State’s promises to retirees detailed

first_imgIf the state fully covers the future obligation with investment funds, that long-term $48 billion liability could shrink to about $31 billion, he said. Chiang said the problem will require a long-term solution, but in the meantime “it is not a crisis today.” “These are big numbers, but they are not insurmountable,” Chiang said. “We need not panic or rush to judgment.” The new Government Accounting Standards Board federal rules require state and local governments throughout the country to perform actuarial studies of their long-term liabilities of providing health benefits to retirees. Traditionally, government agencies have funded such benefits on a pay-as-you-go basis, but as health-care costs have continued to soar, accounting experts recognized that better long-term financial planning was needed. At the local level, Los Angeles Unified School District has estimated its long-term liability at $10 billion, and Los Angeles County’s estimate is $9 billion. Some analysts believe the state’s long-term liability is worse than Chiang’s projections. Last year, the state Legislative Analyst’s Office issued a preliminary estimate of up to $70 billion. Former Assemblyman Keith Richman, who now heads a foundation pushing for state pension reform, believes Chiang’s study underestimated the rate of health-care inflation over the long term, and that the actual liability could be closer to $100 billion. “Even if it’s $48 billion, which is probably too low of an estimate, it’s still a huge number,” Richman said. “It’s time to address this problem, and it’s time for the special interest groups who continue to put their head in the sand to help resolve this issue.” Richman’s California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility is planning to introduce a ballot measure within a few weeks to reform the state’s pension and health benefit system. The initiative, which the foundation hopes to place on the November 2008 ballot, would raise the retirement age for state and local employees to be consistent with federal Social Security standards. Depending on the job, that could raise retirement ages five to 10 years for state government employees, who now in some cases can retire at age 50 or 55. It would also revise the formulas on how pensions are calculated, basing them on a longer-term average to prevent the pension-spiking that occurs when employees earn a higher salary in their final year. The changes would only affect new employees, not those who are already working under the current system. In the past, efforts to reform the pension and health benefit system have met with stiff opposition from the state’s powerful public employee unions. In 2005, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed to switch the state’s pension system to a defined contribution plan, similar to a 401(k). But after the unions charged that he was cutting off benefits to widows of firefighters and police officers, the governor quickly retreated and withdrew his plan. This year, he has taken the more cautious approach of creating a commission to study the problem. “As the governor has said, we have to find the best way to meet these obligations without harming other government programs and taxpayers – or handing the problem off to future generations,” state Finance Director Mike Genest said in a statement. “That’s exactly what the commission he created is in the process of doing.” Dave Low, an official with the California School Employees Association, said unions would likely resist Richman’s proposal. “I think it’s absolutely a horrible and ridiculous idea,” Low said. “I believe the public will see that as a very Draconian and unacceptable statewide ballot measure.” Instead, Low said, most unions likely will be willing to work with the governor through the collective bargaining process. He said it is a problem best resolved in separate negotiations with individual unions rather than a single statewide solution. Low, who sits on the governor’s pension-reform commission, noted some unions in recent years have been willing to agree to concessions that include some reductions in retirement benefits. He also noted that over half of retirees for local government agencies and districts receive no health-care benefits from their former employers at all. harrison.sheppard@dailynews.com (916)446-6723 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Over the next 30 years, California taxpayers will have to come up with an extra $48 billion to pay health benefits for state retirees, according to a new study by State Controller John Chiang. The study, required under new federal accounting rules, found that next year alone, escalating health-care expenses for retirees will cost taxpayers an extra $3.6 billion. Still, other officials say the study underestimates the future burden, which they say will range between $70 billion and $100 billion. Whatever it is, Chiang said the massive “unfunded pension liability” is pressuring the state to set aside funds in a long-term investment account, just as it does with its pension system. last_img read more

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Wenger tells Arsenal boo-boys to lay off Chelsea star Fabregas

first_img1 Cesc Fabregas and Arsene Wenger Arsene Wenger is pleading with the Arsenal boo-boys to lay off former captain Cesc Fabregas and give him the reception he deserves when they face Chelsea on Sunday.Fabregas is set to face his former club for the first time after he left the north London club in controversial circumstances back in August 2011.Many Arsenal fans have never forgiven the Spanish midfielder for the way he went about wanting a move to his boyhood club and will be even more upset that he is now playing for their London rivals.But Wenger is adamant that he didn’t need Fabregas back at the club this summer and is hoping that the fans will remember all the good times he had during his memorable spell and will not boo him.Wenger said: “Everyone respects Cesc here. I want him to get the reception he deserves on Sunday.“When he left we bought Ozil to buy an offensive player. We have Cazorla, we have Wilshere, we have Ramsey, we have Oxlade-Chamberlain, who are all offensive players.“We were not in the need to buy offensive players. It makes sense if you just look at the balance of the team. I think that’s a decision that is easy to understand.”last_img read more

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Kanu says Arsenal need ‘miracle’ to win EPL

first_img0Shares0000Former Arsenal and Nigeria forward Nwakwo Kanu.PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya.LONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 2 – Unai Emery’s Arsenal must produce a “miracle” to win the Premier League in the Spaniard’s first season at the club, says former striker Kanu.Former Paris St-Germain boss Emery, who succeeds Arsene Wenger after 22 years, claimed success in 2018-19 would constitute “battling for every title”. Emery has added five signings but Kanu believes the Gunners, sixth last season, must be patient.“If it happens and they win the league, it’s a miracle,” said the Nigerian.“It takes time for the newcomers, the new signings, to adapt. We have to allow time for him to bring his own style and the way he wants to play.”Kanu helped Arsenal to two league titles during five years at the club and was part of the undefeated ‘Invincibles’ side of 2003-04.Arsenal are yet to win the Premier League since then.“For the new manager, it’s going to be a very big challenge; the fans want them to perform in the league in his first year, which is always difficult for a new coach,” Kanu said.“It’s a very big club – coming into a big club you need a trophy, so if you don’t win the league, you need to win the others. It’s hard, but that’s what you expect of a coach of that stature and a big club.”Emery has added Uruguay international Lucas Torreira for £26m, along with goalkeeper Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen, defenders Stephan Lichtsteiner from Juventus and Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund, as well as 19-year-old midfielder Matteo Guendouzi from Lorient.“He’s been signing new, good players. They’re more defensive, and not allowing goals, which is good,” Kanu added.“They have to know how to win games, even if it’s 1-0. All they need is the three points.”-By BBC Sports-0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Don’t say ‘Islamic terrorism’ in front of the EU!

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The European Commission has found it fit to save us from a lexiconic hell of our own making. The EU, after surely shedding blood, sweat and tears in an arduous working group in Brussels, has decided that the term “Islamic terrorism” is bad, instead opting for “non-emotive lexicon for discussing radicalisation.” From now on, it’s “terrorists who abusively invoke Islam.” Rumor has it that runners-up included “gravely misunderstood and seriously agitated blokes who like bombs,” “grumpy chaps with a fondness for box cutters,” “volatile people who just happen to hang out at mosques” and “those we do not speak of.” Clearly, I’m a sarcastic columnist who abusively invokes freedom of speech. “The aim of the guidelines is to avoid the use of words that could unnecessarily offend Muslims and spark radicalisation,” noted the EU Observer. Thank God. I knew there was some reason al-Qaida wanted to bomb men, women and children and lop off heads for the rolling cameras. Our language was offensive! The EU – er, bureaucrats who abusively invoke the notion of a free society – is also reviewing the word “jihad.” EU officials said, “Jihad means something for you and me, it means something else for a Muslim. Jihad is a perfectly positive concept of trying to fight evil within yourself.” The World Islamic Front’s 1998 statement “Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders” might not have been a positive concept of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri trying to fight evil within themselves. “We – with Allah’s help – call on every Muslim who believes in Allah and wishes to be rewarded to comply with Allah’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan’s U.S. troops and the devil’s supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson.” That sounds pretty darn negative. Perhaps some time in an EU working group will help them sort out their feelings with some nonemotive lexicon. But you say al-Qaeda, I say al-Qaida – Turkish online newspaper Zaman saw the EU decision in a more glowing light: “Instead of expressions like ‘Islamic terrorism’ and ‘Islamofascist,’ a phrase the United States insistently uses, Brussels is trying to develop new concepts that will not cause offense to Muslims. “For nearly two years, the EU and member countries authorities have been conducting secret talks about how to solve the religion origin terror problem. Contrary to the US, the authorities think the issue is Europe’s and therefore it must be handled as a domestic issue.” Zaman also notes that it was the publication of Muhammad cartoons in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and ensuing widespread religious violence that kicked the EU into gear on the issue of clarifying through nonemotive lexicon that it is never religion that makes people act violently. Understand? “Israeli measures also risk radicalising the hitherto relatively quiescent Palestinian population of East Jerusalem,” a report to EU ministers stated last November. So this clarifies the rules: Not only can you not say anything out of risk of turning people into terrorists, but you can’t do anything either. It’s a really fine line, you know. Drawn for us by the Brussels bootlickers who abusively invoke just about anything not related to Islamic terrorism. Because, of course, it’s all hurt feelings from insensitive lexicon that makes a guy sit muttering in a courtroom that he’d like more 9-11s, or drives a guy to shoot, nearly behead and stab a note with Quranic verse to the chest of a Dutch filmmaker. They probably got picked last for dodgeball back in third grade, too. “The basic idea behind it is to avoid the use of improper words that would cause frustration among Muslims and increase the risk of radicalisation,” the Daily Telegraph quoted an EU official. Yeah, frustration is the worst. Remember the last time you were so frustrated that you strapped a bomb across your torso and walked onto a crowded bus? So perhaps peaceful Muslims should be offended that the EU thinks uttering the phrase “Islamic terrorism” will suddenly make them go postal. The sensitive EU dictionary is due in June. I wish I could say I’ll be in on that working group, but I’m just a columnist who has abusively mocked the EU. Bridget Johnson writes for the Daily News. E-mail her at bridget.johnson@dailynews.com.last_img read more

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DONEGAL BEACH DISPUTE TO FEATURE ON RTE’S ‘TODAY’ SHOW

first_imgThe ongoing dispute over the closure of a right of way at Aghadachor near Carrigart is to hit the airwaves on this coming Monday morning on the Today with Sean O’Rourke programme.RTE has taken a keen interest in the developments at Carrigart since it was first featured in the Tirconaill Tribune in early September.And after the headline revelations in the paper on Thursday last about a Government Dept. raising serious concerns about the planning status of the beach activity centre at Carrigart, RTE decided to come and meet the community and try to find answers to the crux. And on Saturday, the show’s senior reporter Valerie Cox came to Carrigart to walk the 500 metres long right of way only to be stopped in sight of the beach by a seven foot tall gate, locked and solidly welded in a number of places.As a Dublin based security patrol kept watch from a distance, Ms Cox interviewed a group of local whose lives have been affected by the closure of the right of way.Those interviewed included James McCorkell: Tony and Frances McCarry: Andrew Speer: 87 years old Patricia Coyle: Donal Cullen: Brendan McFadden: Senator Brian O’Domhnaill: the Mayor of Donegal, Cllr. Ian McGarvey and John McAteer, Editor, Tirconaill Tribune.Over two hours was spent at the scene on Saturday and it is expected the item will feature in the first hour of Monday morning’s show. The last time that Valerie Cox covered such an obstacle was when she reported on the demolition of the Berlin Wall from the Brandenburg Gate.The Sean O’Rourke Show airs between 10.00 am and noon daily Monday to Friday.DONEGAL BEACH DISPUTE TO FEATURE ON RTE’S ‘TODAY’ SHOW was last modified: November 23rd, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:AGHADACHOR BEACHbeachCarrigartSean O’RourkeTODAYlast_img read more

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La Puente redevelopment flap arises

first_imgLA PUENTE — The city’s first redevelopment project continues to move forward, but some council members disagree on the direction. The La Puente City Council, serving as the city’s redevelopment agency, approved an exclusive negotiating agreement with Primestor Development to develop the 6.5-acre former bowling alley site at 1255-1301 Hacienda Blvd. The city bought the property for $3.36 million. Primestor proposes a mixed-use project with housing and retail, with separate parking for each. The redevelopment agency voted 3-2 Tuesday, with agency members John Solis and Lola Storing dissenting, to approve the agreement. Housing does not fit on Hacienda Boulevard, Solis said. The city could attract Lowe’s or another major retailer if it goes with a big-box concept rather than mixed use, he said. “We need to think about what is going to make the city money,” Solis said. The council interviewed several developers in the past six months, Councilman Lou Perez said. He questioned why Solis kept quiet until now. The project could bring in $815,000 annually to the city in tax revenue, said Arturo Sneider with Primestor. The proposal does not require financial help from the city and is designed to attract national retailers, he said. The one-year exclusive negotiating agreement sets tasks Primestor must accomplish, such as completing an environmental study and submitting a project schedule within three months. Mixed use fits better on Main Street, not Hacienda Boulevard, Solis said. He also said that Mayor Louie Lujan should have abstained from voting because he accepted campaign contributions from Primestor. “He should not be allowed to vote,” Solis said. But City Attorney Jamie Casso said state law does not prevent an elected official from accepting such a contribution. Campaign contributions do not influence his council decisions, Lujan said. The city decided on Primestor after whittling down a large list of candidates and going through reference checks, he said. “To assume after going through a lengthy process that a campaign contribution would influence that is not valid,” Lujan said. Storing said she voted against the agreement because the city should maximize the earning potential of the site by having only commercial developments. The housing component will make money initially when the units are sold, but then La Puente will spend money providing services to those new residents. The potential for tax generation at the bowling alley site is excellent, and mixed use also addresses regional housing needs, Lujan said. “At the very core of this is a simple black-and-white issue, stick with the mindset of the 1950s or move ahead,” Lujan said. “Looking back we will realize what we did was the right thing.” — Rodney Tanaka can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2230, or by e-mail at rodney.tanaka@sgvn.com.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Men’s Basketball Continues CIT Action At Northern Colorado

first_img The Drake University men’s basketball team continues its postseason experience in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) Sunday at Northern Colorado. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. CDT with fans able to stream the action on WatchCIT.com or listen on ESPN Des Moines 1350-AM.Drake (17-16) advanced to face the Bears by virtue of an 80-73 overtime victory against Abiliene Christian in the first round of the CIT to win the Lou Henson Classic. Senior Ore Arogundade (Chicago, Ill.) paced the Bulldogs in that win with a career-high 25 points while making all four of his three-point attempts. Junior Nick McGlynn (Stoughton, Wis.) added 22 points for his second 20-point game of the season.Northern Colorado (22-12) is making is playing in its first contest since March 9 when the Bears fell to eventual Big Sky Conference Tournament Champions Montana, 91-89, in the semifinals of the tournament. Andre Spight, the Bears’ leading scorer, posted 22 points in the win and the redshirt-senior transfer from Arizona State is averaging 21.9 points per game and has had two 40-point games this season.The Bulldogs and Bears have never met before, but share three common opponents this season in Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota. Drake went 0-3 in those games with a pair of overtime losses while UNC went 2-1 in those games with wins over South Dakota and Wyoming.Drake’s 17 wins this season are the 13th most in program history and the most since the 2011-12 season. The team is in the midst of its 11th all-time postseason appearance and its third in the CIT.Print Friendly Version Drake Game Notes Story Links Live Video center_img Live Stats Live Audio last_img read more

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DDTV: Drones, GoPros and Kayaks on the spectacular Kinnego Bay

first_imgSpectacular video footage of Donegal’s hidden gems, Kinnego Bay.Donegal Daily reader Cormac Mc sent us in his wonderful video compilation of both his drone and go-pro footage he captured while kayaking in Kinnego Bay.This footage backs up Wednesdays’s article  on just how wonderful Donegal is. Have a look below at the Cormac’s video.DDTV: Drones, GoPros and Kayaks on the spectacular Kinnego Bay was last modified: September 22nd, 2016 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Football’s message of hope

first_img6 July 2010Thirty-two football teams from across the world are battling it out in South Africa, but this time it’s youngsters playing, and the boys and girls competing are not just in it for the trophy. Each team is fighting for a cause, hoping to make an impact on the world with more than just their soccer skills.The Football for Hope Festival kicked off in Alexandra, Johannesburg on Sunday, with 32 mixed teams of boys and girls between the ages of 15 and 18 representing teams that tackle issues such as Aids, gang violence, corruption, discrimination and drugs.Like the opening ceremony of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the Football for Hope tournament started with celebrations, dance and songs, with a number dignitaries present.While South African artists Danny K, Kabelo and JR entertained the crowd, South African President Jacob Zuma and Fifa president Sepp Blatter had words of wisdom for the participating teams.Zuma said it was an honour to host the Football for Hope Festival in South Africa and more especially in Alexandra – a place of happiness. He described the festival as an “important development in the family of soccer”.“Soccer is loved by the majority of the world. What the leaders of soccer have decided is that it must now act more, because football is more than just football, it goes beyond the game,” he said.There are important life lessons – such as being happy in victory and accepting defeat with a smile – that could be learnt through the game of soccer, the President added. “I wish I was young once again so I could play soccer!” he joked.The Football for Hope Festival aimed to connect bring people together from all over the world, Blatter said. The festival brought together the “characters and the essence of the game to disseminate a message of hope to the world hope through football”, he said.He described soccer as a school of life, saying the game helped educate not just on the field. “Football is a game based on discipline and respect. It’s a game in which you compete with a good spirit and with fair play,” Blatter said, encouraging the participants to display these qualities during their matches.The first match of the tournament saw Uruguay, a team that fights for children’s rights and social inclusion, play against hosts, Team Alexandra – a team made up of young volunteer coaches from Play Soccer South Africa.Apart from the football, the teams competing in the tournament will also participate in workshops where they are expected to learn from each other. The festival also includes a programme of cultural celebrations.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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Unintended Consequences: Defining the problem and creating strategies

first_imgImage from Pixabay.com; CC0Written by: Matt Timm, PhDMy appreciation to the Military Families Learning Network for this opportunity to reflect upon  Dr. Elizabeth Gershoff’s webinar “Unintended Consequences:  What We Now Know About Spanking and Child Development”.In addition to reviewing the available evidence regarding both immediate and long-term effects of corporal punishment on children, Dr. Gershoff also provided useful information regarding the incidence and negative outcomes across cultures and countries as well as the history of sanctioned corporal punishment in U.S. public and private schools.Years ago, my friend and mentor, Dr. Nicholas Hobbs proposed the following insightful observation:  “The way one defines a problem will determine in substantial measure the strategies that can be used to solve it.” (The Troubled and Troubling Child, Jossey-Bass, 1982). A complimentary, also insightful observation had been provided a few centuries earlier from a different source: “We should examine most closely the things we hold to be most dear.” (René Descartes, French philosopher, mathematician, scientist- born 1596). This Cartesian maxim reminds us to re-examine and regularly challenge those entrenched opinions, beliefs, and practices that can become almost second-nature in our personal and professional lives as the years go by. Sometimes the result is to affirm and sometimes to modify or abandon. My own efforts to integrate and apply these frameworks have proved to be valuable over time.  Two sample illustrations of how problems associated with the recurrent use of physical punishment in families might be defined and how corrective strategies might be created and applied appear below:Defining the Problem: Example #1As reported by Dr. Gershoff, there is an extensive, ever-growing body of evidence that spanking/hitting and other forms of corporal punishment not only fail to produce desired results with children (i.e., more compliant, less aggressive, less anti-social, more internalization of morals) but in fact tend to produce opposite effects (i.e., the more parents spank the greater the probability of increased aggressive behavior, substantiated child abuse cases, mental health problems, difficult relationships with parents, lower self-esteem, lower academic performance, higher levels of stress and anxiety).In light of this powerful evidence, here is an important question for your consideration: Why do you think so many otherwise concerned, often well-meaning parents, continue to spank? Family traditionPersonal religious beliefsEverybody does itUnaware of data regarding negative effectsDenialMy experiences over the years involving parents struggling with the reality of young children whose oppositional, disruptive, often aggressive behaviors are wreaking havoc on the entire family, suggest that parents are frequently reluctant to disclose, discuss, much less attempt to defend their own continued use of corporal punishment. It can be an exceptionally touchy topic involving guarded family secrets or acknowledgment of parental failure. As irrefutable as findings of the long-term damaging effects of corporal punishment appear to be, they are obviously not sufficient to persuade all or even a majority of parents in the U.S. to cease the practice.Creating and Implementing Strategies: Example #1While recognizing the often complex, powerful web of factors leading parents to continued use of corporal punishment, it is essential that we help those parents understand that they are typically telling the child “what not to do” instead of helping them know “what to do.” A refrain heard frequently in RIP programs everywhere, and probably in many other settings as well, “Catch the child being good.”  This same principle applies to those of us vigorously opposing the parental use of corporal punishment. In word and deed, we must do our best to help parents concentrate on “what to do” rather than “what not to do.” Therein lies the road to genuine progress.Eight summarized examples of identifiable “what to do” strategies appear in the following Positive Solutions for Families publication.  You’ll note that Tips #1 thru #5 emphasize antecedent, “planning ahead” adult behavior; that Tips #6 and #7 emphasize differential adult behavior in response to acceptable or unacceptable child behavior; and that Tip #8 emphasizes adult behavior choices during neutral time “when everyone is calm enough to think and talk and listen.”Defining the Problem:  Example #2Dr. Gershoff sorted eight “Interventions to Reduce Physical Punishment” into three major categories and provided examples of each as follows:1:  Family-Based:Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)Incredible YearsNurturing Parenting ProgramsMotivational Interviewing2:  Group-Based:ACT Raising Safe Kids ProgramChicago Child Parent CenterPositive Discipline in Everyday Parenting 3:  Medical-Setting:Dr.  Gershoff presented information regarding the introduction of No Hit Zones in medical settings (both hospital and outpatient) and reported post-survey data indicating that these areas can help reduce parent use of physical punishment. Dr. Gershoff also cited evidence that “medical settings are important contexts for reducing parent’s support for and use of physical punishment” and that “parents trust their pediatricians for advice on discipline.”In considering the strategies below, you are working with a family facing imminent loss of child custody due to excessive use of physical punishment. The parents are resistant to outside interference and have a history of dropping out of programs complaining that the various professional staff members don’t understand them, talk down to them, and don’t care about them.Creating and Implementing Strategies: Example #2You’ve been asked to assist in identifying an appropriate, accessible program that the parents will agree to enter. In view of the family’s prior history, you’ve concluded that more traditional systems are unlikely to provide a good match.  You’ve decided to visit a number of family-based and/or group-based programs to observe them in action, conduct interviews with staff and participating parents, and hopefully, identify one or more possible enrollment options. You’re especially interested in the following items:To what extent do enrolled parents serve as valued, respected direct intervention agents with their own children in the program setting?To what extent are parent-implemented home programs conducted on a regular basis? Are home program data records collected by the parents at home? How are these records reviewed? Who decides when changes need to be made in those home programs and what those changes should be?Are there regularly scheduled group parent meetings in the program setting? Who leads the discussions?Are more experienced, participating parents expected to help newer parents?Your purpose is to assess the extent to which client family members are relatively passive recipients of an intervention service or openly valued equal partners in designing and implementing the interventions. Those of us who have degrees and titles associated with our names (typically being paid to work with client family members) would do well to remain cognizant of this somewhat uncomfortable truth:  However learned, sincere, sensitive, and hard-working we may be, there are parents who are infinitely more effective in attracting, supporting, and assisting struggling parents than we can ever be. Other parents within the group might have the capacity to say things like, “I know exactly how that feels, let me tell you what happened with us.”  Or, “This program saved our family.” Professionals are often unable to relate to a family on such a personal, experiential level.A vivid visual image represents the essence of an authentically collaborative partnership. Picture if you will a staff member sitting directly across from a newly enrolled parent as they review home program data. The staff member is wagging her index finger in the direction of the parent as they discuss what has been done, not done, and needs to be done. Now picture a different visual image. That same staff member and parent are sitting side-by-side at that same table examining the same home program data as they discuss what has been done, not done, and needs to be done. No wagging index finger, just mutually respectful colleagues. Finally, picture an even more contrasting visual image. Two parents, one a newly enrolled “client” and one a more experienced parent fulfilling her “payback” commitment to the program are sitting side-by-side at that same table as they review what has been done, not done, and needs to be done.Matt Timm, Ph.D.Executive Director (1974-1997) The Regional Intervention Program (RIP), in Nashville, Tennessee, is a parent-implemented model for the treatment of families of young children with behavioral disorders in continuous operation from June 1969 to the present.  Since 1974  the RIP Expansion Project has guided the establishment and ongoing operation of certified replication sites in Tennessee (n=17), Kentucky (Fort Campbell), Connecticut (West Hartford), Ohio (Cleveland), Iowa (Cedar Rapids), Washington (Yakima), Canada (Brantford), Brazil (Manaus), and Venezuela (Caracas). Detailed information regarding current program sites, research findings, selected readings, plus a 9 minute video overview can be found at: http://ripnetwork.org/.Director, Early Childhood Programs (1997-2013)Tennessee Voices for Children, (TVC), was organized in 1986 as a statewide coalition of individuals, agencies, and organizations working together to promote children’s mental health services.  In 1999, the Board of Directors determined that it should be comprised of a minimum of 51% parents and family members whose lives are touched by emotional and behavioral disorders. This step made TVC a truly family-driven organization. TVC strives to meet its mission and goals by providing forums, conferences, education, and training to parents, professionals, policy makers, business and community leaders.   Current components include the Statewide Family Support Network, Early Childhood Consulting Program, Family Connection/System of Care Network, Youth Screen, and Tennessee Healthy Transitions Initiative.last_img read more

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