Enhance Social Emotional Competencies

Project Name:
Marketing Social-Emotional Competencies

Team Leaders, Members and their Organizational Affiliations:

  • Carol Greilick – Northwest Education Services
  • Gina Aranki – Child and Family Services of Northwest Michigan
  • Jessica Harrand – Buckley Community Schools
  • Ty Schmidt – Good Works Lab
  • Heidi Maltby-Skodack – Traverse City Area Public Schools

September 2022 Behavioral Health Summit Materials

Individuals and organizations across sectors are often unaware of what their role is in promoting social emotional competencies (SECs). There is a misconception that SECs are only beneficial when promoted and taught during childhood and adolescence, rather than across the lifespan. Additionally, there is not currently a common language or a shared understanding around SECs, resulting in a general lack of understanding and misinterpretation of information around this topic across sectors.

Sought out a qualified speaker with an expertise in social emotional competencies to present at the Behavioral Health Initiative Summit and northwest Michigan community residents on the fundamentals of social emotional competencies and what can be done within organizations and as individuals to support and promote these competencies across the lifespan. Our Team contracted with Lauren Kazee, MSW, to present at the BHI Summit on September 29th, 2022, on this important topic. Lauren will also be engaged to hold additional presentations for specific groups of stakeholders, such as educators.

Developed a list of talking points around social emotional competencies that can be used by stakeholders when having discussions and giving presentations on this topic. The widespread use of these talking points will help to create a common language and understanding around social emotional competencies.

A misunderstanding of social emotional competencies and social emotional learning has led the topic to become controversial across sectors and among community members. Stakeholders and community members need additional education on the fundamentals of social emotional competencies and how they are especially beneficial when consistently promoted across the lifespan.

  • Engage Lauren Kazee, MSW, to hold additional presentations on social emotional competencies for specific groups of stakeholders, such as educators
  • Disseminate Social Emotional Competencies talking points document to stakeholders
  • Develop and distribute a brochure for parents on their role in promoting and implementing social emotional competencies
  • Create an electronic resource on social emotional competencies for youth

April 2022 Behavioral Health Summit Materials

Social-emotional learning is widely misunderstood and has outcomes that are hard to define and measure. Because of this, and due to the existing requirements to cover core content in language arts, math, social studies, and science, too little time is dedicated to social-emotional learning in schools.

This action team developed printed and electronic resources for communities across the region that help to rebrand and enhance understandings about social-emotional learning (SEL). The team worked with key partners to develop shared language and definitions. The activities promoted education on SEL outcomes and benefits.

Specifically, the action team:

  • Developed a brochure that defined evidence-based social & emotional competencies, identified how strong skills improved outcomes for children and adults, suggested activities for all stakeholders to support children, and provided resources for additional learning
  • Learned that there is great interest in this and other resources related to SEL
  • Agreed that continued work was necessary to ensure that common language and understanding are established among all stakeholders to see improved outcomes for students and the community

The team recommends

  • Continuing the work of the Action Team
  • Soliciting participation from additional community partners
  • Prioritizing next steps among these and other important activities:
    • Establishing a systematic way to distribute the brochure and educate stakeholders on how they might use the material
    • Completing a slide presentation to support presentations to stakeholders on SEL and how they can support youth
    • Developing a page on the  Northern Michigan CHIR’s website which provides additional information and links to resources