Virtual Family Support Navigator Training
Are you the parent of, or caregiver to, a child with a disability
or special health care need?
Would you like to share your knowledge to help other Maine families?
If so, this opportunity may interest you!
Maine Parent Federation (MPF) is seeking parents, grandparents, and caregivers of children with disabilities and/or special health care needs who would like to become a Family Support Navigator (FSN) to provide peer support to other families in your area. The FSN program matches experienced parents with other parents who need support while learning to navigate systems such as Special Education, Vocational Rehabilitation, MaineCare, Adult Services, etc., and assists in locating local and statewide resources while helping parents learn to advocate for themselves.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic all support is provided through phone, text, email, and social media platforms such as zoom. One-on-one support will resume once the pandemic is over.
As a parent who has been involved with MPF in the past, we are contacting you to see if you would like to use your skills and knowledge to support other Maine families. A Family Support Navigator is a part-time independent consultant position. MPF contracts with you to provide up to 10 hours of support to each family you help. We pay $15.00 per hour of direct support to a family, a $40 monthly stipend for phone/internet, and .44 cents per mile travel reimbursement. This is a flexible opportunity as you set your own hours/schedule. MPF provides on-going supervision and technical assistance.
We have divided the virtual training into five modules. The dates/times are:
Wednesday, Feb. 23 - 10 AM to 2 PM
Thursday, Feb. 24 - 10 AM - Noon
Thursday, March 3 - 10 AM - Noon
Tuesday, March 8 - 10 AM - Noon
Wednesday, March 9 - 10 AM - Noon
We offer a $150 stipend after completion of the training.
Please contact Deborah Newcombe at (800) 870-7746 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org to receive an application and job description and/or to answer any questions.
Dear Friends of Mainers with Disabilities,
Public hearing is Tuesday, 1/11, on LD 1798 to allow dependents who are adults with disabilities to stay on parent health insurance policy!
The Affordable Care Act allows young adults to stay on their parents’ private health insurance policy until at least age 26. Two-thirds of states *also* require such policies to allow dependents who are adults with disabilities to stay on the parents’ policy without age limit (at least until the parent ages onto Medicare). And large employers with self-funded policies frequently offer such coverage for dependents who are adults with disabilities.
LD 1798 would have Maine join the states that require private health insurance covering family members to also offer coverage to dependents who are adults with disabilities if they’re unable to sustain themselves through employment. See https://legislature.maine.gov/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280082107 with bill text at http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP1339&item=1&snum=130
Although private health insurance wouldn’t be expected to cover everything in the Section 21/29/18/20 waivers, LD 1798 could still help address the workforce and wait list crises. Private health insurance typically reimburses providers at much higher rates than MaineCare does, so it might make some services (behavioral consult, psy consult, speech-language path, for example) more accessible. This could be helpful for people on wait lists and people who are on the 21/29/18/20 waivers but who can’t get all their health care needs met under MaineCare.
Since Section 29 doesn’t currently include behavioral consult, LD 1798 could also be helpful for some Section 29 recipients if they meet health insurance requirements for needing behavioral consult.
How to testify:
1. Go to https://www.mainelegislature.org/testimony/
2. Click on “Public Hearing”
3. “Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services” from the “Choose a committee” pull-down (*NOT* the HHS Committee)
4. “Jan 11 2022 10:00 AM” from the “Choose date” pull-down
5. Select “LD 1798 - An Act To Ensure Health Insurance Coverage for Certain Adults with Disabilities”
6. You can submit written testimony and/or sign up to receive a zoom link to testify “in person” virtually
Thursday, February 24, 2022. 1:30 - 3:30 pm
Self-Directed Services - How It Works and What's To Come In Maine
Learn from a panel of experts about self-directed service models and how this promising practice will be implemented in Maine
Self-directed care services, often referred to as consumer-directed services is a philosophy and practice that assumes that consumers have the right and ability to assess their own needs, determine how and by whom those needs are met, and evaluate the quality of the services they receive.
Join this webinar to learn more from a panel of experts about self-directed service models being used nationally, a parent-advocate's perspective on what successful self-direction looks like and what’s to come in Maine.
This session is a panel discussion featuring Ben Bledsoe, CEO of Consumer Direct Care Network, Maggie Hoffman, parent-advocate and Derek Fales, Waiver Services Director of Maine DHHS-Office of Aging and Disability Services.
OUR EXPERT PANEL
Ben Bledsoe, CEO of Consumer Direct Care Network
Ben developed his expertise in-home and community-based services through education, experience, and hard work. Starting out at Consumer Direct Care Network as a caregiver in 2004, Ben quickly applied his compassion for people and interest in business efficiencies to roles across the company including human resources and program management. Six years after being named CEO, Ben remains committed to ensuring all individuals have choice and control over the lives they lead. Ben has recently been invited to join the Administration for Community Living as a RAISE Family Caregiving Advisory Council member.
Since 1990, the Consumer Direct Care Network (CDCN) has been assisting people who choose to self-direct their care in their homes. Serving more than 31,000 clients and supporting over 47,000 caregivers in 14 states, CDCN is a national leader in the various models of Medicaid personal care. In this webinar Ben Bledsoe, CDCN CEO, will share a little more about CDCN’s story, the nuances of self-direction, as well as the challenges and opportunities that exist within self-direction.
Maggie Hoffman, Parent-Advocate
Maggie has worked for 30+years to strengthen and support families of children & adults with special health care needs, encompassing children & adults with disabilities and/or chronic medical conditions. Her efforts have been put toward three main goals: (1) Teaching parents how to tell their story to professionals to get the care, support and services their child/adult child needs, (2) Helping medical, educational and community providers understand the challenges children/adult children with special health care needs and their families face in their homes and communities, (3) Shaping and influencing policy to make it more responsive to children/adult children and their families. She served on several NY State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities’ Design Teams and Work Groups. She also served on the NYS Department of Health Committee on Community First Choice. Now in Maine, Maggie serves on the Board of the Maine Developmental Disabilities Council, and on the OADS Disability Services Reform Innovation Work Group.
Derek Fales, Waiver Services Director of Maine DHHS - Office of Aging and Disability Services
Derek is the waiver services director within the Developmental Disabilities and Brain Injury Services Unit, under the leadership of Associate Director Elizabeth Hopkins for the Office of Aging and Disability Services. He oversees the day-to-day operations for four out of five Home and Community Based Services for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, Other Related Conditions and Brain Injury in partnership with the State Medicaid Agency, the Office of MaineCare Services. He is an accomplished senior manager, facilitator and an experienced social worker serving in a variety of roles within policy development and implementation, project management, and protective services both in the State of Maine and in the Northern Territory of Australia. His 17 years of health and human services experience has been working towards increasing positive social outcomes for children and families affected by violence, poverty, substance abuse with a focus on supporting inclusion and maximizing opportunities for people with disabilities to live and work in their communities to the same degree as a non-disabled person.
MACSP and ANCOR Member: $35 NON-ANCOR/ MACSP Member: $50
The Maine LEND Program wishes you a bright, safe, healthy, and happy New Year!
As part of our appreciation for the important contributions of our Maine LEND Families, we would like to invite you to our second annual Parents as Experts Conference on Saturday, Feb. 5. This conference is free of charge and virtual for your safe accessibility. We seek to support self-care of families with children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.
Please note this conference is only for parents and children with disabilities.
See the flier for further information or go directly to the website at: https://sites.google.com/view/parentsasexperts/home
SMACT’s January Meeting Presentation - Friday January 7th at 1:00 by Zoom.
Mental Health Services for Youth
Claudia Watson of NAMI Maine will present on NAMI Maine’s mental health services for youth and young adults. Claudia will highlight the Youth Mental Health First Aid and their Respite Care Program.
Please see the flier for more information. Materials for the presentation will be posted on the SMACT website: Https://sites.google.com/portlandschools.org/smact
If you are unable to attend the meeting, a video will be available on the website later in January.
Janet Hinchee Barns will join us at the start of the meeting so we can wish her well in her retirement and thank her for her years of service to youth transition. If you wish to record a short video for her you can do so at: https://app.memento.com/janet-is-retiring/MWBueCxcN/record It's quick and easy!
LD 924 Taskforce One Minute Parent-to-Parent Survey:
We are contacting you as fellow parents of young adults with disabilities. The Maine State Legislature has given us all the wonderful opportunity through the newly formed L.D. 924 Task Force to dig in and examine how well current services are meeting our son or daughter’s needs. We are parents but also nominated members of this Task Force and are inviting you to participate in this one-minute survey because your responses can help improve the Adult Services, Employment, and Continuing Education systems for our sons or daughters with disabilities.
Please take ONE MINUTE NOW to answer the YES or NO questions. If you have a few extra minutes, please add your comments in the boxes below the questions. Your answers will be kept confidential within the Task Force members, and your name will not be shared (click here for the survey). Please feel free to contact us parents if you have any questions or concerns: Linda Lee: email@example.com and/or Maggie Hoffman: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please join us this Friday by Zoom for a special SMACT meeting - Janet Hinchee-Barns will be with us at 1:00. We will share video messages and remembrances from colleagues, and appreciation for her many years of leadership in SMACT and transition services in Maine. If you haven't added your message yet for Janet, please record here, it's quick and easy:
Afterwards we will revisit a popular SMACT presentation from November '20 on adaptive driving and view the video presentation by Heather Shields, OTR/CDRS an occupational therapist, driving instructor and certified driving rehab specialist. Learn about driving evaluations for students with special needs, Vocational Rehab Services that support driver evaluation, adaptive equipment and individualized driving instruction. We will also view videos on driving and Autism, and a driver training app.
Join in a group discussion and please bring a "muddle" for group brainstorming if you have one!
See the attached flyer for more info. The meeting link is below:
Workforce Win Wins - The DSP Academy For People With Disabilities
Discover more about an innovative program aimed at training people with disabilities to become certified Direct Support Professionals (DSP).
Thursday, December 9, 2021. 1:30 - 3:30 pm
“The DSP Academy”, is a customized vocational training program that creates opportunity at the crossroads of two critical issues facing our field: the workforce shortage of DSPs & high unemployment rates for people with disabilities.
RCM was facing high DSP turnover rates while hearing from self-advocates that they wanted meaningful employment. Through a partnership with the DC Department of Disability Services the DSP Academy was realized.
The academy models theories of employment first, demonstrating through actions that people with disabilities are workers & contributors. RCM used principals of customized employment to create a program that starts with discovery, uses individualized training techniques, & ends with intentional job matching & job development.
PRESENTED BY SUSAN BROOKS, RCM of WASHINGTON
Susan Brooks is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and is the Chief Innovations Officer at RCM of Washington. Prior to taking on this role Susan served as the Operations Manager for 5 years. Growing up with a sister who had Cerebral Palsy, she found her passion supporting and advocating for people with disabilities early in life.
Currently, Susan runs numerous customized programs within RCM such as The DSP Academy, Guided Group Discovery, #ReadytoWork, and others.
Susan is actively involved with the Coalition of Disability Service Providers, the ANCOR Leadership Academy and the Person-Centered Thinking Community of Practice. She currently sits on the Restrictions Control Review Committee (RCRC) at the Department on Disability Services and Special Olympics DC Family Engagement Committee.