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FCSP Approach to Training and Consultation

At its core, family-centered services represents a spirit, attitude or relational stance from which workers approach their work.  We seek to foster that spirit in our training and consultation activities by applying the same values and commitments that guide our work with families to our work with programs and agencies.

Uncovering Participants’ Best Work  

Family Centered Services Project training and consultation is strongly influenced by a process called “Appreciative Inquiry.”  We connect with participants to discover their best moments in challenging situations and use those moments as a foundation to develop an inspiring vision of the possibilities in their work.  We examine with participants the values and hopes that make this vision personally relevant and help them distill that vision into concrete organizing principles that can flexibly guide their work.   This process allows us to help participants integrate their own “best practices” with “state of the art” theories and practices and demonstrate how this learning process can be integrated into their daily work.  

Learning Conversations

In our training and consultation, we seek a collaborative environment where we develop shared knowledge through learning conversations.  We view participants as active members who already hold a great deal of knowledge, skill and experience and consultants as facilitators with both practical content knowledge and particular expertise in helping learners explore their own best practices and articulate their underlying organizing principles.  Throughout, we balance organized structure with the flexibility and responsiveness of emergent design.

Active, Experiential Training and Consultation

FCSP approach to training and consultation is to “work from the inside out.”  We take participants through a three-part process designed to engage them as active participants in their own learning. We begin by eliciting participants’ hopes and purposes in order to craft the agreed upon focus which we believe can and should originate with participants.  Then we engage participants in experiential exercises that create opportunities for them to develop an intimate feel for new ideas and practices. These exercises are followed by group reflection and discussion on what has been learned from the exercises and how that learning can be concretely applied to participants’ own work settings.

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” - W.B. Yeats