Family Involvement Recap 2015

As we near the end of Year 6 of the Clermont FAST TRAC System of Care grant, it is a time to reflect about what has been accomplished and to look at the future plans for provision of support and involvement for families in Clermont County.

Families Connected has been very fortunate as a family organization to be included to share our knowledge of lived experience. Peer support is based on that experience to provide support, empathy, and encouragement to families because we too have been there!   Everyone at Families Connected is a parent/guardian of a person with disabilities and our agency has been organized since 1999 to provide peer support in our community.

Peer support for families in the process of finding services for their child was a priority in the initial planning stages of the grant. In the past, families were not involved as an equal partner to determine the priorities for supporting the child and his/her family. The overall goal of the Peer Support Partner program is to support and empower families to advocate for themselves and their children in the community.

We have seen major changes, including families driving their plan, youth giving their voice, and teams compiled of members whom the parent selected to be at the table. Statistics from our last family evaluation brief, the FAST TRACker, reported that 84.3% of family members participating in Wraparound felt part of the process and 89.4% felt safe sharing opinion.

We have had family leadership training, conferences and mental health awareness events, monthly activities, participation in community activities, and trainings requested by families. Connections to resources has been an on-going support with 65.6% of family members reporting they have increased knowledge of resources available for their family.

Our family satisfaction surveys and family empowerment tools show that Peer Support has been instrumental in supporting families to make their voice heard on their Wraparound teams and in working with others within Clermont County.  We look forward to continuing peer support to families as the next year unfolds!

Jean Houston, LFC/ Director

Families Connected of Clermont County