associate professor of social work at New Mexico State and principal investigator for the project.

Children, Youth and Families is the state agency responsible for child protective services and other services that promote and support families.

The project started in January and continues through August, Sandau-Beckler said. "We plan to host many speakers who will discuss a variety of topics in the field," she said. Topics will include family reunification, family treatment for sexual abuse, brief solution-focused family interventions, home observation skills with young children, fostering cultural responsiveness and working with families affected by substance abuse.

Some of the featured speakers for the workshops are Insoo Kim Berg, author of "Building Solutions in Child Protective Services," whose presentation will center on brief solution-focused family intervention; Rita Rivera, a therapist, whose cultural responsiveness presentation is based on the New York Times best-selling book "The Four Agreements" by don Miguel Ruiz; and Cloe Madanes, director of Family Therapy Institute in Washington, D.C., and author of five books on strategic family therapy with families where sexual abuse has occurred.

"This training is for the employees of projects that are contracted out by CYFD to various organizations across the state. Some of the workshops also include CYFD protective service workers and representatives of community social service programs," Sandau-Beckler said.

Some of the organizations that will benefit from the program are Families Youth Inc. in Las Cruces, the Border Area Mental Health Center in Silver City, the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center's Program for Young Children and the Ramah Navajo School Board.

This training project is helping to meet the goals of the School of Social Work, Sandau-Beckler said.

"This training is all about family-centered practice in multicultural settings," she said. "This is part of the collaborative process to support and empower families. We are really committed to both the development of social workers in the field and the families they will serve through improved practice."

Julie M. Hughes
Feb. 11, 2002