Prepare to Bloom & Meyer EFS Creates Community with Parent Support Group
Prepare to Bloom and Meyer Education & Family Services (EFS) has had a total of 60 groups and over 500 log-ins from parents and caregivers attending the weekly Zoom Parent Support Group. The team created a support group in the early days of the pandemic, using Brene Brown’s quote, “Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.” Initially, this group was created to provide information about COVID-19 and its impact on the enrolled students in assessment, and treatment-to-transition programs. This virtual space evolved to allow parents of clients to come together in a time of intense uncertainty to create a group culture that would become a mainstay of their collaborative practices. Steven a parent, said “The parent support group has been a terrific help to me, from the very beginning when I felt somewhat helpless and hopeless, and continuing as my son progressed. Hearing other people’s stories in a safe and confidential place and a string of experienced guest presenters has given me perspective, comfort, and hope.“
Like so many parents in the consulting practices, Prepare to Bloom and Meyer EFS clients were facing unprecedented challenges this last year with a global health crisis, limited mobility, and their children experiencing other challenges that necessitated treatment. On March 17, 2020, the therapeutic experts collaboration in their first Parent Support Group, spawning the concept ‘we are all in this together”, said Kathryn Meyer, MA. In addition, to supporting parents, the platform has created education about issues that remain important to families to this day. Topics like
- IEP 101,
- Educational Attorneys 101,
- siblings and treatment,
- technology, young adult life cycle,
- program transition,
- recovery 101.
Specialists and trusted colleagues presented to the support group making it an expansive collaboration. April focused the group on self-care and parents learned a variety of techniques and skills including meditation, journaling, and the practice of putting themselves first. In May the group focused on transitions as many students were returning home after a year like none other.
The collaboration with colleagues and the families has been the pillars of the weekly Zoom Parent Support Group. It is important to mark this milestone by saying, “thank you to those who joined us and shared their expertise with our parents.” Carla Shorts, MS, LCMHC. one of the collaborating colleagues shared, “I am delighted to see (education and therapeutic) consultants providing an opportunity for family support and connection! I have found that throughout my career as a therapist, parents who have children that need extra support often find themselves so isolated and siloed in their child’s struggle. These types of opportunities allow families to connect with others experiencing something similar is so important.”
As the world transitions back to in-person meetings and programs returning to in-person parent programming, Prepare to Bloom and Meyer EFS will continue to provide a digital forum for the parents to learn and support one another through their treatment journeys.
“A silver lining of the pandemic was connecting with the parents we work with on a deeper level and providing opportunities to connect with each other creating natural support system,” said Shayna Abraham, MA.
Provided by Prepare to Bloom (CA) and Meyer Education & Family Services (UIT). These two Education and Treatment Consultanting practices collaborate professionally. Both have clients and families throughout the US and the world.