Family support programs provide an array of formal and informal services to support and empower families with children and adolescents having serious emotional challenges. The goal of family support is to reduce family stress and enhance each family’s ability to care for their child. To do this, family support programs operate on the principles of individualized care and recognizing every child and family is unique in their strengths and needs. Connecting family members to other families with children with serious emotional problems helps families to feel less isolated and identify their own strengths. Family support programs ideally provide the following four core services: family/peer support, respite, advocacy, and skill building/educational opportunities.
All Family Support Programs must reflect the following principles:
- Decisions are based on family preference, choice and values
- Families are the primary resource and decision makers
- Families have access to a flexible, affordable, individualized array of supports
- The family’s strengths are the foundation upon which all supports are provided
- Support services are culturally, linguistically and geographically sensitive
- Family supports are affordable, well-coordinated, accessible and available to all families
Child Adolescent Service System Program (CASSP) Principles
Family Support Services follow the Child Adolescent Service System Program Principles. These principles focus on strengths and needs identified by the family.
CASSP is based on well-defined set of principles for mental health services for children/adolescents with or at risk of developing severe emotional disorders and their families. Family Support Services utilizes these principles with children regardless of their disability.
CASSP Core Statements:
- Children- Centered services meet the individual needs of the child, consider the child’s family and community contexts, and are developmentally appropriate, strength-based and child-specific.
- Family-Focused services recognize that family is the primary support system for children and will participate as a full partner in all stages for the decision-making and treatment planning process.
- Community-Based services are delivered in the child’s home community, drawing on formal and informal resources to promote the child’s successful participation in the community whenever possible.
- Multi-System services are planned in collaboration with all child-serving systems involved in the child’s life.
- Culturally Competent services recognize and respect the behavior, ideas, attitudes, values, beliefs, customs, language, rituals, ceremonies and practice characteristics of the child and family’s ethnic group.
- Least restrictive/ least intrusive services take place in settings that are the most appropriate and natural for the child and family. They will take place in settings that are the least restrictive and the least intrusive available to meet the needs of the child and family.
Family Peer Advocacy
- Family Peer Advocates meet individually with parents.
- Advocates enable parents to become effective members of their child’s medical and educational teams.
Family advocates assist parents by:
- Meet confidentially with families
- Locate resources for parents to better help them understand their child’s disability and treatment options
- Provide information on special education laws and the process of receiving appropriate modifications for their child
- Support parents through the special education process
- Attend Individual Education Plan and other school meetings with parents
- Encourage families to recognize and celebrate their strengths
- Empower parents to become their child’s best advocate
Short-Term Planned Respite
The goal of Respite is to reduce the stress that often accompanies raising a child with a disability. Part of our mission is to connect families to other families to help them grow their own circle of natural supports. Once a month we hold activities in the community or at our Lowville NRCIL office. A Respite committee is set up to create a line-up of unique and fun events that are appropriate for all ages. If you are interested in participating with Respite please see an advocate and fill out necessary paperwork. We are always looking for new members for our Respite committee. For more information on Respite please contact Becky Schneider at 315-836-3735
Parent Groups are:
- Opportunities for parents of children with disabilities to meet other parents with similar concerns
- Meetings where parents share information and encouragement
- Discussion groups that may include topics about stress management, positive behavior tactics. Access to community resources, advocacy and positive strategies for their child’s educational planning
Advocacy Training for Parents and Families
Advocacy Training for parents and families encourages families to become active, informed decision makers on behalf of their family and child/children with disabilities. We are subcontracted thru the Rochester Advocacy Center to provide Parent Training Information Center Workshops which includes such topics as: Being a team member, Assertiveness, Locating and evaluating services, networking, Navigating the system, and more.
Workshops are free and open to the public.
Groups and Classes:
- Love and Logic Parenting Class
- Positive Parenting with a Plan
All groups and classes are ongoing, please contact for details and times
Trainings and Workshops:
Trainings and workshops are ongoing, please contact us