Families as Mentors
Core Function: Professional Training
The Families as Mentors (FAM) Program enhances the fellows' understanding of the family experience of raising a child with a neurodevelopmental disability. Fellows learn directly from families through extended interactions and experiences that take place in the family's home and community. Fellows are matched with a family for a minimum of three visits, which may include events like a family outing, a therapy appointment, or a birthday party. Trainee learning objectives for this experience include:
1) To view families as teachers;
2) To appreciate the realities of raising a child with a disability;
3) To develop leadership skills in promoting systems change among professional peers regarding family-centered care;
(4) To recognize that services or recommendations that may appear to be critically important from a professional perspective may decrease in importance when viewed within the context of the family's daily routines; and
5) To recognize and acknowledge biases, beliefs, and attitudes and how these may affect the client/family-clinician relationship.
Discussion sessions are also held with fellows and faculty mentors to share and reflect on the FAM Program experiences and discuss readings.