FULTON, NY – Family, friends, colleagues and agency leaders gathered on April 15 to celebrate the accomplishment of 13 students, who earned the Family Development Credential.
The students are employees of several human and social services agencies across Oswego County, including Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, Agri-Business Child Development of Red Creek, and OCO.
Joining a network of more than 5,000 frontline workers who have earned the Family Development Credential are: Brooke Hansen and Kerrie Pratt, of CCE of Oswego County; Maria Reynoso, of ABCD-Red Creek; and Sharon Blodgett, Heather Crofoot, Crystal Downey, Shauntelle Farden, Micki Ann Hughes, Nancy Hutchison, Jennifer Kennedy, Stephanie Langdon, Cecil Loveall, and Heather Robinson, all of OCO.
The FDC was developed in partnership with the New York State Department of State â€“ Division of Community Services and Cornell Universityâ€™s College for Human Ecology, in the late 1980s.
FDC program director, Christine Prevost described the curriculum, â€œIt is a professional credentialing program for frontline human service workers, which involves 90 hours of classroom work, 10 hours of field advisement, and the development of a professional portfolio documenting how the students applied the classroom skills to the work that they do in their professional lives.â€
The FDC is a nationally recognized credential in the human and social services industry.
â€œWith the Family Development model, we start with whatâ€™s strong with the family and build on those strengths,â€ Prevost said.Â â€œFamilies work with agency staff to identify goals that will help the family to be successful and more self-reliant. They identify the steps that will lead up to their goals. Along the way, workers help family members to develop and practice needed skills. Ultimately, families exit services with new skills and knowledge, and are better prepared to meet future challenges, without the aid of public services.â€
â€œI like to think of the FDC as a â€˜donâ€™t do to meâ€™ credential,” said Paul Forestiere II, executive director of CCE of Oswego County, reflecting on the feelings that many families have expressed about seeking services at a time when theyâ€™re at their most vulnerable.
â€œPeople do not want to be â€˜done to.’Â They want to exercise their power to make their own decisions; particularly those decisions that impact their lives and their future. The Family Development approach promotes the philosophy that the family, not the agency worker, knows what is best for the family,” he said.
FDC training is a program of Oswego County Opportunities.
For FDC course schedules and how to enroll in the next class, visit www.oco.org