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National Training Sessions- 2011

Useful Resources

Do Fearless Preschoolers Lack Empathy?

A study of preschoolers finds that risk-taking children lack empathy.
More »

Teaching a Child to Become Independent with Daily Routines

Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) has published a new Family Tool to help family members and caregivers understand what self-help skills can be expected from young children and to provide tips for helping children learn how to become more independent with daily routines.
More »

Economist’s Plan to Improve Schools Begins Before Kindergarten

James J. Heckman, a University of Chicago economist, offered a provocative idea for reducing budget deficits and strengthening the economy: investing in early childhood development.
More »

DECA Program

2011 DECI Professional Development Opportunities

Contact: Debi Mahler or call (610)574-6141. Or, register online: Click Here

Spotlight on Professional Development: A NEW 1-Day Training on Practical Resilience Building Strategies for Home and School

By Josh Hatton, Children, Inc., Professional Development Coordinator

The Devereux Regional Training Center at Children, Inc. in Covington, KY is excited to roll out its newest advanced DECA Training.  This training will take a closer look at two specific ways the DECA Preschool Program can be incorporated into early care and education programs: through family partnerships and through resilience-building songs for the classroom. More »

Share Your Ideas

Share your great ideas with others around the nation and get free goodies as a Thank You! Send your articles, questions and resources to Karen Cairone at

Our Publishing Partner

Quarterly Newsletter: Winter 2011

January is National
Mentoring Month!

We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. ~ Winston Churchill

A mentor is someone who takes you under his or her wing, gives you advice and suggestions to help you cope or improve your skills, models how something is done, and provides encouragement and support.  In the relationship between mentor and mentee, each will benefit from sharing and receiving support and knowledge, and will learn from one another.
Full Story »

What’s New at the Devereux Center for Resilient Children (DCRC)?

Welcome to our new DCRC Team Member

Jennifer Fleming recently joined the DCRC staff as Research Associate. Jennifer will play a key role in overseeing research studies supporting our initiatives and resources. Jennifer received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Bloomsburg University and Master's degree in experimental psychology from Villanova University. Prior to joining our team, Jennifer conducted research in early childhood, including research focusing on enhancing child care and early intervention practices when working with children with special needs. Please join us in welcoming Jennifer to our team.


2011 Professional Development Calendar

In partnership with our Regional Training and Mentor Centers, DCRC is able to offer numerous professional development events in various cities across the country. The full calendar is available on our website and can be viewed by clicking here, or found on page 7 of this newsletter. If you have any questions about these events or if you are interested in scheduling professional development for your community, email Debi Mahler at


Research Opportunity: Use of the DECA with Children with Special Needs

We are often asked about the use of the DECA with children with special needs such as autism, attention deficit disorders, intellectual disabilities, and PTSD. In efforts to answer important questions around this topic, DCRC is planning to conduct a series of studies to investigate the protective factors of children with special needs. If you work with, or are the parent of, a child with special needs and would like to participate in these studies, please contact Katherine Ross at (610) 542-3117 or


FREE 1-Hour Informational Webinar on the DESSA and DESSA-mini

Paul LeBuffe, Co-Director of DCRC and author of the array of assessment tools, will be facilitating two informational webinars on the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) and a newly released companion tool, the DESSA-mini. The DESSA is a strength-based assessment for school-age children (Kindergarten-8th grade). The DESSA-mini offers a screening component to complete this comprehensive system for assessing and monitoring the social-emotional strengths and needs of all children. These informational webinars will be offered on:

  • Tuesday, January 25, 2011, from 1-2pm East Coast Time. To register for this webinar,
    click here.
  • Wednesday, February 16, 2011, from 1-2 East Coast Time. To register for this webinar,
    click here.

Songs of Resilience Receives Prestigious Award!

Songs of Resilience received Learning Magazine’s prestigious Teacher’s Choice award, one of the most recognized awards in the educational market. Evaluated by a panel of teachers for quality, instructional value, ease of use, and innovation, Songs of Resilience supports the DECA Program and builds attachment, initiative and self-control. Songs of Resilience is available through Kaplan Early Learning Company. Also available, Songs of Resilience Volume 2 and Un Mundo, One World, Songs of Resilience (Spanish-English bilingual).

A Recent DECA Training Experience in the Child Welfare System

By Debbie Alleyne, DECA Certified Trainer and Child Welfare Specialist

I recently had the opportunity and honor to travel to San Carlos, Arizona to provide DECA training to a group of foster parents and youth home staff on the San Carlos Apache reservation. A native of New York, my first response to this request was a mixture of excitement and apprehension. I was eager to travel to a beautiful part of the country (my first time in Arizona) as well as to spend 2 days with a group of foster parents and social workers who provide out-of-home care to Apache children who have been temporarily removed from their birth homes and parents. My apprehensions revolved around believing I didn’t have the cultural “competence” to directly relate to the Apache people and culture, their beliefs about child-rearing and family life, or their tribal social service systems.
Full Story »

Research Corner

Research Brief: Protective Factors are Related to Impairment in Children with Special Needs

An article by Jack Naglieri, Sam Goldstein, and Paul LeBuffe, published this fall in the Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, reported that within-child protective factors are strongly related to the degree of impairment experienced by children with special needs, as found in the home setting. Children with lower Social-Emotional Composite scores on the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) had significantly higher degrees of functional impairment and problem behaviors at home as reported by parents. Interestingly, the degree of impairment was not related to the child’s intelligence as measured by the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition or the Cognitive Assessment System. The relationship of low protective factors to high impairment was found in children with attention deficit disorders, learning disabilities, mild mental retardation, and depression.

The full article can be found at: Naglieri, J.A., Goldstein, S., & LeBuffe, P. (2010). Resilience and Impairment: An exploratory study of resilience factors and situational impairment. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment. 28 (4) 349-356.

Planning Ideas: Adding Social and Emotional SPICE!

By Rachel Sperry, DCRC Certified Trainer and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist

Winter 2011 newsletter

Adding social and emotional SPICE means taking the wonderful activities you are already doing with children and seasoning them with some intentional practice.  The important DECA spices that can be added to any activity (dish) include: attachment (AT), self-control (SC), and initiative (IN).  In training, we call this “Kicking It Up a Notch”; when trainees learn how to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary in order to build more resilience in children. Full Story »

Local Program
Mentor (LPM) News

Congratulations New Devereux Recognized LPMs!

Laurie Teggelaar, Chicago Heights, IL; Jacqueline Bunch, Raleigh, NC; Colleen Bosch, Billings, MT; Victoria Krause; Billings, MT; Terri Harper, Billings, MT; Sarita Winterrod Lundin, Billings, MT; Sandy Feyhl; Billings, MT, Judy Jensen, Billings, MT

Exclusive LPM Resources are available
in the LPM section of the DECI website:

Three new resources are available this quarter:

  • Time-Management Planner workbook: Use this resource with individuals or in group training.
  • 15 Minute Training Timer Slides (Power-point)
  • Questions to Promote Reflection: Use this handout to lead reflective conversations with teaching staff.

With questions about how to become an LPM please contact

Adult Resilience and Building Your Bounce Feature of the Quarter

by Susan Damico, DCRC Director of Operations

Over the past several years, the Devereux Early Childhood team has been focusing on supporting the social and emotional health of adults caring for children.  Building Your Bounce, Simple Strategies for a Resilient You, is our most popular resource on this important topic. The ideas in the resource are simple, and yet as I’ve learned first hand, a few changes can make a huge difference.

Our team lives what we teach, so it was no surprise during a recent staff retreat that great care was made to ensure a nurturing atmosphere.  Team members came armed with gestures, tokens, and treats that made everyone feel welcome, cared for, and valuable.  One journaling activity - the 7 minute flurry - was my favorite.  My favorite flurry was the “Top 100 List”.   In this activity, one is asked to write down 100 responses to questions like…

If I had more leisure time, I would…
I believe in…
I’m stressed about…
I’m good at…

Full Story »

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