Since September 2016, The Beijing Disabled Person’s Federation has contracted with LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing to provide case management for 150 children and to establish family support systems so that families can effectively access resources. An initial parent meeting and training was held at LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing on 13 September 2016. Twenty-seven children with special needs and their parents, teachers and students from the Department of Social Work at Beijing University of Agriculture, as well as LIH Olivia’s Place clinical staff participated.
Parents toured the clinic, met our doctors and therapy team, and were provided with an overview of clinic services. Clinicians briefly introduced the group to various therapies, techniques, and effects and outcomes of treatments. Parents came away with a better understanding of developmental behavioral pediatrics and therapies, as well as the mission of LIH Olivia’s Place. In addition, the project leader gave a detailed introduction to the case management project.
During the initial parent meeting, LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing Health Service Director Kristi Troutman also presented on “How to play with your Kids.” She introduced play suitable for children of different ages and with varying diagnoses and delays, as well as strategies to include therapy techniques in play. Through this lecture, parents began to think about how they usually play and interact with their children, and learned better ways to communicate with them.Di
Bridge Between Needs and Services
LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing, with the support of the Beijing Disabled Persons Federation, held activities for the case management project in October in Doncheng District. Dongcheng District Disabled Person’s Federation were very involved and provide space, and coordinated and organized the relevant community groups, including parents of children with special needs.
The goal of the event in Dongcheng was to increase awareness about the case management project., Dr. Dongmin Fan , Department Social Work, Beijing University of Agriculture, spoke about social work to improve the knowledge of both social workers and parents. Dr. Ruchi Yang, LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing again taught parents how to build and enhance relationships with children, through her presentation “How to use child-centered play methods to enhance parent-child relationships.” Many parents reflected that they learned a lot and obtained a deeper understanding of their children. The event also focused on interaction between parents and children in the form of play. Case managers designed four groups of group activity: building blocks, coloring, finger play, and parent-child games. The children worked together with case managers and parents to knead various shapes of dough, exchanging small works with each other. One parent reflected, “It is usually difficult to let my baby see so many children and play games together. I used to feel that my child is very timid and dislikes playing with others. I really appreciate that I saw him laugh so happily today.” In addition, a wonderful magic show was arranged especially for the children, so that they could fully interact with the magician and the children’s happy laughter affected all the people present. At the end of the activity, there was also a changing faces and bubble performance. The children participated enthusiastically and the activities ended in a cheerful and warm atmosphere.
Xicheng Parents and Children Learn about Play
The November case management parent meeting was held at the Xicheng District Disabled Person’s Federation. Twenty children and parents from Xicheng District participated. Like the previous meeting, Dr. Dongmin Fan of the Department of Social Work, College of Humanities and Law, Beijing University of Agriculture presented on the role of social workers in case management, to help parents people further understand the case management project. Dongmin Fan further explained that as part of the project, social workers would meet with the families to understand their needs an intervention plan which would include various types of communication, guidance, and activities to meet the family’s needs.
Dr. Ruchi Yang, US Licensed Psychologist and Registered Play Therapist, LIH Oliva’s Place, explained to parents how to use play to enhance the parent-child relationship. As part of the presentation, she invited one of the children to participate in a demonstration. Through the child’s selection of toys and play and interaction, she elaborated on children’s feelings and needs, and how to use guidance and cues to help children improve their cognitive ability.
Coloring book and stickers, as well as toys like building blocks and puzzles, were prepared especially for children at this training, to provide them with entertainment and play under the guidance of social workers. While the children played, LIH Olivia’s Place speech therapists also worked with children and provided guidance to their parents. Wonderful performances such as interactive magic, Sichuan opera face-changing, clown performance, and bubble show were also part of this meeting. These fun and engaging performances attracted the children’s attention, let everyone fully participate, and increased interaction.
Parent Training Continues at the Close of 2016
In December 2016, LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing again hosted a parent meeting and training at the clinic. The activity began with a cheerful interactive clown performance. The successful format trialed in earlier parent meetings was again utilized, with Dr. Dongmin Fan, Beijing University of Agriculture speaking on creating a bridge between families’ needs and social services” and conveying to parents about how to effectively cooperate with social workers. Dr. Ruchi Yang, LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing, shared child-centered play methods to enhance parent-child relationship. Through play, families can not only communicate with their child and understand their psychological state and emotional expression, but also better understand their child’s development and give timely positive support. Dr. Ruchi Yang provided demonstrations and used simple ways to help parents understand that child-centered play methods play an important role.
During the event, the clinic also arranged complimentary consultations with clinicians to answer parents’ questions. A magic show enabled the children in attendance to get closer to magic through personal experience and fully interact with the magician. At the end of the event, the children also participated in a bubble performance, which ended the day’s activities on a high note.
The case management project has achieved a profound understanding of the significance of case management for those involved, both professionals and families. It is very important for communities and service providers to coordinate to achieve the goal of resource integration and optimal allocation, so as to improve service quality and reduce management cost. It is equally important to service efficiency and cost benefits through providing continuous service, in order to ensure quality. Finally, the project has helped to further clarify the positions and responsibilities of social work. Social workers are managers, namely playing three roles: service coordination, counseling referral, and advocacy. The project activities have obtained very good results and achieved anticipated purposes. The participants in this activity included not only nearly 50 children with special needs and their parents, but also social workers, rehabilitation workers, and the staff LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing, bringing total participants in the project to more than 100 people.