In times of need, transition, and even in some everyday situations, when strong support systems are present, lifelong bonds can be built.
Many identify those who help support, empower, and strengthen them as family. At iCan Dream Center, “Connection” is a core value. The core value of ‘Connection’ means that we relate to one another not as a staff, but rather as a family. Team-building activities like reading books together is one way that the team strengthens its bond. Stronger bonds help empower staff members and add to their strengths,” said Travaun Whittaker, a behavioral therapist at iCan Dream Center.
We aim to embody this core value not just in our relationships with colleagues, but in the support we provide to our students and their families.
Within the field of social work, the focus on family often involves utilizing the Strengths Perspective — “a set of ideas and practices seeking to recognize and utilize the inherent personal strengths to promote change and lifelong resilience” (web, 2020).
At iCan Dream Center, we use the Strengths Perspective to empower students and their family members. Parents are welcomed to participate in and observe their child’s physical successes at experiences like our in our annual 5k Running Event. Parents receive current information on their child’s academic and functional progress and receive tools to build and maintain family bonds through the recognition of successes.
“The family is not an independent unit of society. It isn’t the causal nexus of social behavior. It’s highly interdependent with a large number of other institutions for its definition, its survival, and achievements” (Brice, McLane-Davison, 2020).
We strive to empower students, their families, and our colleagues by celebrating strengths and providing support through difficult and transitional times. Together, we are stronger and connected like family.
Brice, S.T., McLane-Davison, D., (2020). The Strength of Black Families: The Elusive Ties of Perspective and Praxis in Social Work Education. Retrieved April 16, 2020, from https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/bitstream/handle/1808/30253/5_Rooted in Strengths_Brice&McLane-Davison.pdf?sequence=1
Strengths Perspective – Social Work – Oxford Bibliographies, Retrieved, April 16, 2020, From https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo/9780195389678/obo9780195389678-0165.xml