In 2011, Kimberly Svevo-Cianci, leader of the Changing Children's Worlds Foundation (CCWF), invited ICDP to Chicago, with the objective of developing a project in West Pullman - an area characterized by high levels of violence, unemployment and low income, where the largest population is African American. St. Titus Church recognized the high need for violence prevention and became committed to implementing ICDP in the community. The training in ICDP was led by Nicoletta Armstrong, and it was first received with great enthusiasm in November 2011. The training continued during 2012, when most of the participants carried out their pilot projects with families in the community.
ICDP USA was formed in 2012. Several new groups received training in Chicago and in addition, the USA team established cooperation with the Tulane University in New Orleans. The first ICDP workshop at Tulane was received by a group of psychology and social work graduate students, as well as community professionals; follow up training in 2013.
ICDP WITH MILITARY FAMILIES
During 2013, ICDP USA have organized discussions and learning groups about the ICDP programme with parents from military families, including veterans. It became clear from the general feedback that ICDP could provide valuable support to these families and their children, by strengthening family relationships and well being, including protection from violence. As a result, ICDP has joined 'Illinois Joining Forces' and appointed Major Jack Erwin (retired from Afghanistan) as their first Military Family Programme Addvisor.
In Jack's opinion ICDP has value for military personnel and families and he commented:
“The reason I think this program is good for military families is because it helps the Soldier to reframe his or her mindset to their family relationships. I have been able to phase out my authoritarian military style mindset and replace it with one that is more positive, loving, and empathy based- which strengthens my long term relationships with my wife and kids, instead of causing conflict and only working in the short term. In fact, using the skill set I've learned, I was able to use it with my daughters just last night to clean their rooms and do laundry without any power struggle or yelling. What works well with leading Soldiers does not work well with running a family.
Another positive aspect of the program is its mobility. It is a "Johnny Appleseed" approach to train the trainer. You can use it locally to train counselors, social workers, teachers, church leaders, etc. to become facilitators, and then provide parenting sessions for military families locally. I think this is crucial, because National Guard Soldiers and Reservists tend to "slip through the cracks" since we are more geographically isolated and not near a military installation. However, it can also be easily implemented at a military installation as well.
The purpose of the program is to teach parents and caregivers the skills needed to develop and improve long term family relationships based on empathy and love.”
GRANT FROM THE PRITZKER EARLY CHILDHOOD FOUNDATION
The Pritzker Early Childhood Foundation has awarded CCWF with a grant that will be used to develop four new ICDP sites across the Chicago area including Engelwood, Carpentersville, Cicero, and Rogers Park. The grant is for the professional development of Early Childhood Workers and Child Care Center and to strengthen their support of the parents of the children they serve. The first workshop was launched on the 4th of December 2013 and the work has continued in 2014 and 2015.