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Helping children grow

Parenting educators from across Oregon gather to sharpen their skills

The sixth annual Oregon Parenting Educators Conference and Training Institute will be held May 19-20 at LaSells Stewart Center and CH2M Hill Alumni Center on the Oregon State University campus.

The conference, hosted by the Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families and the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative (OPEC), is designed with parenting educators in mind and provides an opportunity for professional development, networking and recognition of those excelling in the field.

“Parenting educators and other professionals who work with children and families do some of the most important work in our communities,” says Shauna Tominey, assistant professor of practice and parenting education specialist. “This work demands a high level of emotional labor and requires keeping up with the latest research and best practices. This amazing group of professionals continually gives their time and energy to take care of others. This conference is one small way that we strive to support and give back to them.”

Diving deep into parenting education

The first day of the conference features a variety of in-depth trainings. Topics include:

  • Advanced facilitation for parenting groups
  • Exploring reflective process standards and benefits for home visitors and supervisors
  • Pausing for resilience: Strengthening the capacity to thrive in the family support field
  • Understanding and nurturing resilience with children and families

The second day offers a selection of more than 20 workshops. The registration catalog includes detailed information and workshop descriptions.

Experts in the field

This year’s keynote speaker, Ann S. Masten, PhD, LP, of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, will present “Ordinary magic: Resilience in development.” Ann will highlight findings from decades of development research on resilience illuminating how children adapt successfully to trauma and challenges, including studies of poverty, homelessness, disaster, war, violence and other adverse childhood experiences.

Ann is a past president of the Society for Research in Child Development, recipient of numerous honors, and author of more than 200 publications, including the 2014 book, “Ordinary Magic: Resilience in Development.”

The conference concludes with an address by Charlene Alexander, PhD, vice president and chief diversity director at Oregon State University. Charlene will identify ways educators and professionals working with children and families can create a welcoming environment for parents of diverse backgrounds and an approach to success for all children in early learning settings.

Registration information

Registration is now open, and prices will increase after May 6. Many registration options are available, including special rates for students, groups and home visitors, and scholarships for first-time attendees, attendees from rural areas and those working with underserved populations. Visit the conference web page to learn more.