Thursday, July 10, 2008

EI Family Training Initiative

As I understand it, this program is geared toward preparing parents of EI kids to be advocates their kids and the programs which serve them. I can't speak to the quality of this program, but I'll certainly say that understanding the regulatory, funding, and political environment surrounding EI will benefit parents both for that short time and down the road.

This is one of my little policy hobby horses, that families who benefited from good EI services should remain advocates for the program, even and especially after they are no longer in the program -- it is a wonderful gift you can give to the next cohort of EI families, who are scrambling to deal with the challenges and urgent opportunities of a newly diagnosed young child.

But this training program is for parents of kids still getting EI services. So, if you know a parent of a newly diagnosed child, this should go on their list of competing priorities.

-- Lynn Decker

Responses should go to Margaret Sampson, Coordinator of the program. Here is her information:

Margaret Sampson
Family Initiative Coordinator:
Phone: 1-877-205-0502 (toll-free)

The NYS Department of Health's Bureau of Early Intervention and the Family Initiative Coordination Services Project at the Just Kids Foundation are sponsoring an Early Intervention Partners Training Project in New York City this fall.

The Early Intervention Partners Training Project is for parents of infants and toddlers with disabilities
currently receiving early intervention services in the five boroughs of New York City.
The Early Intervention Partners Training Project helps parents of young children with disabilities become involved in Early Intervention Program leadership activities. The training sessions provide information, resources, and skill-building activities designed to increase parent advocacy and leadership skills. Parents
are encouraged to form working partnerships with early intervention professionals and policymakers.

We are inviting you to apply to participate in this training program. We will select parents from the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island to attend. The training program is free of charge,
and all meals, training materials, and overnight accommodations are provided at no cost. A limited amount of funding is available to assist parents in need of support for child care and travel expenses. Prior approval by the Family Initiative Coordinator is required for those needing assistance.

A series of three sessions will be held at the Crowne Plaza JFK Airport, 151-20 Baisley Blvd., Jamaica, Queens, on the following dates:
Session Day Date Time Meals
Session I: Saturday September 27, 2008 9:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M. Lunch
Session II: Friday October 24, 2008 4:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. Dinner
Saturday October 25, 2008 9:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M. Breakfast/Lunch
Session III: Friday November 21, 2008 4:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. Dinner
Saturday November 22, 2008 9:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M. Breakfast/Lunch

Session I meets for one day.
Sessions II and III meet for two 2-day sessions and include an optional overnight stay.

Applicants must commit to attend Session I and both days of Sessions II and III. This commitment is a requirement for acceptance to the Early Intervention Partners Training Project. In addition, parents who wish to attend with a partner or another family member must submit a joint application.
Space is limited. If you are interested in attending, you must complete and return the enclosed application. You can also download extra copies, or complete the application online at:

Applications are due by Friday, August 15, 2008.
Notification of acceptance will be mailed on Monday, August 18, 2008.
These training sessions will help parents of infants and toddlers with disabilities gain a better understanding of the Early Intervention Program. Parents who are accepted to attend will receive information about early intervention laws and regulations, Individualized Family Service Plan development, family assessment,
natural environments, transition, funding, record keeping and confidentiality, clinical practice guidelines, and parent rights.

In addition, parents who are accepted to attend will also learn more about opportunities for parent involvement within New York State's Early Intervention Program.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact
Margaret Sampson, Family
Initiative Coordinator:
Phone: 1-877-205-0502 (toll-free)
We thank you for your interest and commitment to this project, and for your cooperation by responding in a timely manner.

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