Attention Family Members! Leadership Training!

By: Jean Houston, FAST TRAC Lead Family Contact, Families Connected

For many of you, I have been around to see your children grow from newborn to teen and beyond.  Some of you are new faces, and do not know me well.  I have been advocating for people since the early years of my daughter’s life.  She was born in the late sixties, and many of the supports in place at this time were not available in those days prior to the special education act in 1975 requiring schools to educate all children regardless of their disability.   These changes did not occur because of professionals’ promotion.  These changes came about due to parents and those who believed in the cause, advocating for changes from local to the national level. 

Recognizing the needs of children/youth that have mental health issues and accompanying behavioral challenges, and ensuring they get an appropriate education, is the “new” challenge for the parents and advocates of those children.  Many challenges face families as they look toward the future of their children.

I am trusting at least 20 family members will be interested in learning more about advocacy for your children, and leadership building skills to support others in the county, and perhaps on a larger scope.   Families Connected of Clermont County with the support of the FAST TRAC System of Care will be providing leadership training for 20 parents/caregivers of children who have mental health issues/concerns, and are involved in wraparound or other parts of the FAST TRAC System of Care.  This training will begin with a retreat on Saturday, September 17th at Woodland Lakes and end on March 10, 2012.  The training will consist of one 6 hour Saturday a month for seven months.  You will be compensated for gas/travel with a gift card and childcare and food/refreshments will be provided.  At the end of this training period, those who complete will be honored at a graduation ceremony and recognized at the upcoming Family and Youth Conference in May 2012.  A community project will be completed as a group assignment.

You will not learn everything about advocacy/leadership skills in this short period of time; however, this training will certainly give you a head start to that goal.  We will continue to guide you toward expanding your developed skills as a passionate parent/caregiver and advocate to reach out and support others.

It is so helpful, as you are well aware, to have another parent who has been where you are and the two of you can relate.  The feeling of isolation can be overwhelming when you feel no one understands what you are going through.  It is for this feeling of helping others, that advocacy was born and changes occurred for children.  

If you are committed to the challenge or would like to learn more about the Family Leadership Training program, please give me a call at 513-732-5034.  A simple application form needs to be filled out.