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FAMILY NETWORK PROJECT | INDIVIDUALIZED SUPPORT PROJECT | POSITIVE BEHAVIORAL SUPPORT PROJECT | FAMILIES AS TEACHERS PROGRAM

CARD-USF is administered through Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute's Division of Applied Research and Education Support that also includes several projects that are closely related to CARD. These projects are directly affiliated and include staff who contribute directly to CARD-USF functions.



FAMILY NETWORK PROJECT

The Family Network Project (FAMNET) is a three-year project funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research that offers help to families of children with developmental disabilities. FAMNET helps families by teaching them new ways to deal with their child's problem behavior. As families learn new positive behavioral support (PBS) strategies, they create a behavioral support plan to fit their child and family. They also learn from other parents who have children with similar challenges.

Families from selected communities receive PBS through bi-weekly parent groups. On the weeks in between, members of the FAMNET team visit each family's home to help families practice what they have learned and to fit their child's support plan into their daily routines.

FAMNET has developed PBS training materials and they provide training for organizations that offer services to families as well as providing in-service training for teachers and administrators.

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THE INDIVIDUALIZED SUPPORT PROJECT & ISP OUTREACH FOR STATE SERVICE SYSTEMS

The Individualized Support Project (ISP) was a demonstration program that received federal funds to develop, implement, and replicate a comprehensive early intervention program for young children with challenges in behavior and communication development. In this last year of funding, the ISP staff continued to work collaboratively with CARD-USF to infuse components of the model within the supports provided by CARD-USF in their work with young children and their families. ISP was also replicated at CARD-FSU and CARD-FU.

The ISP has received much attention from professionals and early intervention systems who face tremendous challenges in developing early intervention supports for young children with autism and their families. Across the country, early intervention providers are struggling to provide supports that result in meaningful outcomes and can be delivered through publicly funded early intervention programs. The ISP is an attractive model for early intervention providers as it is designed to build the capacity of families and child care providers to meet the unique intervention and behavioral support needs of young children with autism. In ISP, children and their families receive comprehensive supports within natural settings.

This year, the ISP received outreach funding to assist early intervention programs in Pennsylvania and Connecticut to replicate the ISP model. Over the three-year grant period, project staff will provide training, coaching, technical assistance and information dissemination to early intervention personnel in the targeted states. In addition, conference presentations, workshops, and publications will continue to promote ISP as a viable and effective early intervention approach. As ISP is promoted, many professionals have commented on the value of the CARD and expressed interest in having a similar system with their state.

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POSITIVE BEHAVIORAL SUPPORT PROJECT: TEAM TRAINING & TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

CARD staff continued participation on Florida's state training team on positive behavioral support. This interagency group (i.e., consisting of representatives from DOE, C&F, CARD, family groups and other providers) delivers training for educators, families, and outside agency personnel to promote their capacity to use proactive, assessment-based interventions for individuals with severe problem behavior. During the past fiscal year, the team provided comprehensive training in three new communities and numerous other awareness and introductory presentations. In addition, their work has lead to an expansion of this DOE/BISCS funded project to include technical assistance for school districts.

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FAMILIES AS TEACHERS PROGRAM

This exciting program was created in May 1997 with funding from the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. This program focuses on promoting positive outcomes for, and a greater understanding of people with developmental disabilities and their families. Its goal is to enhance partnerships between professionals and families of children with disabilities.

Families and professionals have been trained by the Families As Teachers staff to understand the purpose and scope of the program. The content of the curriculum was written by families to promote the concept of family-centered care by sensitizing professionals to the way families think, feel, and need support. Families want professionals to understand, appreciate, and capitalize on the depth of knowledge families have about their children. When a collaborative relationship between families and professionals is formed, together they can have a tremendous impact upon treatment and services that a child receives.

Workshops are approximately two hours in length, interactive, and activity oriented. Workshops and/or family visits have included the following disciplines: Medical residents, medical students, nursing, special education, counseling, and speech therapy. Future outreach will include occupational therapy, physical therapy, dentistry, optometry, clinical psychology, pediatric nursing, and social work.

In addition to the workshops, professionals are offered the opportunity to experience the joys and challenges of families in their everyday lives through visits with the family in their home. Professionals may encounter a variety of experiences through the family visits. They may attend the child's school, go out to dinner, swing on the playground, or attend a therapy appointment.

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