New ICDP group in Beirut

ICDP training started for staff at SOS Children's Villages in Lebanon.

ICDP training was delivered to staff members at  SOS Children’s Villages –Bekaa during the last week of May 2018 and the first week of June 2018. 

Comments from ICDP trainer was Michelle MacDonald:

- We discussed the need for psychosocial support within the Syrian refugee context in Lebanon and the main points of ICDP were introduced, its objectives and how the ICDP approach- focusing more on sensitization rather than instruction - differs from other programmes.
Through group-work, analysing videos and various activities we discussed the  importance of caregivers’ conception of their child and of their own role as caregivers. Then the participants reflected on the local child rearing practices within (the host and refugee community), and identified negative conceptions and prejudices that block sensitive communication.

The “inner child” exercise brought back memories of their own childhood and helped activate their empathy, seeing the child as a sensitive ‘person’ with feelings, intentions and needs that require a sensitive response. We worked on caregivers image of the child - breaking negative pre-definitions and defining the child in a new positive way. 

Particularly important were the exercises in empathy and attunement: 1. interpreting different expressions and body language on provided photos; 2. creating a story/narrative with emotional expressive content interpreting the photos; 3. interpreting feelings and non-verbal communication on video samples (what was the caregiver feeling; what was the child feeling); 4. sharing of personal experiences analysing feelings of both caregiver and child/ren.                                          
Finally there was also a group-work activity to discuss the 8 ICDP guidelines and create interactive profiles.     
All participants had to complete a home task given in relation to answering the questions in the ICDP booklet and recording a video of their interaction with a child

The second part of the ICDP training addresses how to get the ICDP approach across to caregivers, how to become an ICDP facilitator after having done the caregiver level, and how the participants are going to fit what they learned into their private as well as professional life.

The participants were engaged in general after a slow start the first day and their interest grew as we got through the training. They were comfortable expressing their opinions as well as participating in role-play and other activities. Some who seemed reluctant at first actually became very enthusiastic about the workshop. Others will need a bit more time and support to integrate the ICDP principles. Certainly the core group of participants displayed qualities of sensitivity, respect, patience and empathy which would make them good candidates for implementing the ICDP programme. Although the level of engagement was good, it is only when the trainees start using ICDP in the field that a true evaluation can be carried out. An ICDP club was formed and follow-up will continue after the summer.