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Caregiver Discussion Groups - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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

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?

  • 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.

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.

How do you feel about discussion groups?

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

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

Facilitating a Group

  • Greet the participants

  • Be enthusiastic and positive

  • Establish ground rules

  • Begin with an icebreaker

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.

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.

What are some open-ended questions?

Too many open-ended questions

  • May feel like interrogation

  • Want the atmosphere to be conversational

  • Balance with clarifying statements or focusing.

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.

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.

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

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?

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.


  • Comes after active listening.

  • Repeat what you understood the participant to say.

  • Give opportunity to disagree with your interpretation.

Dealing with Wrong Information

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

  • Example statements.

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!

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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