February 2014 NewsBlast

Idaho Federation of Families


Essential News for You and Your Family

Idaho Federation of Families NewsBlast
February 2014
The following Federation NewsBlast is an 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

Happy Valentine’s Day! I was thinking, wouldn’t it be great to receive a Valentine gift from our legislators in the form of their taking action to provide health care to over 100,000 Idahoans, eliminate or dramatically reduce escalating catastrophic and indigent care expenses and also open the door to reduced county property taxes? Yup, a great Valentine is sitting on the doorstep of the capitol right now and it is called Medicaid Redesign. We will not see Medicaid Redesign taken up this year, not even for discussion purposes, but there is hope for next year. By then we will have forfeited millions of dollars, estimated at over forty million per year, spent millions more of the state and county budgets on indigent care, and left thousands of individuals and families, many of whom have physical and mental disabilities, without health care coverage. Some say it is out of the question because the federal government will not keep its promise to pay 100% of the cost now, and 90% of it in a few years. Good point but just as accepting the increased Medicaid funding is an “option”, there is also the option of “opting out” if a state so chooses. If the federal government fails to uphold its end of the deal, the state can “opt” out! The reality is that the financial clock is now ticking, and every day Idaho and Idahoans are losing out.

I wish to congratulate Carol Dixon, our Family Support Coordinator for being the first parent in Idaho to achieve National Certification (see below). I also wish to commend Susan Delyea, our Youth Specialist, along with Laura and Amanda Wester, and many other volunteers for causing the first Suicide Awareness Bowl-a-Thon to occur and be such a success!   Speaking of success, the February 6th Disability Advocacy Day held at the capitol was certainly another success. Sponsored by the Consortium for Idahoans with Disabilities, the annual event grows every year.

Finally, I remind you all that our legislators are always interested in hearing your story, your personal account of how you are affected by the actions they take or do not take. They want to hear from you, and tomorrow, Friday Feb 14th, there is a JFAC hearing on any concerns with legislative spending. It is a chance to tell your story in 3 minutes to legislators willing to listen. It begins at 8AM at the capitol with sign-up to give testimony sheets available at 7AM.

High school mascots: Rocky Mountain Grizzlie and Wilder Wildcat

January Bowl-a-thon a Big Success

The first ever School SPIRIT Bowl-a-Thon commenced January 25, 2014 and was a big success.  With 129 students in attendance and eleven different schools participating it was the first event in Idaho that talked openly with youth in a bowling event about warning signs of suicide.

The event had a Mascot Roll-Off where the schools brought their mascot and had them bowl against each other. The event was for Region Four schools but we were fortunate enough to have schools travel from Caldwell, and Wilder, too. Wilder High School won the trophy (a bowling pin painted the colors of the Bowl-a-Thon) for the Mascot Roll-off.

We also asked the schools to raise money for the Suicide Hotline and we had two schools take active participation in raising money.  Rocky Mountain High School and Wilder High School both came to the event with money they had raised for the Suicide Hotline.  The school that raised the most money was given a trophy (the bowling pin in the colors of the Bowl-a-Thon) and a $1000 DJ pack for any of their future school dances.  Wilder High School raised the most money for the Suicide Hotline and won the trophy and the DJ pack.

Through games and prizes we were able to bring awareness to warning signs of suicide and honor the schools that participated in the first ever School SPIRIT Bowl-a-Thon.  Thank you to the schools: Rocky Mountain High, Caldwell High, Kuna High, Wilder High, Boise High, Meridian High, Mountain View High, Borah High, Eagle Academy, Meridian Academy, and Meridian Medical.

Carol Dixon
First Nationally Certified Parent Support Specialist in Idaho

Carol Dixon, IFFCMH Family Support Coordinator, is the first parent in Idaho to become a Certified Parent Support Provider (CPSP).  Congratulations Carol!  National certification, granted by the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, requires strict standards be met.

Standards include documented individual lived experience, 1,000 hours of family support field work, and passage of a national exam.  IFFCMH has advocated the creation and initiation of a state certification process and program for Idaho parents.  State certification could lead to more parents achieving national certification.

IFFCMH has been meeting with Opum Idaho and the Idaho Health and Welfare Department staff members with the objective of making state certification a reality.  The proposed certification program would be designed to train and certify parents with potential for employment through the Optum Idaho provider network.  The certification process will empower parents to provide one to one support to other parents and their families. Empowerment of parents is a primary objective of IFFCMH.


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.


Strengthening Families Program for Teens – Idaho City, Boise County

A 7 week family program focused on developing family life skills that will increase parent-child attachment, stress management and coping skills, effective communication, and effective discipline techniques; and reduce family conflicts, stress, depression, & aggression.

Please call Carol at 433-8845 for more information or cdixon@idahofederation.org

Parent Education Groups – 2nd Friday of every month (Feb. 14th)
4:00 to 5:30 PM
Parent Support Groups- 3rd Friday of every month (Feb. 21st)
4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Youth Group –  4th Friday of every month (Feb. 28th)
4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
All groups are at the United Way building – 501 E. Lakeside Avenue
Contact Family Support Specialist Sheila Hughes for more information:
Parent Education, Parent Support, and Youth Group
Wednesday, February 26th, from 4:00 – 5:30 PM
St. James Church located at 1519 Ripon Ave.
For more information, contact Family Support Specialist Tabatha Shears- tshears@idahofederation.org

Parent and Youth Groups will be held on Friday, February 28th at 6:00 PM at the Flying M Cafe in Nampa.
For more information, please contact Family Support Specialist Amy Robinson at


The topic for Parent & Youth Groups in February will be
“Mind in the Making – Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs”
Groups will meet at Positive Connections – 1373 Fillmore Street N on Thursday, February 20th at 7:00 PM.

For any questions, please email Family Support Specialist Mindy Hoskovec at mhoskovec@idahofederation.org


For information on January parent & youth groups in Pocatello, please contact Family Support Specialist Sophia Peterson at speterson@idahofederation.org

If the following days & times don’t work for you, please let us know! Kim is happy to reschedule.

Parent Support Group – Saturday, Feb. 8th
Parent Education Group – Saturday, Feb. 15th
Youth Support Group – Saturday, Feb. 22nd

All groups will meet at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
1730 St. Clair Road
3:00 to 4:00 PM

Please contact Family Support Specialist Kim Hokanson for more information:


webinar blocks

Idaho Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health presents free educational webinars specific to topics in which parents have expressed interest. We offer a different topic each month. To accommodate busy schedules we offer each training three times during the month.
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.

Webinar Schedule



” Signs, Symptoms, Dangers & Prevention of Drug Use”

(One date and time left:  Tuesday, Feb. 18th at 9PM)

Register for “Drug Use” Here



 “Positive Parenting of Children with a Mental Health Diagnosis”  

This webinar will be based on information that is taken from Ellen Galinsky’s book, Mind in the Making-The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs. These are skills that give children the ability to focus on their goals so that they can learn more easily and communicate what they have learned. These are the skills that prepare children for the pressures of modern life- skills that they will draw on now and for years to come. The good news is that there are simple everyday things that all parents can do to build these skills in their children for today and for the future. They don’t cost money and it’s never too late to begin.

 Thursday, March 6th at 10:00 AM (MST)

 Saturday, March 8th at 9:00 AM (MST)

 Tuesday, March 18th 9:00 PM (MDT)

Register for “Positive Parenting” Here

Sibshop header
 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.


Saturdays from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

February 22nd

March 15th  

Where: Warm Springs Counseling Center, Second Floor

Pre-registration required.

Please call 433-8845 to register and for more information, or email Susan Delyea at  sdelyea@idahofederation.org
We look forward to seeing you there!

Statewide Mental Health Planning Council Awards Advocates


The Mental Health Statewide Planning Council met in Boise January 14-16.  The council meets regularly to review information from the seven regional mental health boards, review information from a number of mental health agencies and groups, and prepare for an annual report to the Governor.  The council also annually recognizes the advocacy effort of individuals and groups at an awards presentation at the state capitol.

Statewide Planning Council member Teresa Wolf, Representative Sue Chew and Statewide Planning Council member Jennifer Griffis

This year Judicial/Law Enforcement Awards were presented to the Bonner County Sheriff’s Department and Sheriff Paul Wilde of Bonneville County; Communication/Advocacy Awards went to Mountain State Group and the Teton Valley Mental Health Coalition; and the Legislative Advocacy Award went to Idaho State Representative Sue Chew.

IFFCMH joins with the Statewide Planning Council in congratulating and thanking all award recipients.

Through the Eyes of a Bipolar Child…

I am a bipolar child. I can see things no others can see. I’m special! Bipolar people have amazing brains and can see things differently. They can do some things really well. I can get sad, happy, mad, or even scared at times. I have a hard time trying to control my feelings, but I try my best. I’m here to help you through it! When I’m sad, sometimes I take a nice, warm shower to get my mind off things. Depression is hard to control when it comes to Bipolar! You can’t stop thinking about what made you sad! I know, I’ve been there. Now don’t laugh, but I just SCREAM when I cry! It’s just how I do it! To calm down, I take a few deep breaths and go talk to my mom or dad. I try to straighten things out a bit, and at the end, we hug really tight!

When I’m mad, I don’t just scream, I throw EVERYTHING! You feel like punching someone! I kick my bed, but it doesn’t feel hard enough. I kick and kick, but it isn’t hard enough to show how I feel inside! To let my anger out, I scream. I feel like there’s nothing I can do to let it out besides screaming or punching something! After a while of screaming, you start to feel guilty, and then you weep, thinking about what you did. This happens to me almost every week! I’m here to help you shorten this a bit! To calm down, try taking a bath. The soothing waters will help you relax! It sure helped me! If this doesn’t work, try drawing! If you’re sad, you might draw a sad face. It will help, trust me! Drawing will help to let it all out! If this still doesn’t make you feel better, listening to your favorite tunes might help a lot! It sets the mood for a joyful rush! If none of these helped you, go to your mom or dad and talk to them. Talk to them about how you feel, about what happened. They will help you as best as they can! Just know that your parents love you and they try their best to help you through hard times! Bipolar is a part of who I am! It’s a part of you too!    (Megan, age 12)

 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 February 24th training at 6PM (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.




        Click here to read the details!

Mayor Bieter Signs Disability Awareness Week Proclamation 

There were several people representing the disability community in Boise City Hall when Mayor Bieter signed a city proclamation announcing Disability Awareness Week, February 3-7.

Challenger Baseball –

Little League for Everyone
Challenger is open to ALL, between the ages of 5-21 years of age with any kind of special needs.  Everyone welcome, no one turned away!

Boise – Meridian – Nampa – Caldwell – Star – Eagle – Kuna – Emmett

Registration forms and information at www.eteamz.com/IDChallenger

Registration is through March 15th.

What Parents Should Know About Having Kids on Multiple Medications

We want to share this important and very informative article published by the Child Mind Institute. Click this link to read it.

Idaho Behavioral Health Barometer 2013


 Read this article to view Idaho’s data on substance use and mental health.

FINDING HOPE: Community Suicide Prevention
A Free Community Training

The Idaho Lives Project, in partnership with SPAN Idaho and the State Department of Education, is pleased to bring youth support and suicide prevention training to Idaho communities statewide.For details, including dates, times and locations click here.

Assessing & Managing Suicide Risk
Training for Behaviors Health, Substance Abuse & Primary Care Professionals
This free training will be statewide and CEU’s are available. To learn more:

Response to Intervention

 In education, Response To Intervention (commonly abbreviated RTI) is a method of academic and behavior intervention used in the United States designed to provide early, effective assistance to children who are having difficulty. Response to Intervention was also designed to function as a data-based process of diagnosing learning disabilities. This method can be used at the group and individual level. The RTI method has been developed by researchers as an alternative to identifying learning disabilities with the ability achievement discrepancy model, which requires children to exhibit a severe discrepancy between their IQ and academic achievement as measured by standardized tests. RTI seeks to prevent academic failure through early intervention, frequent progress measurement, and increasingly intensive research-based instructional interventions for children who continue to have difficulty. RTI assists schools in avoiding the “wait-to-fail” method by providing intervention as soon as children exhibit difficulty.

February 25, 2014


Register by clicking on one of the three links below:

1:00 PM MST:


Calendar Events

Friday, February 14th
IFFCMH Parent Education Group – Coeur d’Alene
Saturday, February 15th
IFFCMH Parent Education Group – Idaho Falls
Tuesday, February 18th
IFFCMH “Signs, Symptoms & Dangers of Drug Use webinar – online
Thursday, February 20th
IFFCMH Parent & Youth Groups – Twin Falls
Friday, February 21st
IFFCMH Parent Education Group – Coeur d’Alene
Saturday, February 22nd
IFFCMH Youth Group – Idaho Falls
SibShop –   Boise
Monday, February 24th

Respite Care Provider Training webinar – onlineTuesday, February 25th

(IPUL) Response to Intervention – online

Wednesday, February 26th

IFFCMH Parent & Youth Groups – Lewiston

Friday, February 28th

IFFCMH Parent & Youth Groups – Caldwell

IFFCMH Youth Group Group – Coeur d’Alene

Thursday, March 6th

IFFCMH “Positive Parenting” webinar – online

Saturday, March 8th IFFCMH

“Positive Parenting” webinar – online

Saturday, March 15th

SibShop – Boise

Tuesday, March 18th

IFFCMH “Positive Parenting” webinar – online