Foundation Supports Expansion of Professor SUNY Oswego’s Circle of Security Parenting Program – Oswego County Today

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Catholic Charities of Fulton recently held a graduation ceremony for graduates of the Circle of Security Parenting program. Standing left to right: Robert Chevier (parent), Shayna Chevier (parent) with daughter Faith (9 months), Brooke Foster (parenting coordinator), William Hardy (parent) and Marie Hardy (parent). Seated left to right: Bianca Blakeny (parent) and Yolanda Heathcote (parent).

OSWEGO – SUNY Oswego Professor Dr. Matthew Dykas, Chair of the Department of Psychology, has received a $150,000 grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation to fund another year of his ongoing work with the Circle of Security Parenting program.

The program, which Dykas has implemented in Oswego County for several years at numerous nonprofit service organizations, will expand to six neighboring counties: Jefferson, Lewis, Onondaga, Cayuga, Madison and Oneida.

“This grant will allow us to recruit new agencies interested in rolling out Circle of Security Parenting to the families they serve, Dykas said. “I’m so excited to partner with these agencies to expand the Central New York Attachment Network so we can serve many more families.”

The funding will also allow Dykas and its community partners to help creatively address issues that prevent parents from accessing the Circle of Security program, such as transportation in rural areas. The COVID-19 pandemic has only compounded these issues which this funding will help begin to address.

“After nearly two years of recovery from a pandemic that hit vulnerable populations the hardest, we must continue to address the challenges New York State communities face: food and housing insecurity, lack of access to basic health care, including vaccines, lack of equity within health professions, and racial and economic disparities in health care have worsened during COVID-19. We must continue to support the full range of services that contribute to the health of individuals and communities, said Msgr. Gregory Mustaciuolo, CEO of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation.

Circle of Safety Parenthood

Circle of Security Parenting is an eight-week group program based on over 75 years of attachment theory and research. Essentially, parents can come and talk about what happened to them in the past, how it impacts their present, and how they can continue to move forward as parents in the relationship with their children.

“I think a key thing we do is help parents understand how the past comes into the present,” Dykas said. “Parents have good intentions and want the best for their children, but sometimes there can be a personal roadblock or two that can pose challenges to the relationship. That’s what we try to do – we try to help parents explore and reflect on those feelings.

The program model is also to address the lifespan of relationships, which can go beyond parenting. Dykas said the Circle of Security is a useful tool for any relationship, whether it’s a partnership, friendship, or for adoptive and foster parents.

“I have three adult teenagers and use it every day with them,” Dykas said. “But I also rely on the model frequently in my interactions with family, friends, and even college students u. It’s a great framework for understanding people’s basic needs for connectivity and belonging, and how we can effectively meet those needs.

Since Dykas brought Circle of Security Parenting to Oswego County, he has trained over 75 professionals to facilitate the program and hundreds of parents and caregivers have gone through the program itself with many testimonials of its effectiveness.

CNY Attachment Network

The Central New York Attachment Network is a collaboration of several nonprofit organizations currently implementing the Circle of Security Parenting program. The network is managed by the Prevention Support Partners located at SUNY Oswego.

If you are a parent interested in participating in Circle of Security Parenting, you can view a calendar of agencies hosting a program near you at cnyattachmentnetwork.org/calendar.

Mother Cabrini Health Foundation

The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of New Yorkers, strengthen health outcomes for vulnerable communities, remove barriers to care, and address gaps in health services.

Named after a tireless advocate for immigrants, children, and the poor, the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation funds programs and initiatives across New York State that provide direct health services or address the social determinants of health .

For more information visit https://www.cabrinihealth.org/

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