School-Based Family Support

The School-Based Family Support Program of Catholic Charities provides services to contracted Catholic schools in the Diocese of Camden. Services include the following:

  • Identification of at-risk students
  • Psycho-social assessments
  • Consultation with parents/caregivers
  • Information and referral for community agencies
  • Brief counseling
  • Home visits
  • Crisis intervention and debriefing
  • Consultation with and training of educators
  • Small group work and classroom presentations
  • Support services to immigrant and refugee students

Current contracted schools include:

  • Saint Anthony of Padua School, Camden
  • Saint Cecilia School, Camden
  • Saint Joseph Pro-Cathedral School, Camden
  • Saint Peter School, Merchantville
  • Cape Trinity Catholic School, Wildwood
  • Camden Catholic High School, Cherry Hill

A NOTE TO SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS:
If you are interested in obtaining more information about the School Based Family Support program, please see the Faculty Training and In-Service Education tab below.

In today’s world children encounter a significant amount of stress. Some youngsters face challenges related to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Some children live with single parents who are unemployed while others have a parent who works multiple jobs trying to provide for their families. Some youngsters live with and observe a parent or caregiver who experiences problems with substance abuse. Other children unfortunately experience or witness violence such as domestic violence or community violence in their neighborhoods. All of these situations can and often do impact on the child’s emotional wellbeing including their ability to focus on and complete their school work, relate well with peers and adults, and control impulses.

Some studies estimate that between and 5% and 21% of students experience some signs or symptoms of a mental health related issue such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. However, it can be difficult for concerned parents and caregivers to obtain assistance for their children. When families search for social services and mental health assistance in the community, they often encounter significant obstacles.

Children who attend a school that has contracted with the School Based Family support Program for services are eligible for services which are available then at the school. The licensed social workers and counselors employed by the program also conduct home visits if this is needed or meet with families at our office and they have flexible hours. This makes accessing services easier for students and their families. The School Based Family Support staff members also facilitate collaboration between school staff and parents/caregivers. In most cases, there is no cost to the family for services.

Funding Sources

The School-Based Family Support Program of Catholic Charities receives funding from various grants, the House of Charity, and private fees. The program provides services primarily to the Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese of Camden.

The School Based Family Support Program offers teacher and faculty training on a variety of topics and can also customize workshops or presentations for you. Our trainers are licensed social workers with extensive experience working in and with schools on a broad range of concerns, including improving classroom management, working with children with an ADHD diagnosis, communicating effectively with parents, resolving conflicts, and understanding the unique needs of immigrant and refugee students.

All trainings are $150/hour, and can be scheduled by calling Cheryl Dunican-Hein, Program Director of the School-Based Family Support Program, at (856)342-4164 Catholic Charities is an accredited provider of Continuing Education Credits for teachers. All trainings are $150/hour, and can be scheduled by calling Cheryl Dunican-Hein, Program Director of the School-Based Family Support Program, at (856) 342-4164.

Classroom Management, Part 1

This first part of “Classroom Management” leads participants through typical behavior concerns in the classroom and provides a hands-on opportunity to create a positive classroom management system through the use of rubrics, logical consequences, and an understanding of hierarchies of behavior. Teachers and staff will learn how to increase students’ ability to assess their own behavior, and will learn strategies for classifying and categorizing inappropriate behavior as well as developing appropriate, consistent, and effective consequences. (2.5 hours; Addresses Standards 2, 3, 6, 8, 10 of the NJ Professional Standards for Teachers)

Classroom Management, Part 2

This continuation of “Classroom Management” builds on what was learned previously and provides implementation strategies for rubrics, logical consequences, and hierarchies of behavior that are designed to create classrooms that focus on academic instruction without distraction from inappropriate classroom behaviors. Strategies for providing effective discipline while still building and maintaining positive relationships with students are also provided. (2.5 hours; Addresses Standards 2, 3, 6, 8, 10 of the NJ Professional Standards for Teachers)

Classroom Management, Part 3: Promoting Learning

This workshop continues the “Classroom Management” series and uses the hierarchy described in that workshop to promote independent, self-reflective learners. Strategies for soliciting student input for the hierarchy and using the hierarchy in the classroom in different academic subjects are provided, as is hands-on time to develop appropriate hierarchies. (2.5 hours; Addresses Standards 1, 2, 3, 6, 10 of the NJ Professional Standards for Teachers)

Building Relationship

Despite the learning environment—urban, suburban, or rural­—students crave authentic relationships with their teachers. Learn the developmental reasons why students’ behavior often seems inconsistent with promoting good relationships and tips, techniques, and strategies that help to build good relationships and promote student achievement, both behaviorally and academically. (2.5 hours; Addresses Standards 2, 3, 6, 8, 10 of the NJ Professional Standards for Teachers)

Principal Consultation

Consultation with principals on school-wide planning, changes, or concerns. Examples include changing the climate and culture of a school, developing school-wide discipline programs, and creating and implementing bullying prevention programs. (1.5 hours or 2.0 hours)

Teacher Consultation

Consultation with teachers on concerns that surround an individual classroom or student. Examples include developing and implementing classroom management programs and behavioral modification plans for individual students, assisting with lesson plans and working with special needs children in ways that take into account necessary accommodations, preparing for parent-teacher conferences, and creating effective parent communications. (1.5 hours; Can address several of the NJ Professional Standards for Teachers)

Custom Workshops

For schools with a training interest or school/student concern not addressed here, contact Cheryl Dunican-Hein to determine if a workshop can be created to meet your specific needs.

Classroom and School Culture, Part 1

Having a positive classroom and/or school culture can help reduce student disrespect toward teachers and peers, increase social engagement of isolated or unengaged students, and address other concerns, including teasing, bullying, and other aggressive behaviors. A positive climate also can help to increase academic performance. This workshop provides information on two evidence-based practices — Olweus’ bullying prevention program and Responsive Classroom and provides strategies and tools to create a positive classroom and school culture. (2.5 hours; Addresses Standards 2, 6, 8, 10 of the NJ Professional Standards for Teachers)

Classroom and School Culture, Part 2

This continuation of “Classroom and School Culture” allows teachers to continue the conversation about school culture and addresses challenges and successes teachers have had in implementing changes in their classrooms. (2.5 hours; Addresses Standards 2, 6, 8, 10 of the NJ Professional Standards for Teachers)

Bullying Prevention

This workshop provides an overview of research-based bullying prevention strategies as well as an overview of how to address bullying behaviors. Strategies for working with bullies, the victims, and the bystanders also are provided. (2.5 hours; Addresses Standards 2, 6, 8,10 of the NJ Professional Standards for Teachers)

Conflict Resolution

It is normal for children to encounter conflict in their daily lives. This workshop will provide basic communication strategies that can be taught to students to increase the likelihood of win-win outcomes of conflicts between students. (2.5 hours; Addresses Standards 2, 6, 8, 10 of the NJ Professional Standards for Teachers)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the Classroom

This workshop provides an overview of the challenges and difficulties students with ADHD bring with them to the classroom. Concrete strategies and tools for managing hyperactive behaviors in the classroom and helping students manage their attention deficits will be provided. (2.5 hours; Addresses Standards 2, 4, 6, 7, 10 of the NJ Professional Standards for Teachers)

Making it Positive, Making it Work

Communication with parents can be difficult. Learn strategies for communicating with parents at both an individual and group level, as well as working with resistant or difficult parents to engage them in a supportive and collaborative relationship that benefits students. (2.5 hours; Addresses Standards 6, 8, 9, 10 of the NJ Professional Standards for Teachers)

Teaching Immigrant and Refugee Students

Students who immigrate to or seek refuge in the United States bring unique experiences with them on the journey including the need to adjust and acculturate to their new country and school setting. It’s been reported that it can take 3-5 years for newcomer students to adjust. Learn ways to facilitate the adjustment process and foster academic success for these new Americans. (2.5 hours; Addresses Standards 2, 3, 6, and 7 of the NJ Professional Standards for Teachers)