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Frequently Asked Questions and Their Answers"

Q
WHAT MAKES KIDS FIRST UNIQUE?
A
  • The Kids First curriculum was specifically designed for both parents and kids to attend, strengthening the kids emotionally and refocusing the parents on the needs of the kids.
  • Kids First is a therapy based, interactive educational program utilizing peer group processes, providing both clinical and practical approaches to enhance parenting skills and reduce conflict.
  • The parentsí and kidsí curriculums are coordinated in order to more effectively address issues affecting the family as a whole as well as those issues unique to each family member.
  • At the conclusion of each weekly session, the clinical staff has a de-briefing where issues that arose in the parentsí and kidsí groups are discussed, providing insights for the following weeks.
  • Kids First is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation serving the community since 1996, organized and managed by attorneys and therapists. It is the only program of its kind in Southern California.
  • Q
    WHEN WILL A JUDICIAL OFFICER ORDER A FAMILY TO ATTEND KIDS FIRST?
    A
    Whenever they feel it appropriate to address family issues related to parenting and custody.
    Q
    IS KIDS FIRST ONLY FOR SERIOUSLY DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILIES?
    A
    No. Kids First will benefit most families where the parents live apart and there is any parental conflict regarding the kids or the kids are having difficulty coping with the separation.
    Q
    WHAT ARE SOME COMMON SITUATIONS WHEN KIDS FIRST MAY BE MOST HELPFUL?
    A
    • When the parents are disputing parenting arrangements.
    • When parents need to improve their co-parenting skills.
    • W hen a child is reluctant to visit a parent.
    • When step-family issues are negatively impacting parenting.
    • When there is ongoing or high conflict between the parents regarding the kids.
    Q
    WHICH FAMILY MEMBERS SHOULD BE ORDERED TO ATTEND KIDS FIRST?
    A
    Both parents and all kids ages 4 through17 should attend regardless of who is most uncooperative, as Kids First addresses the effect on each family member and the family as a whole.
    Q
    SHOULD STEPPARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN BE ASKED TO ATTEND?
    A
    Yes. Kids First addresses step-family dynamics, helping parents, stepparents, kids and stepkids better understand their respective roles in the restructured family.
    Q
    SHOULD GRANDPARENTS BE ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND?
    A
    Yes, if the grandparent has a significant role in the Kidsí lives.
    Q
    MAY FAMILIES ATTEND IF THERE ARE RESTRAINING ORDERS?
    A
    Yes. We have never had an incident of violence. Affected families are flagged in our registration process and we reserve the right to un-enroll anyone we determine to be a risk. We have our own security in addition to the availability of Chapman Security and the Orange Police Department.
    Q
    IS KIDS FIRST A MANDATORY REPORTER OF CHILD ABUSE?
    A
    Yes. We make approximately 10 to 12 reports per year.
    Q
    WHERE AND WHEN IS KIDS FIRST HELD?
    A
    Kids First is held at Chapman University in Orange. It is an eight week program held on Saturday mornings from 10:00 am to11:30 am. [The eighth week ends at 12:30.]
    Q
    HOW ARE THE PARENTíS GROUPS STRUCTURED?
    A
    Each parent is in a separate group with other mothers and fathers. An attending stepparent stays with their partner. Attending Grandparents will be in a group different from either parent.
    Q
    HOW ARE THE KIDSí GROUPS STRUCTURED?
    A
    Kids are in age appropriate groups: approximately ages 4-6, 7-9, 10-13 and 14-17. Siblings and/or step-kids may or may not be in the same group.
    Q
    HOW MANY GROUPS ARE THERE ON A SATURDAY MORNING?
    A
    Usually, four parent groups and seven kidís groups.
    Q
    WHO FACILITATES THE PARENT GROUPS?
    A
    One or two trained and experienced licensed therapists, psychologists and/or registered interns facilitate each parent group.
    Q
    WHO FACILITATES THE KIDSí GROUPS?
    A
    In addition to the above, we use Masters Degree candidates who work in the Chapman University Psychological Clinic. They are trained and supervised by Kids First and Chapman clinical staff.
    Q
    DOES KIDS FIRST MAKE A REPORT TO THE COURT?
    A
    No, Kids First is confidential. However, all participants receive a graduation certificate and each ďcourt orderedĒ participantís certificate also includes a record of the familyís attendance..
    Q
    HOW DOES KIDS FIRST MEASURE ITS EFFECTIVENESS?
    A
    In addition to anecdotal feedback received from participants, attorneys and therapists, the participants complete a pre and post test and a program evaluation. They also evaluate each of their facilitators. Kids respond to age appropriate questions about their Kids First experience.


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