September 2017
Welcome New PPAL Staff
Our Boston and Worcester Offices Gain New Additions

Liz Belfield, Project Coordinator (Boston Office)

PPAL Boston welcomes Liz Belfield as our new project coordinator. Liz
 recently moved toBo ston after living in Washington, D.C. for 7 years. While in D.C., Liz received a Masters in Arts Degree in Anthropology from George Washington University, with a concentration in International Development and Aid. During this time,  she worked with a non-profit organization that assisted the local homeless population. Liz also worked as a coordinator doing contract management, communications outreach, event planning, and project research.   After living around the country and the world, including Pennsylvania, Colorado, Ireland and Italy, Liz is excited to call Boston home.  She is an active runner and loves listening to audiobooks and podcasts while running.

Livy Caceres, Administrative Assistant (Boston Office)

PPAL's Boston office is pleased to announce that Livy Caceres has joined us
as our  Administrative Assistant. Livy brings her expertise in
supporting offices in administrative work, as well as her skill at handling a variety of "behind the scenes" tasks. Previously, she worked in two university research labs: one in Phonology and Reading, and one in Self-Regulation. Livy is currently completing her final semester at Northeastern University in American Sign Language and Psychology.  Livy is fluent in Spanish and ASL, and proficient in Portuguese.
Livy lives in the Roslindale Area in Boston.  She has lived in Portugal, and  has had the opportunity to take part in study programs in Cuba, Russia, Poland, and Germany.

Marlenny Rodriguez, Administrative Assistant (Worcester Office)

PPAL welcomes Marlenny Rodriguez to our Worcester office as our Administrative Assistant. Marlenny has more than 10 years of experience in the customer service field.  She also has many years experience working in the community with our underserved and diverse populations. She speaks both English and Spanish.   In addition to office work, she will support our statewide meetings and help promote PPAL Trainings.  Marlenny is the mother of 2 little boys, and lives in Worcester.

Juvenile Justice Update
Learn more about upcoming pilot programs, surveys, and more!

The Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) awards ceremony was held on Monday September 11.  During the ceremony, Meri Veriano received the Unsung Hero award for her hard work.  We are all incredibly proud of Meri's accomplishments and the recognition that she has received from JDAI.

Afterwards, we toured the Metro Region Secure Detention Center in Boston, along with the DYS Commissioner, Mr. Peter Forbes (pictured, along with PPAL's Dalene Basden, metro region Family Support Specialist).

Earlier in September, the Juvenile Justice team also visited the detention centers in Brockton Old Colony YMCA Girls and Boys Centers.  We met with the directors for each center and discussed how to best collaborate with each other to support youth and their families.

We are also excited to launch our pre-arraignment pilot diversion project in Worcester, which is set to begin October 1st. Through this program, PPAL family support specialists will be in court to help parents/caregivers navigate the court and teach them to seek support for their youth outside of the court system.

We are working hard to complete the parent satisfaction survey for Juvenile Justice. We should have it drafted in October and ready to go in November.

Last, but not least, we are very happy about the upcoming 10th year anniversary of JDAI, which will take place on November 1.

Multicultural Outreach
Working to make community connections throughout diverse populations in Massachusetts

Our Multicultural Outreach Coordinator, Chaneka Franklin, is working diligently to connect with families from all diverse communities to offer training, information, and assistance. This month she has been conducting outreach to multiple Asian communities with the hope to create partnerships with agencies and community leaders to provide PPAL support to families.
She has attended two System of Care (SOC) meetings in the city of Boston, where she informed service providers on the latest survey PPAL launched, "Culture, Care, and Challenges," as well as other tips and resources for families.


Blog Alert 

Did you miss our September blogs?  Read "3 questions for the 'program kid'" by Thomas Stewart, a member of Youth MOVE Massachusetts here. Then check out "Googling Parents Like Us" by Lisa Lambert, our Executive Director, available here.   Be sure to comment and share!

September Statewide Meeting

Thank you to Dr. Janice LeBel (pictured) for an excellent lecture on intensive residential treatment programs, continuing care units, and restraints and seclusion at our September Statewide meeting. Next month, October 10th, we look forward to welcoming Citizens from Juvenile Justice! CfJJ is the only independent, non-profit, statewide organization working exclusively to improve the juvenile justice system in Massachusetts.

We welcome you to attend the Statewide Meeting on October 10th at Plymouth Church in Framingham if you have lived experience (family members, family partners, family support specialists, parent/caregivers, or others in family support roles). 

Please pre-register by October 6th to be guaranteed a seat and lunch.   

Tuesday October 10, 2017 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Plymouth Church 87 Edgell Road Framingham, MA 01702
Contact PPAL Statewide at 508-767-9725 or
to RSVP.

Latest Poll Results

September Poll Results

How many prescribers of psychiatric meds has your child had?

75% answered 2-3

25% answered 4-5

Take our October Poll on our website:

Suicide is often not talked about. What is the best way for kids to learn about suicide prevention?


Prevention programs in schools



Online information



Parent-child conversation



Conversation with mental health professional


I worry that discussion is triggering

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