Starfire, Riverside Community Care, The Nemasket Group, and Multicultural Community Services Collaborate on Family Leadership Network Training
Starfire Council of Greater Cincinnati and the Massachusetts Family Leadership Program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services are pleased to announce the launch of a family-led training program designed to support families of loved ones with developmental disabilities build inclusive community projects.
On September 10, families can attend an informational session for the Family Leadership Network. Based on Starfire’s community-building model, the Family Leadership Network empowers families of loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities, like Down syndrome, autism, and cerebral palsy, to developing relationships based on common interests, and beyond paid staff.
Ten families will be paid for their time and receive microgrants to launch a Family Project within their Northeast, Southeast, and Central Massachusetts communities. Family Projects enable families to share their unique interests with their community – from backyard movies to hip hop dance lessons to pop-up puppy parks – while becoming known for something other than their disability.
Families also receive monthly, one-on-one guidance from a dedicated Starfire Family Mentor during the nine-month-long mentorship. Each Family Mentor is a parent of a loved one with a disability. Each has first-hand experience in breaking the cycle of social isolation, creating sustainable community supports, and developing better stories for themselves and their loved ones. And, each Family Mentor has launched several Family Projects and grown relationships with neighbors and community members.
“Starfire’s mission is to further a more inclusive world, one relationship at a time,” offers Mitch Haralson, MSW, LCSW, interim executive director, Starfire. “We are excited to partner with the Massachusetts Family Leadership Program to help more families create identities beyond disability.”
“Our families can’t wait to share their gifts with our community!” says Maryann Welch, Director of the Northeast Massachusetts Family Leadership Program.
Interested families can log in Zoom, HERE.
About the Massachusetts Family Leadership Program
The Massachusetts Family Leadership Program empowers families and caregivers to advocate for their loved ones with disabilities to live in their communities as naturally and typically as desired. This is done by 1) providing information and tools to effectively advocate for change, 2) guiding families in developing a vision, building knowledge, and growing leadership skills necessary to support family members in creating the life they want in their community and 3) providing opportunities for them to join with other families to share experiences and ideas.
Starfire is a visionary organization working to build better lives for people with disabilities. Since 1993, Starfire has worked to create a more inclusive world by partnering with people with developmental disabilities, like Down syndrome, autism, and cerebral palsy, to help build richer, more fulfilling lives. The data is clear: people with disabilities grow increasingly lonely and isolated as adults, so Starfire works to discover identities exclusive of disabilities to connect people to relationships that decrease social isolation via Starfire’s Community Building Network, Family Leadership Network, and Learning Network. Learn more at www.starfirecincy.org.
The Nemasket Group
109 Fairhaven Road
Mattapoisett, MA 02739
Robbie Jennings Michels
We are happy to announce Chelsea Wynne as our 2022 Employee of the Year.
Chelsea received her recognition and award at our Summer Sizzler Picnic at White’s Picnic Grounds in Acushnet on August 25th.
Chelsea was nominated by a number of people; a coworker, several parents as well as a grandparent and a sister of people that Chelsea supports, and a supervisor. The nominations were glowing and each one spoke to the wonderful attributes that Chelsea brings to her job – flexibility, willingness to try new things as well as her consistency in teaching and spending time in the community, medical advocacy and strong communication skills were just a few examples that nominators cited. A direct quote said, ‘Her ability to balance professionalism with being fun, outgoing, personable, creative and downright amazing is stellar’. Another said, ‘There are good employees, and then there is Chelsea’. We couldn’t agree more with these comments.
Thank you for all you do, Chelsea. The Nemasket Group is lucky to have you working with us.
Green Mountain Self Advocates and the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council developed a booklet that you may find useful to explain the Coronavirus in plain language.