July 2018
Introducing Ann Berube!
PPAL Welcomes New Family Support Specialist

PPAL welcomes Ann Berube to its team as a Family Support Specialist.
For the past 8 years, she has worked as a Prevention Specialist, finding resources and supporting families in and around North Central, MA. She also volunteers on the Board for Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change, the DMH North County Site Advisory Board, the DDS North Central Citizens' Advisory Board, and Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress' Advocates in Motion Advisory Council. 

Ann is actively trying to leave the world a better place and believes that listening to and valuing family stories, experiences, and expertise can create positive change. In her new role with PPAL, Ann hopes to continue to provide support in a way that will empower others.  She also wants to continue to learn from her community of support, as well as receive inspiration from those who accompany her on this journey.  Ann is the mother of three and an outside-the-box thinker. She enjoys her family and friends, gardening, being creative, helping others, collaborating, and problem-solving.

Welcome to the PPAL team, Ann!

Juvenile Justice Welcomes New Team Members
Our Team Continues Its Work to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities

In statewide news, Lynsey Heffernan is taking a sabbatical for the next 12 months; Dr. Nokuthula Sibanda has taken her place. Dr. Sibanda will continue to support the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) work in the Northeast. The JDAI team also welcomed Sharifa Garvey, who will oversee Southeast and Metro Regions, and Katie Burns, who will continue to lead Western and Central regions.

In the Boston metro region, we continue to meet bi-weekly for Community Options Release Engagement (C.O.R.E) to support and plan how to best help families meet the needs of youth in detention as they transition back into their communities. PPAL strives for continued engagement with families, PPAL family support specialists, and all other agencies and clinicians in order to better represent and respond to the families' wants, needs, and the home and community dynamics.

In the southeast region, Sarifa Garvey will be leading and restructuring the juvenile justice team for the summer. Sarifa will create a work plan to reduce ethnic and racial disparities in the Bristol, Brockton, Taunton and Plymouth juvenile courts.

We finished strong in the northeast region by holding a Seeing R.E.D. screening with community leaders. This created awareness and began the work to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in juvenile justice in the Northeast towns of Salem, Lawrence and Lowell. 

PPAL is excited and welcomes the changes and new team members!

PPAL in the News!
Making Headlines and Receiving Grants for Our Work

PPAL topics and staff members are filling the pages of your local newspaper! 

Check out this Boston Globe Article by Liz Kowalczyk titled "Long ER Waits Persist for Children in Mental Health Crises." Liz explores the issue so many PPAL parents face when bringing their child to the ER - long waits for a bed without windows, outside time, or showers. Thanks to all the parents who shared their stories for this article!

Be sure to read this article in the Worcester Telegram on our new staff member, Ann Berube, and her continued advocacy efforts for her daughter, Jillian, and for the Down Syndrome and disability communities. Jillian is also following in her mother's footsteps and striving to advocate and improve life for people with disabilities. Congratulations to a wonderful mother and daughter team! Keep up the incredible work!

Finally, PPAL is the proud recipient of a grant that expands a diversion program to help juveniles charged with domestic assault in five Massachusetts courts: Worcester, Dudley, Fitchburg, Leominster, and Milford. This diversion program allows juveniles charged with assault on a family member or caregiver to defer arraignment for three months while the family accesses community resources, such as PPAL's peer support from a parent with lived experience, and peer to peer support from youth and young adults with Youth MOVE. By avoiding detention and a criminal record, the juvenile is able to connect to services, remain in the community, and successfully avoid further involvements with state agencies. This also helps the family by allowing them to receive support and access to care through this difficult time. 

PPAL is dedicated to providing a critical bridge for an underserved population trying to navigate the criminal justice system through difficult circumstances. We strive to connect youth and families with resources in their communities, guide families to self-reliance, and reduce recidivism, as well as racial and ethnic disparities within the system. Check out the full article about this award in the Worcester Telegram here.  

PPAL Shows Continued Growth
Latest Numbers Now Available

  • In the second quarter of 2018, PPAL received more than 740 calls from families, youth, and providers. 
  • Monthly statewide meeting for families and family support providers: 160 attendees.
  • More than 55 people attended PPAL trainings including engaging families, support group summit, and housing 101 training.
  • In service presentations at 3 locations with 30 attendees and provided information at resource tables at 2 events. 

PPAL Submits Petition to Department of Insurance to Increase Access to Services
Thanks to All Who Helped in Our Efforts

As many of our families know, k ids who have private insurance often do not have good mental health benefits. They don't get in-home therapy or therapeutic mentors, and their parents don't get a family partner to help them navigate through a tough set of roadblocks. But that might change, with help from PPAL parents!

PPAL created a short survey for parents whose children have private insurance.  Many of these parents agreed that their mental health benefits were lacking.  We took these responses and created a petition that we presented to the Division of Insurance on Wednesday, June 27. We were able to get over 66 names on the petition!  We also shared individual testimony and stories submitted by PPAL families and youth. 

A big thank you to everyone who signed the petition, submitted their stories, wrote testimony, or came in person to share their experiences and voices. We believe that advocating for systems change is so important to increase access to services for children all over the state of Massachusetts. 

Celebrating the Americans with Disabilities Act!

Diana and Chaneka, the multicultural outreach team, look great tabling an event this month for ADA Celebration Day in Boston City Hall Plaza! 

Enjoy Your Summer!

Hope you are enjoying summer as much as our youth are! Hooray for arts and crafts! 


Blog Alert 

Did you miss our July blogs?  Read the latest What Youth Are Saying blog titled "Embrace It" by one of outstandingly talented young adults, Matt, here. Then check out Lisa Lambert's latest blog titled "Five things that parents need you to say" here. Be sure to comment and share!

You can now subscribe to the PPAL blog and never miss a post.  Look for the subscribe information on the blog page. 

Upcoming Trainings

We'd love to see you at our training sessions! Check out the next ones below!

Parent Leadership Training
Session 1: July 24, 2018
Session 2: July 31, 2018
Session 3: August 7, 2018
Session 4: August 14, 2018
Worcester, MA

Email trainings@ppal.net for more information about these upcoming trainings or to inquire about a training in your area! Hope to see you there! 

Position Available

There is an open position at The Parent Information Network (PIN) for a Program Director. PIN is a parent support program designed by parents and providers to help families with children who struggle with behavioral, emotional and/or mental health difficulties. They are looking for someone with the lived experience of parenting a child with emotional/behavioral challenges. Check out the full job listing and apply here .

August Monthly Meeting

We hope you are enjoying your summer! We restart our PPAL monthly meetings this August by welcoming Sarah R. Boonin, Clinical Professor of Law at Suffolk University Law School, as our presenter! Come see what Professor Boonin has to teach us about guardianship alternatives. 
Join us in learning types of guardianship, the alternatives to guardianship, laws that support or become barriers, as well as strategies and resources. After completing this training you will leave feeling empowered & well informed about the process of guardianship.

We invite you to attend the next PPAL Monthly Meeting on August 14th at Plymouth Church in Framingham if you have lived experience (family members, family partners, family support specialists, parent/caregivers, young adult peers, or others in family support roles). 

Please pre-register by August 7th to be guaranteed a seat and lunch.  
Tuesday August 14th, 2018 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  statewide@ppal.net to RSVP

Latest Poll Results

July Poll Results

If your private insurance company would only cover one CBHI service what would it be? 

In-home Therapy/ Behaviorial.....35.71% 
Intensive Care Coordination.....21.43% 
Family Partner.....21.43% 
Therapeutic Mentor.....21.43% 

Mobile Crisis......0%

Take our August Poll on our website:

What is the most important thing for ED staff to know?

My child is complicated

Parents in the ED are very stressed

Empathy and kindness go a long way

Parents/Caregivers are knowledgeable assets

Please don't blame or judge 

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and important articles!

Parent/Professional Advocacy League| 866-815-8122 | 617-542-7832 | info@ppal.net | w ww.ppal.net