August 2014 NewsBlast

Idaho Federation of Families


Essential News for You and Your Family

Idaho Federation of Families NewsBlast
August 2014
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.

Your friends at….

Idaho Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health

Steve’s Space

Last issue, NewsBlast editor Cindy Shotton noted that I had writer’s block, and to the joy of many readers, my space went unfilled. Might have been just as easy, and more believable to simply say, the blockhead is out of town. Well, it feels like the blocks have been removed and I am back at it.

First on my list is the article below announcing our 3rd annual awards banquet and asking readers to nominate outstanding children’s mental health advocates. Our sincere hope is that you, our readers, will seriously consider nominating advocates who have had a positive impact on the lives of Idaho kids and their families. We have had the opportunity to recognize some truly outstanding people and programs the last few years, but know that there are plenty of others who deserve to be rewarded for their efforts. We know you know someone or a program that deserves recognition and ask that you help us to recognize them.

Speaking of recognition, I would be remiss if I did not mention our region 3 Family Support Specialist, Tabatha Shears. Tabatha recently received a Certificate of Gratitude from the Lewis-Clark Early Childhood Program. Congratulations Tab!

I also note that Kathy Gneiting has taken on a family support role with us in regions 6&7 and is working with our newest advocate in region 7, Richard Kauer. We have also added another Family Support Advocate in region 3, Kelly Harris. We will have more about Richard and Kelly in the next Blast. We are still looking for parents interested in joining out part-time staff in regions 1 (Coeur d’Alene) and 6 (Pocatello), so contact the office for more information.

We have been hearing from many parents throughout the state about reductions and elimination of services provided to them through Optum Idaho, the Medicaid managed care entity, specifically with respect to Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) or Community Based Rehabilitation Services (CBRS). Many feel that this is a vital service and reductions and/or elimination of the service will be detrimental to the health of their child. Optum Idaho is using evidence based practices, and a medical necessity model that does not recognize the value of this service for many of the kids who have been receiving it and is reducing hours and/or eliminating the service in numerous cases.

Our discussions with parents indicate a severe communication problem between parents, Optum, and providers, as well as major differences in opinion regarding the value of these services. Representatives of Optum point out that there is an appeal process, and that other services they believe are more appropriate to a child’s needs may be available to replace the PSR hours.   Many parents and, in some instances, providers, do not know that they can request alternative services or how to appeal Optum decisions.

IFFCMH is planning to hold regional meetings for parents to discuss this issue, explain the appeal process, and collect personal stories and information in order to have a meaningful discussion with Optum representatives. IFFCMH believes it is possible to positively resolve many of the issues revolving around PSR/CBRS services through these community conversations. If you wish to discuss your situation or share your story, please contact the IFFCMH staff and watch for notices of meetings offered in your region.



The 3rd Annual IFFCMH Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday, October 18th at the Holiday Inn on Elder Street in Boise. Nominations are now being accepted from around the state for outstanding children’s mental health advocacy by individuals and organizations. IFFCMH wishes to recognize the effort of advocates who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the mental health welfare of kids, families, and services/programs/organizations that strive to fulfill vital youth needs.

Anyone and any program/organization is eligible to be nominated for Outstanding Advocacy awards including youth (up to age 21), parents and family members, service consumers and providers, lawyers, journalists, doctors, legislators, juvenile justice and law enforcement officers- essentially the people and services you believe should be recognized and awarded for exceptional efforts. You can nominate family teams like a parent(s) and child(ren), or other partnerships of parents, providers, and youth working together.

To nominate, simply e mail the name and contact information of your nomination to: . Be sure to include your name and contact information, and a brief summary of why you believe your nominee(s) deserves to be recognized for outstanding advocacy. Deadline for nominations is September 29th.


For additional information on the awards banquet and nominations, contact IFFCMH at 800-905-3436.



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.  

Parent Education – Raising Resilient Children- An interactive group focused on strategies for parenting children with mental health challenges.  Registration required as space is limited. 

Thursday, August 21st at 6:00 PM

 Please call or email Carol at 433-8845 for more information or to register –
Parent Support – Idaho City Family Group

Join an ongoing group of families that have been meeting for several months.  The evening starts with a shared meal then parents and youth divide into groups.  The parent discussion is on topics relevant to strengthening families – communication, setting limits, managing stress, encouraging positive behavior, etc.

Boise County Community Justice Bldg

Monday, August 11th at 6:00 PM

Please call or email Carol at 433-8845 for more information or to

August groups are pending…
Please call the Federation at 1-800-905-3436 for information
 Parent Education, Parent Support, and Youth Group Tabatha is offering one on one parent education and support in August. Please use her email link below to set up your session.
She will also have groups later in the month. Call the Federation for dates and location.
Please call the Federation office at 1-800-905-3436 to register.
Contact Family Support Specialist Tabatha Shears for more information-
August groups are happening; we just don’t have the details yet!
Please call the Federation at 433-8845 for information
or email Family Support Specialist Kelly Harris at
Parent and youth groups will meet on Wednesday, August 13th at Positive Connections. These groups will address sensory issues.
 1373 Fillmore Street at 1:00 PM. For any questions, please email Family Support Specialist Mindy Hoskovec at  


There will be groups in August, but we don’t have the particulars yet!
Please call the Federation at 1-800-905-3436 for information



Dates & locations for our August groups are pending…
Please call the Federation at 1-800-905-3436 for information, or email Family Support Specialist Richard Kauer at

 Respite Care  


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 background check, for which the Federation pays.  For more information or to register for the upcoming free Monday, August 25th webinar training at 7PM(MDT), please contact Cindy at 1-800-905-3436 or

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.

               WEBINAR IDEAS: Parents we’d love to hear from you about topics for future webinars! Each month we offer one webinar training 3 times during the month. Let us know what you would like to learn about – we’ll do the research. You can join the presentation from the comfort of your home with three different time options to meet your busy schedule.

Send us an email with your requests on training topics

Check out our website for current trainings

webinar blocks


Advance registration is required and a computer with internet access is needed. Call 1-800-905-3436 for additional information. To register, please use the appropriate link below.

Free August Webinar


   “The Mind/Body Connection – Key Psychological Factors for Children with Chronic Illnesses”  
Amy Walters, PHD is a clinical psychologist with 15+ years of experience working in a variety of community settings serving children, adolescents and adults with a range of social, emotional, educational and health issues; specialization in diabetes and health behavior change; professional speaker; advocate for public education and the role of psychology in healthcare. She is currently the Director of Behavioral Health Services for Humphreys Diabetes Center at St. Luke’s. She is the Public Education Coordinator for Idaho at American Psychological Association and is a member of the Idaho Telehealth Task Force. She earned her doctorate degree from Utah State University.
Unlike previous formats, this presentation is pre-recorded and will actually be available 24/7 throughout August. Just  tune in at a time most convenient for you. Because it is pre-recorded, there will be no interaction. 


Register for “The Mind/Body Connection – Key Psychological Factors for Children with Chronic Illnesses”

Youth M.O.V.E. as a New Stage of Youth Involvement


Youth M.O.V.E. (Motivating Others through Voices of Experience) is an exciting youth leadership initiative in Idaho with the goal of bringing together youth to create a new outlook on mental health and to make sure needed services are in place.  Youth M.O.V.E. seeks the best way to help youth in our communities have a voice and become their own advocates.

This youth-based nonprofit organization is working to create chapters in counties across Idaho. Chapters can focus on whatever youth in that county deem to be important in their community such as suicide, juvenile justice, autism, gangs or substance abuse. The overall outlook is that mental health can affect youth in many ways.

Youth M.O.V.E. Idaho is part of Youth M.O.V.E. National, which provides training and support to the local chapters. The national organization hosts monthly calls to the states. Youth are welcome to join the calls and learn how to become stronger advocates and leaders in their cause.

If you want more information about Youth M.O.V.E. Idaho, you can go to or phone Susan Delyea at (208)433-8845 / toll free at 1-800-905-3436 or email

 Idaho Federation of Families Presents

Frequently Asked Questions about Sibshops

What are Sibshops? For the adults who run them and for the agencies that sponsor them, Sibshops are evidence of their loving concern for the family member who will have the longest-lasting relationship with a person who has a disability. However, for the kids who attend them, Sibshops are pedal-to-the-metal events where they will meet other sibs (usually for the first time), have fun, laugh, talk about the good and not-so-good parts of having a sib with special needs, play some great games, learn about the services their brothers and sister receive, and have some more fun.

Are Sibshops a form of therapy? Sibshops may be “therapeutic” for kids to attend, but they’re not therapy. Sibshops take a wellness perspective. They’re a celebration of the many lifelong contributions made by brothers and sisters of people with special health and developmental needs.

Autumn Sibshops Schedule:

Saturdays from 10 AM to 1 PM

 September 20th

 October 18th

 November 15th


Where: Warm Springs Counseling Center (Boise) 

 740 Warm Springs Avenue, Second Floor

Pre-registration required.


We are actively seeking participants, so please, if you are interested or would like more information, contact Susan Delyea at  or call her at


Idaho Dept. of Health & Welfare’s Behavioral Health July 2014 Newsletter

The latest newsletter is available for you to read: July 2014 Behavioral Health Newsletter

Idaho Telehealth Task Force Presents
One Day Conference – 
“Idaho Telehealth: Gateway to the Future”

The Idaho Telehealth Task Force will present a full day conference in Boise on Wednesday, August 20th titled “Idaho Telehealth: Gateway to the Future.”

For more information and to register-

Remote access registration is available for those unable to attend in person. Remote viewers will be able to view live webcasts of all conference sessions and all registered attendees will receive links for recordings of all sessions.

This conference is being sponsored by the Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center.

News from Pathways RTC

Upcoming Pathways Webinar on Bridging Service Gaps-

“Bridging Service Gaps: System Integration Strategies for Service Providers Working with Young Adults with Mental Health Issues” will air August 26, 2014 at 10am PST (1pm EST). This webinar addresses strategies for meeting the cross-system needs of young people with mental health conditions in the transition years.

Register for the webinar here

NAMI Awareness March Set for
September 27th in Boise

Click here for all the information

            And…click here for registration details!

Third Annual Youth Issues Today Conference on October 2-3, 2014 in Boise-
Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth

Follow this link for more information 

 Idaho Partnerships Conference on Human Services
Training Conference on Disabilities and Mental Health

The Idaho Partnerships Conference on Human Services is the largest regional conference focusing on providing quality training to human service professionals, parents, self advocates and community members who serve and support people with disabilities and their families.

The 2014 Partnership’s Conference will be held on October 30th & 31st at the Boise Riverside Hotel. This year’s conference theme is “Mission: Possible!”  For more information and to register, please go to

Mission Possible

In This NewsBlast
Steve’s Space
Groups Schedule
Respite Care Training
Webinar Ideas Needed
Parent Webinar Series
Youth MOVE Idaho
IDHW Newsletter
Pathways RTC Webinar
NAMI Awareness Walk
Youth Issues Today Conference

Board of Directors 

Kathie Garrett

Jennifer Griffis

Barbara Hill

Rick Huber

Fred Kirn

Kateri Ray

Jami Stroud

Office Staff

Stephen Graci, Executive Director

Carol Dixon,

Family Support Coordinator

Susan Delyea,

Youth Specialist

Mike Canavan, Communications & Tech Support

Cindy Shotton, Administrative Assistant / NewsBlast Editor


Family Support Specialists


Region I


Region II

Tabatha Shears

Region III

Kelly Harris

Region IV

Carol Dixon

Region V

Mindy Hoskovec

Region VI

Now Hiring

Region VII

Richard Kauer


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