When parents are unable to meet their children’s needs for support and guidance, professional helpers may be called on to intervene. While children and youth can and do benefit, too often these interventions are not as effective as they could be. Helpers are often left feeling overburdened by expectations that they ‘fix the problem’, and may resent what they perceive as parents’ lack of cooperation and motivation. Parents may feel blamed and shamed by helpers and may resent what they experience as inappropriate interference in their private lives. And children and youth may be left feeling abandoned or caught between divided loyalties or feuding helping systems.


In this workshop participants explore approaches to working with parents that go beyond shame and blame, that allow helpers to let go of  the unrealistic role of ‘problem fixer’, and that create the conditions needed for genuine parent-helper partnerships.


Some of the topics addressed in this workshop include:

  • At-risk parents: Who are they?

  • Creating attachments or changing behaviours: What is the core goal?

  • Self-care for at-risk parents and helpers: Natural ways to reduce unmanageable pain and stress

  • Culturally grounded parent-child programs: What can they look like?


This workshop introduces participants to relevant psychological theory and therapy practices. The emphasis is on learning through storytelling, art-based exercises and group reflection.

Mentor and youth collaborate on traditional art making.

I felt nurtured by being part of this workshop. I learned a lot about myself.  


The presenter was passionate about the topic and provided thorough coverage – a genuine speaker who is very easy to listen to and understand.


- Anonymous Comments by workshop participants at the 2012 Manitoba Child Care Association Conference (Winnipeg, MB.)