2015 June NewsBlast


Essential News for You and Your Family

Idaho Federation of Families NewsBlast
June 2015

  Dear Mike,
The following Federation NewsBlast is our E-newsletter highlighting exciting opportunities, important information and some community calendar activities that may be of interest.

We very much encourage organizations and individuals to notify our office when you have relevant upcoming community events that we may share on our website calendar, and our monthly Federation NewsBlasts.  Call us in Boise at 208-433-8845 or 1-800-905-3436.

Steve’s Space

There doesn’t seem like there is much more to say other than, Congratulations!  Congratulations to the Governor signing the Jeff D agreement, the members of the Jeff D lawsuit mediation group, and all the Idaho families that will benefit as a result over the next several years.  Essentially 35 years in the making, the mediation group worked long and many hours over the past 15 months to create a resolution that the Governor could sign, and they did.  Although full benefit of the system transition won’t be totally felt for several years, it still promises much needed dynamic improvement of the children’s behavioral health system.

And even more Congratulations to the Department for initiating a Parent Training and Certification program.  The program may be started as soon as this summer, and will facilitate employment of trained, certified parents by system providers.  The key idea behind the program is “lived experience” of parent partners which is recognized as a valuable asset when assisting families.  Details of the program will be released eventually and interested parents will have the opportunity to receive training, certification and potentially a position with a provider. Optum Idaho is a partner in the program and parent positions being available within its provider system is envisioned.

While I am at it, I’ll congratulate Cindy and Mike in the IFFCMH office for their intensive and impressive work making it possible to launch the new Emergency Respite Care (ECR) project.  ECR is a collaborative effort with the Commission on Aging and the Idaho Caregivers Alliance to provide respite care funding to 24/7 caregivers when they are faced with an emergency situation.  The project application form, guidelines, other resources and evaluations can be accessed on our webpage www.idahofederation.org.  

ECR is now available and intended for caregivers who have exhausted all other funding sources. The congratulations is well deserved, and now onto the concerted effort necessary to get the Jeff D agreement, Parent Training/Certification program and ECR project working for the benefit of Idaho families.  The challenge is ahead.  

As much as I am excited by the prospects for the future CMH system supported by the Jeff D mediation, I can’t help but wonder about the time gap between the settlement and having operating services in place.  For many families in crisis now, or anticipating their next crisis at any moment, help is needed now. Many of these families believe that there is little or no help available for them, and although Jeff D implementation sounds good, some services designed specifically to help them are needed now.   

IFFCMH supports the potential creation of a bridge or transitional program designed to help families as the Jeff D directives are being achieved.  The idea of “no families left behind” is semi-acceptable based on the notion of “the greater good,” but I believe the greater good is served by providing help to families now and incorporating them into the new CMH system as it is developed.  I am certain that this population of families is not being overlooked by the mediation group and will receive appropriate consideration and help as Jeff D planning and implementation gets underway.  

webinar blocks
While our webinars are geared toward parents, read what one professional had to say:

“I want to Thank You for coordinating these webinars as it allows professionals, such as myself, to continue to receive education on topics that pertain to our field of specialty in a setting that suites our ‘busy schedules’ during times when we might not be able to get away from the office to receive education on topics for hour long events, such as the one we will be listening in on July 9th.
  So once again, Thank You.”


Join one or more of the four webinars we have coming up in the next 3 weeks:


Tuesday, June 23rd at 10:00 AM (MDT)

Jeff D Settlement: Howard Belodoff, Plaintiffs’ Attorney, will present the historical perspective and why this settlement is relevant today.



Tuesday, June 30th at 10:00 AM (MDT)

Jeff D Settlement: Pat Martelle, DHW/CMH Jeff D Project Manager, will describe the “nuts and bolts” of the settlement and what we can expect to see happen.



Tuesday, July 7th at 10:00 AM (MDT)

Jeff D Settlement:  Jennifer Griffis, State Planning Council Chairperson and IFFCMH Board of Directors, will present the parent’s perspective on the settlement.



Thursday, July 9th at 10:00 AM (MDT)

Childhood Anxiety

Presented by Degolia Johnson, LMSW, of STARR Behavioral Health, parents will learn how to recognize the symptoms and triggers of childhood anxiety and how to best help those children. 
 Certificates of Attendance will be available for this live session upon email request. 
The webinar will also be recorded and will be available for viewing via our website at your convenience. However, we cannot issue Certificates of Attendance if not viewed live.
To be eligible for a Certificate of Attendance for any of our webinars, it is Federation policy that a participant must be present for a minimum of 75% of the presentation.



The Idaho Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health invites you to join us for free, informal, friendly group meetings and to share experiences, provide mutual emotional support, learn about resources and enjoy the company of peers.


 Education and support groups for parents and youth meet monthly, statewide. Please call the Federation at 1-800-905-3436 
to find out what is planned in your region 



A new respite care program designed to assist 24/7 family caregivers with funding for respite care during an emergency is now available.  Idaho Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (IFFCMH), in collaboration with the Idaho Commission on Aging and the Idaho Caregivers Alliance, initiated the new ECR pilot project which will offer respite care funding to caregivers providing 24/7 care to person(s) of any age. 

Caregivers in an emergency situation may apply for emergency respite care funds by going to www.idahofederation.org and clicking on “Respite Care” and then “Emergency Caregiver Respite” to find the on-line application form.  Caregivers or agency personnel assisting a caregiver can also call the IFFCMH to initiate the application process at 800-905-3436.

To obtain ECR funds, caregivers must register and apply with the IFFCMH either online, via telephone, mail or fax. Caregivers are responsible for locating and contracting with their choice of respite care provider who can be a family member, trusted friend or an agency providing temporary residential care.


Once the application process has been completed and approved, and respite care successfully provided, payment is made directly to the individual respite care provider, or agency providing care at a residential facility. Completed evaluations and signed invoices are required before payment can be made.  

More detailed information regarding eligibility, emergency definition/criteria, and application guidelines can be found at

Contact IFFCMH for information at 208-433-8845,

 800-905-3436 or fax 208-433-8337.

Parent Corner

Parent Corner
Dear Steve, 

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me last week regarding the now available resources here in Twin Falls for children/families dealing with mental heath. I just wanted you to know that I am so grateful to have someone like Mindy Hoskovec there when I needed someone the most.

I have a son who is 10 years old, adopted   when he was just an infant. I even discharged him from the hospital and I am the only Mother he knows.  His birth mother is/was a heroin addict. He was so severely addicted that it took almost 2 months before I could take him home. I have two older sons.

He has been my hardest child by far and from the beginning I was told that there were no long term effects from the addiction, but the greatest chance was that he would have an addictive personality. This is nothing new to me, as all of my siblings have some form of OCD.

These last 2 months have probably been the hardest times in my life. I couldn’t be more grateful that I have Mindy as a resource. She is the kindest person that I know and at a mother’s lowest point where I did not know where to turn to next, Mindy was there. From the moment I met her, I knew this was a person who did not judge me. Right or wrong she listened, helped me  set appointments and was there when I needed someone the most. I had even walked into her office without an appointment and broke down. I felt like the worlds biggest failure. Mindy was there for support, guidance, understanding and just a shoulder to lean on.

Idaho Federation of Families and Twin Falls and myself are so very lucky to have someone like Mindy to stand beside us and help those of us who do not know where to turn to next. Mindy is an amazing person and I can’t Thank you enough for making sure she is a wonderful resource here. I truly do not know what I would have done without her.



Twin Falls, Idaho

Thank you, Maryann.  It is always good to receive positive feedback, especially regarding our staff and help you received. I agree, Mindy is special!


 Respite Care  

girl w teddy bear


Families and service providers acquainted with issues in children’s mental health frequently recognize the strong need for, and lack of, respite care providers as one of the largest gaps in service for both themselves and others.

The Idaho Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health maintains a list of respite care providers from all around the state.  Our providers have all participated in training and have been background checked.

We are searching for new respite care providers in every part of Idaho.  Do you have room in your heart to help these families?

To participate as a provider you are required to take a two hour online training and to successfully complete a
fingerprint-based background check, for which the Federation pays.  For more information or to register for one of our upcoming free webinars training on Tuesday, June 23rd or Tuesday, July 21st at 7PM(MDT), please contact Cindy at 1-800-905-3436 or cshotton@idahofederation.org or tshears@idahofederation.org

Respite helps preserve the family unit by providing care for children with special needs on a temporary basis. It reduces stress on the entire family and provides an opportunity for families to relax. It allows more time for parents to participate in community life; and it gives parents time to rejuvenate from the daily stressors of parenting. Parents interested in obtaining respite care should discuss the opportunities with their case managers.

Scenes from the Federation’s Summer Youth MOVE in Pocatello!



Join the Federation at the Community Progressive 
on June 27th!

HANDS AROUND THE CAPITOL 2015: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The public is invited to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act at Capitol Park.  We need your help to recruit 1000 people to circle the Capitol. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to make history on July 17, Idaho is the only state in the nation to circle the Capitol linked by a yellow ribbon showing support for the 25th anniversary of the ADA and our servicemen and women. Keynote Kelly Buckland, National Advocate,  

Line-up to circle the Capitol at 11:20 show up and receive free ADA swag and other giveaways.

Live music with Jimmy Bivens & Rebecca Scott. ADA history photo display, photo booth, children’s activities, tour wheelchair accessible bus and van, food trucks and much more.  Sign Language Interpreters onsite.  At the State Capitol, Idaho Votes co-sponsored by Idaho Secretary of States Office is hosting “Accessible Voting System Demonstrations” with over 5 vendors on the 2nd floor in the rotunda from 10:00 to 4:00 you are invited to test the voting systems.  Fill out a short survey and your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50.00 gift certificate. Self-guided Capitol tours are available.

In addition to circling the Capitol, Hands Around the Capitol 2015 will host over 35 public awareness booths providing information and educational materials on the following areas and much more:

Accessible voting options

Accessible transportation

Assistive technology

Effective Communication

Disaster planning that includes people with disabilities

Resources on the ADA, and Fair Housing Act

Services for people with disabilities

Employment resources and opportunities for individuals with disabilities

Home and Community Based Services

Schedule for Hands Around the Capitol

11:00 Gather at Capitol Park

11:10  Proclamations

11:20 Form Lines to Circle the Capitol

11:45 Bag Pipers and Treasure Valley Drill Team lead the procession to Circle the Capitol

12:00 Circle the Capitol linked with a Yellow Ribbon showing support for the ADA and our servicemen and women.


12:20 Wendy Olson, US Attorney Department of Justice

12:30 Steven Snow, Director Idaho Council for the Deaf and

Hard of Hearing

12:40 Keynote Kelly Buckland, Director National Council on Independent Living

1:00 Awards

1:30 Jimmy Bivens

3:00 Rebecca Scott

5:00 Event Ends

Contact us at 208-841-9422 or dananwadacenteridaho@gmail.com for more information.

Idaho Partners in Policymaking

A Life Changing Experience

The Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities has been providing Idaho Partners in Policymaking® since 1997. This unique leadership development opportunity brings together a class made up of adults with developmental disabilities and parents who have young children with a developmental disability.


Through an eight-month training program, Partners are given access to the most up-to-date information on disability issues and best practices in the field of developmental disability advocacy. Held one weekend a month for eight months, Idaho Partners in Policymaking provides information on a diverse number of topics including: the history of services for people with disabilities, quality inclusive education, competitive employment, person-centered planning, assistive technology, public speaking, community organizing, legislative advocacy, understanding the current service systems, and creating a vision of high expectations for children and adults with developmental disabilities as meaningful contributers in our home communities. 

Idaho Partners in Policymaking is designed to give participants the tools they need to advocate for the life they choose and to advocate for others with disabilities.


 “The Power to Keep the Locomotive Moving in the Right Directionis a story written by Jan Harvey, a 1998 Idaho Partners Graduate. Jan demonstrates how the Partners experience impacted her life.


The Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities will be providing this life-changing leadership opportunity to 13 adults with developmental disabilities and 13 parents from Southwest and Southeast Idaho.


Applications are being accepted through July 15, 2015. Apply Now!


The Power to Keep the Locomotive

moving in the Right Direction


By Idaho Partners in Policymaking Graduate Jan Harvey

When I was asked to write this article I was uncertain of how to capture my experience in one short article. The uncertainty was similar to what I felt when I was first asked to apply to the Partners in Policymaking program. A lot of thoughts cross a person’s mind – What will be covered? What about the time factor? (The BIG time factor that everyone faces every day). What will I have to do? Etc, etc, etc.


I decided the best approach would be to provide my answer to these questions.


What will be covered? Answer – a wide variety of topics.  Some may apply to a person’s current situation, some may apply to future situations, some may be used helping another with his/her situation and some may never be used but it’s nice to have the knowledge base just in case.


What about the time factor? This is always the hardest. The program is a time commitment but it is time well spent for several reasons.

1. Often times the best way for us to view our lives is to step away and have discussions with others who are in similar situations or others who can provide expertise/guidance that relate to what we are experiencing.

2. The program will give you an unlimited amount of resources/contacts which will result in future time savings.


What will I have do? Answer – Listen and actively participate.  Listen to every topic even though you may think it is not applicable. Often times, it is the small things you hear that will help the best.  It took me a few sessions to get comfortable with participating but everyone is there to give you guidance and support without judgment.


In summary, you will graduate with a lot of knowledge and resources. It is impossible to cover each topic in depth but the program does an excellent job of providing the “seeds” needed to keep you growing in each topic.


Each participant in the program is part of a family and/or team working together. People are connected to each other like cars on a train. The best one sentence analogy I can provide for the program is that it provides the “power” to keep the locomotive moving in the right direction.

Public Hearing Regarding the Integration Mandate 
of the Olmstead Case

There will be a public hearing beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 25, 2015, at the Boise Main Library, 715 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, ID 83702 assessing Idaho’s mental health service system with regards to the integration mandate of the Olmstead case (unnecessary institutionalization is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.)  There will be two panels discussing the issue, one of representatives from the State of Idaho, including the Governor’s Office and Health and Welfare.  The second panel will be advocates familiar with the mental health system and people with mental illness.  At 4:00, members of the public will be given the opportunity to provide public comment.


2:00 – Panel Discussion (State of Idaho)

3:00 – Panel Discussion (Mental Health Advocates)

4:00 – Public Comment

What: Grand Opening of PEER Wellness Center
& Silent Auction Fundraiser

Where: 963 S. Orchard Street-Suite 102
Boise, Idaho

When: June 25th, 2015 5:30pm-8:00pm
Your invitation is here!


On June 15, 2015, the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority (BCACHA) will begin accepting preapplicationsfor placement on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program waiting list. Read more about it here.

Youth Mental Health First Aid
Learn the skills to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders.  This free training will be offered on four different dates in September, October, November and December in Ontario, Oregon.  Click here for information.

Save the Date!