Agencies

Community Leadership Inquiries Overview

Many different community organizations touch the lives of families who have a member with special needs. Our 9-year research journey has connected FamilyEQ™ with the ongoing needs those family support organizations experience. We have captured those conversations as email ‘inquiry story vignettes’ as though those people were making connections between their roles and responsibilities and the FamilyEQ Resource Builder® process. Our hope is that you will discover how this toolkit can be a useful resource in your community leadership position.

We welcome all inquiries and questions regarding how your organization might take advantage of the FamilyEQ™ resources.

Community Leaders Inquiry examples

Administrator of a General Medicine Family Practice
Dear FamilyEQ,

I am the administrator of the Mercy Springdale Family Medicine practice and we are seriously looking for ways to help our patients though the approach of ‘increased patient engagement.’ We have offered the services of a psychologist but that doesn’t seem to grab the attention or interest of our patients. One success we have had is when we offer Diabetes Nutrition education classes, many of our diabetic patients respond, attend, and are able to make better self-care nutrition choices. We do have families in our practice who have children with special needs and I was wondering if the FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) process is something our practice should consider.

Signed,
A patient-centered administrator

Dear A patient-centered administrator,
We recognize the importance of the movement for all medical professionals to be patient-centric or patient engaged in their work. We also recognize that it might be difficult for patients to know how to answer the typical medical professional question: “how else might I help you today?” While that question lies at the heart of the medical professional to better meet the patient’s needs, it is a difficult one to answer.
Additionally, most of your patients are a part of a family unit. Their answer to your ‘help’ question could be related to a family concern. Our research and development work at FamilyEQ™ was focused on helping families who have a child with special needs identify unmet family needs. Once a family identifies those needs, the family becomes engaged in finding solutions to meet those needs.
If families who have a child with special needs and are in your medical practice were using the online FamilyEQ™ self-assessment, they could easily and clearly share with your professionals the answer to ‘how else might I help you today?’ Over time, your practice would have a database of those needs andcould then look for resources like the Diabetes Nutrition course to offer. I purposely mention the Diabetes Nutrition education because many children with special needs also have food allergies or special dietary needs.
While the FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) process is a modest subscription, it could be recommended by a medical practice or underwritten by the practice.

Special Education Professional – teacher, administrator, curriculum coordinator
Dear FamilyEQ

I am a special education professional working in a public school system.
We feel the pressure to do the best we can to educate every child on an IEP, but are aware that this time is traumatic for the child and parents. I was interested in the FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) process because it seemed to address parent needs while my work is totally focused on the child’s needs. How might this process aid the child’s education?

Signed,
Open Minded Special Needs Educator

Dear Open-Minded SN Educator,
You seem well-aware of the traumatic experiences for both the child and parents as they transition to school for the first time, and as they advance through each grade. The amount of time and resources needed by a school system to meet the child’s needs seem to be ‘never enough’ to satisfy everyone involved.
Our research with parents was focused on parent needs. It purposely focused on identifying needs, not on judging current solutions to those needs. Many of the parent needs could be met just by making teachers and special needs specialists aware of the needs by better, clearer, non-advocating communications. Other parent needs may require innovative solutions involving both the school system and community resources.
Additionally, we sensed that in-depth research among special needs educators could reveal unmet needs they have which could catalyze even more innovative instructional solutions.
The FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) process is designed to allow parents to easily identify their needs, and gives them the capability to communicate those needs to others who might assist them, like special needs educators.

High School Parent mentor for families who have a child with special needs
Dear FamilyEQ

I am a Parent Mentor for families who have a child with special needs and will need an IEP for adapting their educational offering. I, myself, have raised a child with special needs and realize the potential traumatic impact on both the child and parents transitioning to a school environment, and advancing grade-to-grade can cause. I am doing the best I can with minimal professional training to support these parents. I heard about FamilyEQ and was wondering how this process might make my efforts more effective.

Signed,
Parry Mentor Exasperated

Dear Parry Mentor Exasperated,
Thank you for all your care and efforts to support parents of a child with special needs. Our research has revealed that the IEP process is stressful and requires understanding on everyone’s part – parents, educators, and resource people –to achieve the best educational outcomes for the child.
We also discovered that while the educational focus is 100% on the child’s needs, parents have many unmet needs during this time that appear to be unaddressed. Our Parent Mentor research with people like yourselves have confirmed these needs. While these needs are not necessarily the responsibility of the school system, if the community became aware of them, new innovative solutions could be created. And, further, because the school system has frequent contact with parents, it could provide new solutions through parent support groups, it’s website, newsletters, and parent educational fairs.
The FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) process is one means of helping parents identify those needs and can help create a new, constructive, solution-creating dialogue with both the school system and it’s community leadership.

Service hours Volunteer coordinator at a High School
Dear FamilyEQ

I am the Service Hours coordinator at a public high school who is always looking for constructive places, organizations, and activities for our students to contribute to improve life in our community. I know that several families in our school have members with special needs and was wondering how the FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) process could assist me as a coordinator and involve our students in a productive effort?

Signed,
Vol Unlimited

Dear Vol Unlimited,
During the development of the FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) we met people like yourself who had a personal desire to see young people have a valuable volunteering experience while helping meet a community need. Our research also revealed that families that have a child with special needs would like assistance on some household tasks, like Spring or Fall yard cleanup, that they have a hard time accomplishing because of the additional time needed in care for their child.
Our suggestions for an approach you could sponsor:
1. Identify families in your school who have children with special needs. Any child with an IEP would be one indication.
2. Introduce them to the Family Resource Builder™ process on our website. If they choose to get the yearly subscription, the self-assessment process will help them identify areas where volunteer help could improve family life.
3. Ask them (sensitively) if high school volunteers could be helpful. I say sensitively because families do not like to feel like they are receiving charity even when they need help. Your personal approach will ease that tension.

Church that wants to start a ministry for special needs
Dear FamilyEQ

I am the pastor of a church that does not have a ministry for families who have a child or member with special needs. I’ve heard that many families who have this situation cannot find churches. We are in the early stages of considering this ministry. What would FamilyEQ suggest to assist us?

Signed,
A Pastor Who Cares

Dear A Pastor Who Cares,
First, you may not be aware that 1 in 5 families experience this family need. And, further, many of them are looking for churches to enable their faith growth, but, sadly, few churches of any denomination have responded to those needs. These families tend to be hidden, some have been rejected or ignored by previous church experiences, but can be a source of loving outreach by your members.
Second, we suggest you consider the entire family’s faith needs, not just those of the member with special needs. The FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) toolkit was designed to help families identify their needs, and share those needs with church leadership.
Lastly, there is probably very good organizational information available through your denominational connections. If not, we suggest the para-church ministries of Key Ministry and Joni and Friends that provide proven guidelines and support materials for any church that is just beginning it’s ministry journey in this arena.
Your church’s help for these families will be welcomed and you will be blessed.

Church with an active special needs ministry
Dear FamilyEQ

I am the Special Needs Director for our church. We have an active ministry for more than 20 members who have special needs, who range in age from young children to adults. This ministry has been going strong for more than 10 years. And, while we believe we are doing a good job at meeting those member’s needs, we are always open to learn about new approaches. What does the FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) process accomplish that I should consider for our ministry?

Signed,
SN10 & More

Dear SN10 & More,
We are so glad to hear of your success and commitment to ministry to those members who have special needs. We wish many more churches would see this large unmet need in their communities.

Here is what makes FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) something you could consider:

  1. The focus of the FamilyEQ(tm) process is family engagement. While it sounds like you have created strong special needs member engagement, these tools can broaden that engagement by identifying unmet family needs.
  2. All churches have a basic desire to meet family faith needs. By knowing what those family needs are, then your church’s ministries can better meet them.
  3. Our research also revealed that families who had a member with special needs didn’t want to be consider ‘takers’, but wanted to loved and accepted for all of their talents and gifts. They wanted to contribute to the life of the church.
Human resources director for Large Fortune 500 business, 2000+ employees
Dear FamilyEQ

I am the Human Resources manager for a Fortune 500 business with several thousand employees. I have come to understand that as many as 1 in 5, or 20% of our employees might have a disabled family member. I know that several of those employees want to organize support groups at work. I wanted to inquire about the FamilyEQ process as an aid to their efforts to build support groups.

Signed,Signed,
HR Caring for Support

Dear HR Caring for Support,
We appreciate your desire to reinforce your employees’ energy to create internal support.
1. The FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) engagement process tools can be effective in helping families communicate their needs. Yes, to support group applications.
2. Additionally, our research with many companies revealed that the companies were actively looking for volunteer opportunities for their employees. While not totally surprising, employee families had needs that their peers could assist, if they knew of the needs. The Resource Builder tools make it easy to share needs with volunteers who are looking to help.
Our belief is that either of these applications of the FamilyEQ Resource Builder process tools could greatly reduce employee stress related to their complex family situations.

Small business with less than 100 employees
Dear FamilyEQ

I am the Human Resources manager for a small company. I know that we have several employees who have a disabled family member, and when I noticed your Facebook ad I wanted to inquire about the potential to help them by introducing them to the FamilyEQ process.

Signed,
HR Cares

Dear HR Cares,
We know that employees who have a family member who is disabled sometimes have complex lives to manage and could be feeling the stress of that complexity. Our research also identified that many times coworkers had little knowledge of that family’s needs. And, further, if they were aware of some of those needs, the coworker might be able to provide assistance.
The FamilyEQ™ process was designed to help the family with the disabled member easily identify areas of need for themselves, and share those needs with others who want to help.
Any company could offer the FamilyEQ(tm) subscription to the family as a benefit. That family would find the FamilyEQ(tm) discovery process personally enlightening and a way to constructively reduce the complexity and stress in their life.

Therapist
Dear FamilyEQ,

I am an occupational therapist who works with children of many ages helping them overcome physical disabilities. How can the FamilyEQ process assist my work?

Signed,
Caring through OT

Dear Caring through OT,
Our research with families revealed that caregivers especially, and every family member who can assist in supporting their family member wants to do a good job of supporting your therapy program. However, they may find it difficult to be as good a therapist as you are which leaves them feeling disappointed in themselves. And, they have friends who want to help, but are completely untrained.
The FamilyEQ(tm) reflection process would reveal that family need. And, once you were aware of that need, you could help all of them improve their ongoing follow through of the needed OT. They would appreciate your training and the child would experience even more improvement.

Counseling Center
Dear FamilyEQ

We are a family counseling center of with 25 professionals who each have a case load of 40-50 families. Our professionals are well established in their disciplines and our family satisfaction is outstanding. Over our business lifetime we have helped more than 25,000 families. We still keep in touch with them through our website and newsletter.
How can the FamilyEQ process provide new tools for our practice that might further increase our effectiveness in helping families?

Signed,
Family Counseling Plus

Dear Family Counseling Plus,
We are glad to hear of your success as we know families are in need of wise counsel. Your team’s time with each family has probably created a strong bond of trust in your services. Because of that enduring trust, we know you will be careful about pursuing new tools and approaches. We also recognize that as a business you will want to understand the administrative complexity of any new approach.

  1. The FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) is a family engagement process that requires little or no administrative back-office work on the part of your agency. You can visit our website to read about the 9 year FamilyEQ(tm) development process and see our evidence-based and practice-based references.
  2. The FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) relies heavily on the family taking responsibility for identifying areas of family improvement, and, leads them through a self-help problem solving process to accomplish their goals. While professional-level training is not required for your staff, CEU certification is available from FamilyEQ(tm). Agencies have requested facilitator/coaching training so that they can use these tools as an integral part of support groups they lead. Contact Family if your agency would like to discuss that opportunity.
  3. The FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) process results in a stronger family support system, reduced family stress, reduced caregiver stress, increased family problem-solving effectiveness through improved communications, and less family isolation – all outcomes desired by families who have a child with special needs.

All FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) process tools are delivered online and can be completed on any online device, including mobile. Families purchase a yearly subscription at a modest expense.
Your agency can be included in the family results for their cases on a dashboard. These generalized results can be the areas of future agency service improvement.

Dear FamilyEQ,

I am a business development leader at a large NGO interested in learning about ‘new & improved’ social innovations that our organization can bring to our family members and professionals. We currently provide a wide range of value-added resources like parent toolkits, small group support materials, research results from leading edge scientists and medical researchers, and Q&A online forums for community-building and knowledge sharing.

How can the FamilyEQ process provide new tools for our practice that might further increase our effectiveness in helping families?

Signed,
Search Beyond Us

Dear Search Beyond Us,
We are glad to provide any level of information you seek to answer your questions.

  1. Our website has Evidence based and Practice based references that provide a level of professional source of information about the evolution and development of the FamilyEQ process.
  2. FamilyEQ was developed with a clear focus of ‘Family Needs, not just Child’s needs’ in mind. In our landscape analysis of materials and tools, we found the primary emphasis to be on the child. It almost felt like the parents were not in the picture, except for caring for the child.
  3. FamilyEQ focuses on 26 family need areas. Many of these are hidden from the family’s immediate attention, but play a major role in helping a family flourish. The FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) relies heavily on the family taking responsibility for identifying areas of family improvement, and, leads them through a self-help problem solving process to accomplish their goals.
  4. While professional-level training is not required for your staff, CEUcertification is available from FamilyEQ(tm). Agencies have requested facilitator/coaching training so that they can use these tools as an integral part of support groups they lead. Contact Family if your agency would like to discuss that opportunity.
  5. Organizations that encourage or sponsor this process can use the aggregated needs results to build better resources within the scope of their vision.
  6. The FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) is a family engagement process that requires little or no administrative back-office work on the part of your agency.
  7. The FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) process results in a stronger family support system, reduced family stress, reduced caregiver stress, increased family problem-solving effectiveness through improved communications, and less family isolation – all outcomes desired by families who have a child with special needs.

All FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) process tools are delivered online and can be completed on any online device, including mobile. Families purchase a yearly subscription at a modest expense.

We encourage you to set up a time to talk with a FamilyEQ staff member to provide even more information about how this process might serve your organization.

What is the cost of the FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r)® subscription?

1. The cost of a FamilyEQ Resource Builder(r) yearly subscription is $59, and is typically purchased by a family. It is their subscription and the data they generate and solutions they create are under their control.
2. Organizations can purchase bundles of 10 family subscriptions at a reduced cost of $50/family, or $500/bundle. The organization can provide the subscription to a family as a part of other professional fees, or for free.