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Caregiver Discussion Groups. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona Fit WIC Project October 2001. What are Discussion Groups?. Groups of caregivers get together and talk about feeding their children A facilitator helps to ensure the conversation goes smoothly. Why Discussion Groups?.

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Caregiver Discussion Groups

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Caregiver discussion groups l.jpg

Caregiver Discussion Groups

Inter Tribal Council of Arizona

Fit WIC Project

October 2001


What are discussion groups l.jpg

What are Discussion Groups?

  • Groups of caregivers get together and talk about feeding their children

  • A facilitator helps to ensure the conversation goes smoothly


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Why Discussion Groups?

  • Our participants loved the discussion groups we had with our focus groups and wanted more!

  • Caregivers learn better from each other than from health care providers.

  • Caregivers get a realistic look at how to feed their children.

  • Groups can save your clinic time by processing several people at the same time.

  • They are a new and different way of providing education.


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Why Facilitated Discussion Groups?

  • Facilitating the groups can add to your other valuable skills.

  • They will break up the monotony of providing education in the same way all the time (for staff and participants).

  • They add diversity to the education being provided so different learning styles are accommodated.

  • They can help establish support systems for WIC participants.

  • They will help you learn more about the people you serve.


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How do you feel about discussion groups?


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Some concerns you may have

  • No space

  • Not enough time to do them

  • Afraid, embarrassed, uncomfortable doing them

  • Caregivers won’t like them

  • Too hard to do them


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Getting Started

  • What do you need to do to start group discussions?

    • Find meeting room

    • Set dates and times

    • Recruit participants

    • Learn how to facilitate

      • Training and Practice, Practice, Practice


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Facilitating a Group

  • Greet the participants

  • Be enthusiastic and positive

  • Establish ground rules

  • Begin with an icebreaker


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The Opening Question

  • The opening question should be easy for the group to answer.

  • Sometimes it may take a little time for someone to answer.

  • Tell them beforehand that they may need time to think about it.

  • If no one answers for a long time:

    • Guess at an answer

    • Pick someone that you think will be comfortable answering the question.


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Open-ended questions

  • What is an open-ended question?

  • Can’t be answered with a yes or no.

  • There are no right or wrong answers.

  • Answer the questions who, what, when, where, why, how, how much, how often.


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What are some open-ended questions?


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Too many open-ended questions

  • May feel like interrogation

  • Want the atmosphere to be conversational

  • Balance with clarifying statements or focusing.


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Guiding the Discussion-Your Job

  • Make the process go smoothly and easily.

  • But stay in control of the discussion.

  • Keep the group on the topic.

  • Encourage speakers to give more information.

  • Look for feedback.

  • Allow and encourage everyone to speak.


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How to Encourage Participation

  • Pay attention to the person who is speaking.

  • Give positive reinforcement to the person who is speaking.

  • Watch for signs that someone else may want to respond.

  • Make sure seating arrangements include everyone.


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How to Focus on Topic

  • Guide the conversation by picking up on points that are related to the topic.

  • Ask more questions in those areas. Ask others how they feel about what someone said.

  • If an issue comes up several times, it is probably one that needs to be addressed.

  • Focus esp. if conversation has rambled or jumped from topic to topic


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Focus on Feelings

  • Find out how the participants feel about something or what their experiences are.

  • There are no right or wrong answers here.

  • This helps to avoid debates or disagreements.

  • Examples?


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Practice Active Listening

  • Listen carefully.

  • Pay attention to what the person is saying

  • Don’t interrupt their statement.

  • Don’t be thinking about what you are going to say next while they are speaking.


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Clarifying

  • Comes after active listening.

  • Repeat what you understood the participant to say.

  • Give opportunity to disagree with your interpretation.


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Dealing with Wrong Information

  • Goal is to introduce correct information, avoid embarrassing person and acknowledge their experiences.

  • Example statements.


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Summarize the Discussion

  • Bring ideas together.

  • Repeat relevant points.

  • Highlight certain conversations.

  • Ask each participant to share what they learned or discovered during the session.

  • Even the facilitator can learn something new!


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Have Fun!!!

  • Remember it takes practice to become skilled at this.

  • Don’t define success by the number of people at the session.

  • Enjoy yourself and encourage participants to have fun too!


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