December News Blast


Essential News for You and Your Family

Idaho Federation of Families NewsBlast
December  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.

The Board and Staff at Idaho Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health wish you joy this holiday season! May you be surrounded by the love of family and friends.

Steve’s Space

Happy Holidays or Holidaze to everyone! Yes, the happiest time of the year is upon us and many annual events offered by people and organizations of good will are taking place.  Good folks are out in the street generously offering turkey dinners and hot soup, collecting and distributing warm coats, toys and other gifts to kids who have none, and families who go without.  Unfortunately it isn’t hard to find folks who can use a good meal, warm clothing or a gift for their children. It also isn’t that hard to find people who can’t afford health care insurance or fall between the income cracks and are unable to receive assistance for coverage through the ID Insurance Exchange.

 Although it has been said many times and in many ways in the past, wouldn’t it be special if the overwhelming generosity of the holidays happened every day of the year, and the joy that is shared through the holidays was simply the way it is?  Well, we talk about such a notion just about every Christmas season but have realized that is impossible, or else it would have happened by now.

But there is an opportunity to give a needed and essential gift that “keeps on giving,” day after each and every day which will help thousands of Idahoans and also save the state taxpayers millions of dollars.  It has a weird name: “Option 3.5.”

According to the Consortium for Idahoans with Disabilities, the Governor’s Work Group on Medicaid Redesign made a new recommendation to the Governor on November 14th, 2014, to support a “hybrid” version of Medicaid expansion. They called this recommendation “Option 3.5” and it provides Medicaid eligibility for qualifying families below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).  It uses Medicaid funding to purchase coverage on the state insurance exchange for qualifying families between 100% and 138% of the FPL. Implementing this recommendation, or any other option for Medicaid expansion, will be of significant benefit to many Idahoans with and without disabilities. This is especially true for Idahoans with severe and persistent mental illness.

Option 3.5 will also be beneficial to thousands of Idahoans and dramatically reduce state catastrophic health care fund and county indigent care expenditures currently in the tens of millions of dollars.  It is not a perfect plan and much will depend on how it is implemented, but if the Governor really wanted to give a gift to the people of Idaho that “keeps on giving,” one that will go on every day after day, he should give his support to the recommendation of his expert work group and get behind Option 3.5.  ‘Tis the season, isn’t it?

PS: Congratulations to our region 5 Family Support Specialist, Mindy Hoskovec, for achieving national Parent Peer Certification and becoming the third parent on the IFFCMH staff to obtain national certification.


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.


for parents and youth will meet statewide. Please call the Federation at 1-800-905-3436 to find out what is planned in your region!

 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, December 15th webinar training at 7PM(MST), 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.

Five Tips for Helping Your Kids 

through the Holidays

Are you worried about holiday meltdowns, or an increase in other negative behaviors?  Here are 5 tips to help you during this busy and stimulating season.  The five tips are good for any families struggling with behavioral issues, but I want to start with a note about kids who have suffered some sort of loss in their lives.

Keep in mind the holidays can be very hard for kids who have felt the loss of a family member: adopted kids, foster kids, kids with divorced parents, kids who have experienced the death of a parent or sibling, kids with a parent in jail, etc.  While many kids are acting happy and excited about the holidays and talking a lot about presents they hope to get, others may be struggling internally with losses that may feel bigger than ever at holiday time.

Read the rest of this article by Ruth York (Parent Coach, Family CPR) here

IFFCMH Presents Teen Group at Coeur d’Alene High School!


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.

Watch for winter Sibshop schedule coming soon!


If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Susan Delyea at  or call her at


News from Idaho Parents Unlimited
IPUL’s December webinar will be “Skills for Effective Advocacy.” It will help parents understand what “advocacy” means, learn the skills necessary to be an effective advocate; and what additional resources they may need and where to go for more information.
It will be presented at two different times on Tuesday, December 30th:
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM MST      Click here to register
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM MST          Click here to register
For more information please call IPUL at (208-342-5884.

Nearly One in Five Adult Americans Experienced Mental Illness in 2013

9.3 million Americans had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year.

A new report finds that 43.8 million adults (age 18 or older) experienced a diagnosable mental illness in 2013. The report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also finds that 10 million adults experienced a serious mental illness and 15.7 million adults experienced a major depressive episode in 2013. These results are consistent with 2012 findings.  Read more here


Boise & Meridian Community Health Screening Series
FREE Health Screenings will be provided for adults 18+ with no insurance or limited access to preventive health care.  For more information go to Community Health Screening.

Your Health Insurance Coverage Options: How to Get Covered 

Get ready to apply for health insurance coverage! Enrollment for 2015 coverage opened on November 15, 2014. Click here to find out how to get started