“It only takes one invested adult to change the entire trajectory of a child’s life.”
Vine Maple Place holds this phrase as the cornerstone of their mission and has been implementing Conscious Discipline to support this effort for the past seven years.
Vine Maple Place is a non-profit that provides services for homeless single parents in the Pacific Northwest by way of educational programs, prevention programs, trainings and support for single-parent families who are unhoused or who are in the process of eviction.
Only 16% of children born into poverty climb out of it in adulthood. In the face of this jarring statistic, Vine Maple Place’s dedicated staff members take a unique approach with the families in their care.
“We are leading in our industry,” says Child & Youth Program Associate Director Kristina Wright, “in social work there are case managers to give orders and make the decisions, but we believe in our clients’ autonomy, abilities, and strengths one hundred percent. We know they can enable themselves with the support of our housing, training, and child & youth program team.”
Both the Training and Education Team and the Children and Youth Department rely heavily on curricula developed using the skills and strategies of Conscious Discipline. Mrs. Wright introduced Conscious Discipline to Vine Maple Place eight years ago after reading the book, “Managing Emotional Mayhem.” Now, it has become foundational to Vine Maple’s programming, from their Family Stability program to their children’s educational programming, to how they train their staff.
“We do training as a staff about the adult-first focus,” says Mrs. Wright, “Trauma affects the development of the brain, so it is helpful for adults. Trauma informed programs run through the week; mentor groups, tutoring times, social and emotional learning programs; they all use the Conscious Discipline approach. Each new team gets trained using the e-courses for both Handling Upset: The Adult First Mindset Shift and Conscious Discipline- Building Resilient Schools and Homes. A few of us even attended the Responding to Anger and Rage workshop in-person in Seattle this year. We have calming stations, a Safe Place, and we also hand it down to our volunteers and coach our volunteers.”
Conscious Discipline is embedded throughout Vine Maple Place, and with good reason. The first year Ms. Wright implemented Conscious Discipline practices at Vine Maple, she kept close data to track progress. She found the outcome to be astounding. Not only were children positively progressing overall in areas such as behavior, attitude, and situation, but Ms. Wright was able to identify that it only took an average of 12.5 hours of exposure to curricula using the Conscious Discipline approach for progress to become evident. Vine Maple Place has been implementing Conscious Discipline ever since.
Vine Maple Place’s mission is to end the generational cycle of homelessness. Ms. Wright uses the example of the valley of homelessness when explaining how timing is key to their goal. “Here,” she says pointing to the top of the mountain, “is where we want to focus. If we can meet someone up here, it is a lot shorter of a trip.” The farther down the mountain you get, the harder it is to climb back up. Vine Maple aspires to catch struggling families before their ascent becomes a challenge.
As of 2022:
-918 Families have been served
-2813 Individuals have been served
-91% of families remain rehoused a year later
Vine Maple Place will continue leaning on Conscious Discipline’s practices and strategies in their programming to “heal past trauma standing in the way of well-being” for single parents and families facing homelessness. Learn more about their efforts on their YouTube channel.