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‘InterACT’ Program Available for Custodial and Foster Families

Custodial and foster families are invited to participate in “InterACT,” a free workshop series hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The educational series is open to grandparents, foster parents, and children in third through sixth grade who are being raised by grandparents or living in foster care. Online workshops begin in September and the registration deadline is Sept. 10.

InterACT is based on the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy model, referred to as ACT, explained Jeongeun Lee, an Iowa State University assistant professor and extension specialist in human development and family studies. InterACT aims to improve emotional and social well-being in custodial and foster families by teaching adults and children about personal values, mindfulness and self-acceptance.

“More than 3 million custodial grandparents are providing care to their grandchildren in the United States,” Lee said. “The InterACT program allows you to connect with other custodial grandparents in Iowa, as well as learn and practice new coping skills and parenting tools.”

Participating in the workshops can be a positive experience for children and adults, Lee said. Participants will learn how to build skills for being mindful, making decisions and developing positive attitudes. They will gain resources, support and practical tips to create and nurture rewarding relationships.

The online workshop series includes short videos and group discussions. Participants will complete six virtual face-to-face sessions with self-paced homework between sessions. Grandparents and foster parents may participate from 11 a.m. to noon or 7-8 p.m., and children may participate from 4-5 p.m. or 5-6 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Monday, Sept. 13
  • Monday, Sept. 20
  • Monday, Sept. 27
  • Monday, Oct. 4
  • Monday, Oct. 11
  • Monday, Oct. 18

For more information or to register, contact Ella Faulhaber, project director, by email at CYFAR@iastate.edu. CYFAR is a collaborative research and education effort to increase positive outcomes for children, youth and families at risk.

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