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Parent to Parent Support A Guide to Making Connections Cheri Dowling Patricia Timm 2007 National Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Conference.

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Presentation on theme: "Parent to Parent Support A Guide to Making Connections Cheri Dowling Patricia Timm 2007 National Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 Parent to Parent Support A Guide to Making Connections Cheri Dowling Patricia Timm 2007 National Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Conference

2 What is a support group? A group of people with common experiences and concerns who provide emotional and moral support for one another Merriam-Websters Online Dictionary

3 A characteristic unique to support groups is the mutual support members are able to provide one another. This support and validation from other group members help facilitate personal growth and change in a way that individual therapy cannot. Although experts and professionals can provide support and positive direction, the mutual exchange of information between group members is a powerful experience that often induces lasting change. Deanna Pledge Ph.D., The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit, Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders, 2003 Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders, 2003

4 What do support groups do? Most often, members discuss problems in the group and provide support and advice to each other. Members of support groups are never forced to speak or share their personal concerns unless they feel comfortable doing so. In addition to sharing, some groups choose to have educational activities by inviting guest speakers who talk about specific issues. Jenny Nickol, Ohio State University Extension Agent, Hamilton County Ohio State University Extension; Senior Series

5 Why form a support group? ResearchResearch ComfortComfort FriendshipFriendship IsolationIsolation InformationInformation Power as a groupPower as a group

6 Why Should it be Parent Led? Common ExperiencesCommon Experiences Comfort LevelComfort Level UnbiasedUnbiased

7 Types of Parent Groups INFORMAL Casual No formal training Funding InternetFORMAL Parent to ParentParent to Parent TrainingTraining FundingFunding CollaborationCollaboration

8 Getting Started Find other interested parentsFind other interested parents HomeworkHomework First meetingFirst meeting RulesRules ExpectationsExpectations

9 Find Other Parents SchoolSchool Places of WorshipPlaces of Worship NeighborsNeighbors Word of mouthWord of mouth

10 Homework Dont reinvent the wheelDont reinvent the wheel CollaborateCollaborate ResearchResearch Use whats freeUse whats free

11 Planning the First Meeting WhenWhen WhereWhere LengthLength Specific TopicSpecific Topic Child CareChild Care RefreshmentsRefreshments Who is invitedWho is invited

12 Qualities of a Good Leader Emotional maturityEmotional maturity Well organizedWell organized Superior listening skillsSuperior listening skills Willingness to reach outWillingness to reach out EnthusiasmEnthusiasm Sense of HumorSense of Humor The Parents Place of Maryland Making Connections, A Guide for Building Family to Family Support

13 Four Stages of Adaptation SurvivingSurviving SearchingSearching Settling InSettling In SeparatingSeparating

14 The First Meeting IntroductionsIntroductions VolunteersVolunteers LocationLocation Group needsGroup needs Topics/ActivitiesTopics/Activities Meeting FrequencyMeeting Frequency Ground RulesGround Rules

15 Meeting Rules ConfidentialityConfidentiality RespectRespect Be non-judgmentalBe non-judgmental UnbiasedUnbiased

16 Expectations PurposePurpose NetworkingNetworking Include everyoneInclude everyone EvaluateEvaluate Mission statementMission statement

17 Evaluate Your Support Group Leadership organized, skillful, and affirming of those who attend?Leadership organized, skillful, and affirming of those who attend? Strong consistent core of members attending?Strong consistent core of members attending? Is the group growing and expanding?Is the group growing and expanding? Do newcomers keep coming back?Do newcomers keep coming back? Does the group reflect the community?Does the group reflect the community? Do the members willingly involve themselves in the groups activities?Do the members willingly involve themselves in the groups activities? Do the members report a sense of belonging, friendship, and increased knowledge about the service systems?Do the members report a sense of belonging, friendship, and increased knowledge about the service systems? Adapted from: Circles of Care and Understanding: Support Programs for Fathers of Children with Special Needs by James May, June 1992

18 Are you ready? Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Meade

19 CONTACT US Cheri DowlingPat Timm Partners for Success Family Support and Resource Center PO Box 894 Columbia, MD (410) (v/tty) or (410) (fax)


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