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Prioritizing Children’s Mental Health While Co-Parenting


Social workers know that familial separation can inflict stress on all family members. However, children can be especially impacted as they navigate new situations and new feelings.

Luckily, great resources are available to the public to help make these transitions easier. Fordham GSS Master of Social Work (MSW) alumni Marcus Stallworth, GSS ’05 and adjunct instructor, is supplying such resources.

Stallworth currently works as the director of training and implementation at the Child Welfare League of America. He has collaborated with Relias, a company that offers healthcare training platforms, to educate the public about how to navigate familial separation. The first came through a webinar titled “Co-Parenting Building Blocks to Prioritize Children’s Mental Health and Development,” where Stallworth discussed:

  • How separation can affect a child’s identity and self-esteem
  • Strength-based and solution-focused strategies and techniques to create consistency and support when co-parenting
  • How to assist separating families, community providers, and more in learning how to work together with the common goal of putting the needs of children first

The webinar was so effective and helpful that Stallworth then published a follow-up article on Relias’ blog, answering additional questions for families experiencing separation. The article, titled “Co-Parenting Building Blocks: Interview with an Expert,” covered the following questions:

  • How will this training impact the relationship in co-parenting?
  • What are some tips you have to avoid picking sides? I have home visits with both parents. During my visits with the mother, she tries to get me to side with her. This is concerning, as I don’t want the father to feel attacked.
  • Are there any other key players besides parents that professionals should keep in a child’s “circle” regarding the topic of co-parenting?
  • Do you have any support for grandparents and parents actively co-parenting?

Thank you, Marcus, for all the great work you do in supporting children and families nationwide! Read more about Marcus below.

About Marcus Stallworth, GSS ’05

Marcus Stallworth, LMSW, operates with a strength-based, hands-on approach.  Spending close to 20 years providing Child Protective Services, he is recognized by the State of Connecticut as an expert witness for providing testimony. He has spearheaded several initiatives to promote the engagement of Fathers, the prevention of abuse and neglect, and the dangers of Social Media. He has direct experience educating and supporting Human Trafficking and Sexually Exploited victims, training staff on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, and advocating for those in Foster Care. He played a leadership role in Connecticut’s Disaster Behavioral Health Response Network and oversaw recovery efforts in Newtown, CT, after the events on December 14, 2012. 

Marcus is the Director of Training and Implementation for the Child Welfare League of America, where he provides training, curriculum development, and consultations services for foster care agencies across the country.  He is also co-owner of Welcome 2 Reality, LLC which focuses on providing media literacy and education for students and parents regarding social media and technology. Stallworth and his team are credited for getting Public Act 17-67 passed into law Connecticut, mandating steps be taken to provide social Media Literacy education be taught in all public schools. He currently teaches a self-created elective entitled: Social Media: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly at the University of Bridgeport. He has taught courses at Post University, the University of Connecticut, and is currently teaching in the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University. Marcus serves on the Board of Directors of the National Foster Parent Association and plays a leadership role in Connecticut’s Fatherhood Engagement Leadership Team (F.E.L.T). He is also a member of Media Literacy Now’s national advisory council, which provides advocacy and resources for media literacy education in schools.


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