We are happy to announce that Alberta Professional Services has been selected to participate in Together Facing the Challenge Evidence Based Practice Implementation. The program is based on a training/consultation approach to improving practice in treatment foster care (TFC). Essentially, Together Facing the Challenge is a training approach for TFC parents that has proven effective when measuring outcomes for therapeutic foster children. The program sets forth the following goals for both therapeutic foster parents and program facilitators alike: building therapeutic relationships; performing and teaching cooperation skills; implementing effective parenting techniques (communicate effectively, set expectations, reinforce positive behavior, avoid power struggles, etc.); preparing youth for their future by teaching independence skills; creating a positive home environment through family fun time, taking care of self, family meetings, etc.; and improving outcomes for youth served in therapeutic foster care settings. Our broad goal is for this teaching program to enhance therapeutic foster parenting skills and relationships between parents and children. We are excited to introduce evidenced based practice to APS and look forward to the enriched quality of our TFC program as a result.
BSW Candidate 2017
Did you know that African Americans and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at a rate about one-half that of Caucasian Americans in the past year? Asian Americans used the mental health services at about one-third that rate. This is important because 1 in every 5 adults, and 1 in every 10 children may have a mental illness at some time in their lives. With these statistics it is clear that minority groups do not get the care and support that they need to help with mental illnesses.
Mental health services are an important part of overall health and wellbeing. When minority groups do not get the services that they need they tend to suffer from more serious health issues. In fact African Americans are 20% more likely to suffer a serious mental health issue than any other population. Minority groups are reluctant to seek treatment due to lack of information as well as the stigma surrounding mental health.
We are proud to celebrate the month of July as Minority Mental Health Month. By spreading the word on this issue we hope to encourage individuals of minority groups to become informed about available services and to get the treatments they need. We want to support all minority groups in living healthier and happier lives.
Brooke van der Giessen
Alberta Professional Services Intern from Guilford College
Psychology and Criminal Justice
– See more at: https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Diverse-Communities/African-Americans#sthash.i73FiaD6.dpuf
At Alberta, we value the diversity of both our clients and staff. As an organization, we strive to learn about the various cultures and religions represented by our team. In observation of Ramadan, we interviewed one of our staff to learn more about the Muslim holiday and her experience with it.
Yaffa Ali, 19, is a student at Wake Forest University and works in the Greensboro office during her breaks. She is the daughter of Badi Ali, who oversees operations at the Alamance House group home. Yaffa is a practicing Muslim and is currently participating in Ramadan. We sat down with Yaffa to ask her about the holiday.
Staff: What is Ramadan?
YA: Ramadan is the holy month of fasting for Muslims in which we fast from sunrise to sunset for about 29 or 30 days.
Staff: Is it the same month every year?
YA: No, it follows the lunar calendar so it begins and ends on different days each year.
Staff: Why is it considered the “Holy Month”?
YA: It is believed that during this month the Quran was revealed to the prophet Muhammed. Therefore, its origins start with God’s Word. If you participate and commit to the entire month of holiness, your sins will be washed away. Within the month, the last 10 days are the most important. The main idea is that the last 10 days contains the night when the Quran was revealed to Muhammad, although we are not sure which night it is exactly. This night is called Al-Qadr, or the Night of Revelations. Al-Qadr has its own reward in itself because it is considered better than 1000 months.
Staff: What are the food stipulations during Ramadan? Are there foods that you eat at night to help your stomach during the day while you’re fasting?
YA: Oh yes, at night when we break our fast we have a huge meal, pretty much all of our nutrients are crammed in when we eat then. Right before sunrise, we will eat foods that will help us avoid dehydration during the day. We’ll eat dates, watermelon, sour cream, yogurt, pretty much anything with a thick consistency that isn’t too sweet or salty.
Staff: Do you have special services in observance of the holiday?
YA: Every Friday and Saturday night, we hold huge community dinners, serving about 500 or 600 people per night. Friday is our most important day, it’s the day of prayer. One of the most important things to remember about fasting is that you’re not just fasting from food and water, but you’re fasting from bad behaviors and anything that might harm the body or mind. You’re focus is getting closer to God. While fasting you’re supposed to work on your prayers, supplications, and spirituality. At night there is a long prayer time meant to promote the aspect of spirituality.
Staff: What is a typical night like for you during Ramadan?
YA: I will come home from work and sleep. About 8:40 PM (sunset) we will eat. Right after we eat, we perform our night prayers. Typically, we will sit around and spend time with the family. Later on, we go to the mosque to perform our late night prayers. Almost the whole household will stay up the entire night, snacking and visiting with the family. We will wait until right before sunrise (typically around 4:40 AM) to eat before we must fast again.
Staff: Are there any exceptions to the fast? Is anyone exempt?
YA: There are a few exceptions. Women who are menstruating or bleeding from childbirth do not fast until the bleeding has stopped. They are then required to fast a number of days equal to those she missed because of bleeding. The sick and pregnant are also not required to fast, but should perform restitution.
Staff: What is the end of Ramadan like? Is there a celebration?
YA: Yes, it’s a three day celebration, but the first day is the most important. We can eat the moment we wake up. Typically, you wake up early, make sure you’re clean and in new clothes, give gifts, see the family, and go to the mosque perform prayers. Usually, there are activities planned for the kids and adults for the remainder of the day. It is a very big deal.
Staff: Well, this has been incredibly interesting and informative. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me.
YA: Of course, you’re welcome. I hope this was helpful.
Staff: It certainly was. Thank you.
by Ashley Pollard, Summer Employee at Alberta Professional Services
B.A. US History | B.A. Public Relations
Social and Economic Justice Minor
UNC-CH | Class of 2017
– Yaffa Ali & Family