Building Family Resiliency: a new podcast for professionals who work with young children and their families

Deborah Ottman
Deborah Ottman

The Building Family Resiliency: Community Voices, Community Perspectives podcast is the result of a collaborative effort by Deborah Ottman, professional development coordinator at CEED, and Jennifer Hall-Lande, PhD, research associate at the Institute on Community Integration and CDC Act Early Ambassador to Minnesota. The podcast aims to support professionals who work with young children and their families by providing accessible information about child development and family relationships.

The podcast grew out of a desire to address the additional stressors that Minnesota families have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. These stressors, say Ottman and Hall-Lande, may impact the ability of families to build resiliency.

Jennifer Hall-Lande, PhD

Building Family Resiliency was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of their Learn the Signs Act Early initiative, which encourages families, communities, and organizations to screen children for potential developmental delays early on. Learn the Signs Act Early also offers a wealth of free developmental tools for parents and professionals.

For each episode of the podcast, Ottman interviewed one or more experts or helping professionals from different communities and early childhood fields. Listeners will hear from these guests about different facets of resiliency, from the science of brain development to self-care for child care providers. They will learn about what resiliency can look like across the richly diverse cultures and communities that make up our state. And they will gain information on how adults can best support the healthy development of the children in their lives.

“It was a privilege to sit down with researchers and professionals from different fields, all of whom have children’s wellbeing at heart, and talk about the concept of resiliency,” says Ottman. “My hope is that listeners will find the podcast format to be an easy, enjoyable way to access the information that our experts shared.”

All nine episodes of Building Family Resiliency are available to stream on the Institute on Community Integration’s MN Act Early website and on CEED’s YouTube channel.

Episode 1: “Welcome to the podcast!” with Deb Ottman and Jennifer Hall-Lande, PhD

Episode 2: “What contributes to building resiliency in early childhood?” with Anne Gearity, PhD

Episode 3: “Resiliency and early childhood development” with Alyssa Meuwissen, PhD

Episode 4: “Learn the Signs, Act Early and Help Me Grow: joined links in the resiliency chain” with Jennifer Hall-Lande, PhD, and Anna Paulson

Episode 5: “Filling the resiliency well: childcare providers caring for children, families and themselves” with Priscilla Weigel and Palm Walz

Episode 6: “Community voices, community perspectives: building resiliency in the Latino community” with Andrea Castillo

Episode 7: “Community voices, community perspectives: building resiliency in the Hmong community” with Julie Li Yang and Bao Vang

Episode 8: “Community voices, community perspectives: building resiliency in the African-American community” with Andre Dukes and Sierra Leone Williams

Episode 9: “Community voices, community perspectives: building resiliency in the Native American community” with Karla Sorby Decker

Episode 10: “Community voices, community perspectives: building resiliency in the Somali community” with Deqa Farah

“We’re really excited to share this new resource with early childhood practitioners as well as parents,” says Hall-Lande. “I was delighted to be interviewed for Episode 4, which relates to my work on Learn the Signs Act Early. In that episode, we talk about the importance of screening for developmental delays such as signs of autism spectrum disorder. The science shows that the earlier we catch those signs and intervene with kids, the better the outcomes for kids and their families.”

“Both CEED and the Institute on Community Integration have a shared purpose of supporting the helpers who work with children and families,” adds Ann Bailey, PhD, director of CEED. “This podcast is a new way of providing support, and it’s also a way of saying to that community of helpers: we see you, and we value the work you are doing.”

Listen to the podcast.

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