Maine Parent Federation, Inc. (MPF) is the federally funded through the offices of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) as Maine’s Statewide Family Network. This project, called CANDO (Creating A Network for Diverse Opportunities), assists families of children and young adults with SED (Serious Emotional Disturbance) in Maine. The project focuses on strengthening the knowledge and capacity of families of youth with SED to act as agents of transformation in influencing the type and amount of services provided to them and their children. The project activities will enhance access to services and systems, improve outcomes, and ensure that services are driven by family voice, youth-guided, trauma informed and culturally competent.
The project serves all families of children with SED ages 0-21 with a special emphasis on working with youth and the underserved families living in poverty and Immigrant communities. Activities include the provision of information, education, training and technical assistance to promote increased advocacy for and access to the all systems of care.
Project goals are:
- Through a strong organizational network of leadership, management and partnerships with service providers and policy makers MPF will develop leadership skills in families and youth with SED to act as catalysts in change for available support for all identified needs.
Through peer to peer support provided by MPF Maine families of youth and youth with SED will receive education to advocate for appropriate services to increase positive outcomes.
Project Objectives are:
- To provide outreach, information, training and support to 1,500 families annually (4,500 in 3 years) of youth with SED to provide knowledge to fully participate in service planning.
- To provide peer to peer support through our FSN services to help 100 families annually (300 in 3 years) gain the skills and knowledge to navigate the systems of care.
- To conduct our FSN leadership training to 50 families annually (150 families in 3 years) so they can participate in state and local policy development which may impact their family.
- To promote youth leadership skills to 100 youth annually (300 in 3 years) through transition planning, self-advocacy and supported decision-making training so youth, including in the juvenile justice system, can make informed decisions about their future.
- Attend and participate in annually 300 (900 in 3 years) local, state, and national partnerships representing the family voice of youth with SED to impact positive systems change.
- To provide information about youth with SED to 100,000 families and providers annually (300,000 in 3 years) via electronic newsletters, social media accounts, and our website.