CCAC professor’s expertise on family substance abuse garners international audience

Article by: CCAC Public Relations

Community College of Allegheny County Professor Dr. Stephanie Goloway recently shared her expertise on how to support young children dealing with family substance use disorder on a podcast for HiMama, an early childhood education technology company. Based in Canada, HiMama has an international customer and newsletter subscriber base of more than 70,000 individuals.

Goloway, who teaches early education and child development at CCAC’s Allegheny Campus, was invited to speak on the podcast due to her well-received presentation at the National Association for the Education of Young Children conference in November. There, she presented a workshop titled “My Mommy is an Addict, My Daddy is a Unicorn: Nurturing Resilience in Children Living with Substance Use Disorder through Fairytales, Storytelling and Play.”The workshop examined the current research on substance use disorder and how living with it influences children’s social-emotional and cognitive development.According to Goloway, one in four school children are living in homes that are impacted by substance use disorder.

The good news, which she also shared in the HiMama podcast episode titled “Nurturing Resilience in Children Living with Family Substance Use Disorder through Storytelling,”is that resilience is a key protective factor, and many early childhood practices can be used to promote resilience. Goloway emphasized the importance of storytelling to develop resilience in young children by building relationships, encouraging initiative and promoting self-regulation. Play is also important, she explained, because it has an impact on brain development specifically affecting the resilience and executive function skills, which are essential for academic and life success.

Through her speaking and writing—she authors a blog and a book is in the works—Goloway hopes to fill a gap in early childhood professional development. She has received a lot of good feedback on the podcast and on her research in general, which shows that using fairytales and other storytelling components helps children to develop literacy and resilience at the same time. 

“I was happy I was able to share what I am really passionate about,” said Goloway. “These topics are of great interest right now and are on the cutting edge of what everyone’s talking about—how we can help kids who are living in families affected by this disease. I believe that our early childhood teachers can play an important role.”

Goloway holds a doctorate in early childhood studies from Walden University. She also holds a master’s degree in education from Edinboro University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Allegheny College. Her blog is titled “Imagination on the Move.”

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