January 2014 NewsBlast


Essential News for You and Your Family

Idaho Federation of Families NewsBlast
January 2014
Wishing you good health, happiness and prosperity in 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 

Last Blast I talked a bit about the Medicaid Redesign or Expansion option available to Idaho and our hope that it would be taken up at this session of the legislature. Since then, Governor Otter has presented his state of the state address. With respect to the Medicaid Option in his speech, he closed his door on consideration of the option during this session of the legislature. We at the Federation respectfully disagree with our Governor and believe that he and legislators should at least discuss the pros and cons of accepting/refusing the option. People with disabilities, particularly people within the mental health community, would dramatically benefit if the option were accepted, not to mention the dramatic savings to taxpayers, the state and county government. We believe that Idahoans want to know more about the option, they want the facts without the slogans, and want to hear where their legislators stand on the issue. Thousands of Idahoans who are currently without and would be eligible to receive health benefits want to know why they are being denied. The Medicaid Option is not too big to fail but it is too big to simply dismiss until next year.

I am pleased to announce the addition of two new members to our Family Support Specialist staff in region 1 (Coeur d’Alene area) and region 6 (Pocatello area).   Welcome to Sheila Hughes (region 1) and Sophia Peterson (region 6)! We are fortunate to have them join us and believe we will see some good things happen for parents and kids in those regions. They are already working hard on bringing folks together providing support and educational opportunities intended to empower families and help them to become stronger and better informed advocates. Please see their introductory bios elsewhere in this Blast and do not hesitate to contact them directly or through the office.

There are many events going on this month but I hope as many of you as possible will attend the Disability Advocacy Day scheduled for February 6th at the Capitol in Boise. This is an annual event sponsored by the Consortium for Idahoans with Disabilities and an opportunity to have your voice heard. Please note the flyer elsewhere in this Blast for more information.

I also wish to recognize and congratulate Carol Dixon, our FSS Coordinator, for her work with Optum Idaho and Idaho Health & Welfare on bringing a certification program for Parent Peers to Idaho, and if all goes as scheduled, she will become the first nationally certified parent in Idaho.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us, send your comments on anything we publish in this Blast or any other subject, and check us out on Facebook or on our website.

Sheila Hughes
We welcome Sheila Hughes to our staff.  Sheila is our new Family Support Specialist in Region 1.She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a mental health concentration from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.

She is a single parent to four children, two girls and two boys. Sheila has walked the road of autism with her youngest child, for the last 4 years; worked with sensory processing disorder and ADHD with her kids; learned about parental advocacy for special needs children through involvement in both the educational and medical systems; and sought out community and government assistance for special needs children.

Sheila will be facilitating parent and youth education and support groups in Coeur d’Alene.

Sophia Peterson
We also have a new Family Support Specialist in Region 6. She is Sophia Peterson, who is currently attending Idaho State University and will be completing her Associate of Arts for Criminal Justice in the fall. She will continue with her education in the spring of 2015 to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology.

She is newly married and now has a blended family with four children, one girl and three rowdy boys, two of which struggle with learning and emotional disabilities. She enjoys being outdoors, camping and spending time with her family.

Sophia will be leading parent and youth education and support groups in Pocatello. Welcome Sophia!


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.
Please call Carol at 433-8845 for information on her January groups or cdixon@idahofederation.org

Carol is also forming a discussion group, “Parenting Young Children with Social, Emotional & Behavioral Challenges.”   Please contact her for more information.
Parent Education Groups – 2nd Monday of every month (Jan. 13th)
Noon to 1:30 PM
Parent Support Groups- 3rd Friday of every month (Jan. 17th)
4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Youth Groups –  4th Friday of every month (Jan. 24th)
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:
Special Group for January!
“Success with the IEP” 
presented in collaboration with Idaho Parents Unlimited (IPUL)
Friday, January 31st in Grangeville
216 South C Street
3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Youth Group will run concurrently with Parent Group.

Preregistration REQUIRED- 1-800-905-3436
For more information, contact Family Support Specialist Tabatha Shears- tshears@idahofederation.org


Parent & Youth Groups will be at the Caldwell YMCA on Saturday, January 25th at 2:00 PM.  Join Family Support Specialist Amy Robinson for some fun new group activities!
Free refreshments will be provided!


The topic for Parent & Youth Groups in January will be
“Restorative Practices”
Groups will meet at Positive Connections – 1373 Fillmore Street North on Thursday, January 16th 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


January’s Youth Education Group will be held on Saturday, January 18th at 3:00 PM at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church – 1730 St. Clair Road
3:00 to 4:00 PM

The Parent Education Group will be held on Tuesday, January 28th at the EICAP building. Please contact Family Support Specialist Kim Hokanson for more information:


webinar blocks

Idaho Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health presents 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.


January – Strategies for Parenting Teens with ADHD

February – Signs, Symptoms, Dangers & Prevention of Drug Use


1st Thursday 10:00am

2nd Saturday 9:00am

3rd Tuesday 9:00pm

Advance registration is required and a computer with internet access is needed. Call 1-800-905-3436 for additional information. To register please go to  Parent Webinar Registration

Sib Group header
 SibGroup Winter Schedule

SibGroups are a monthly event for siblings of children with a special need. We provide a fun combination of information, games, fun surprises, and great discussion.  We are currently running groups in Boise for children aged 7-11.


Saturdays from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

January 18th

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!

3rd Annual Family Caregiver Conference

Saturday, January 25, 2014

8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Boise State University, Student Union

For all the information, click below:


Step Out with A Social Place!
Plan on a fun evening on Saturday, January 18th, while supporting “A Social Place,” a new organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum, and their families. See details below!



West Region Conference

Winter 2014

NAMI Idaho

West Region Conference


January 27, 2014

One of America’s best-known advocates for better mental health care is coming to Idaho to raise awareness, provide education, create and channel energy, and promote improvements in our system of providing care and treatment for individuals living with mental illness.


Meet and Greet Pete

7 a.m. – Hall of Mirrors

(J. R. Williams Bldg.)

700 W. State Street, Boise, ID

  • Meet PETE EARLEY, Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of ‘Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness’ and enjoy continental breakfast with him and the NAMI Idaho Board of Directors.

This informal session will be followed by:

 NAMI Idaho


For all Members and Friends of NAMI

  • Learn more about Optum Idaho and the current state of Medicaid Managed Care; Dual Eligibility for Medicaid and Medicare; possible redesign of Medicaid Coverage; Idaho Lives Suicide Prevention, and new developments in the Behavioral Health environment in Idaho.

RSVP namiwrv@gmail.com or 208-309-1987

by January 20, 2014.

 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?

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.


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 January 20th training at 7PM (MST), please contact Cindy at 1-800-905-3436 or cshotton@idahofederation.org

 Website Forums 

The Idaho Federation of Families invites everyone to participate in our online discussion forums! There are separate forums for parents and youth with specific topics of interest. You can log in anonymously to discuss questions and concerns with others in the community. The forums are monitored every business day by IFFCMH Family. Join or start a conversation today!

 Suicide hotline



Calendar Events

Thursday, January 16th

IFFCMH Parent and Youth Groups – Twin Falls

Friday, January 17th

IFFCMH Parent Support Group – Coeur d’Alene

Saturday, January 18th

IFFCMH Youth Group – Idaho Falls
A Social Place – Interactive evening for adults on the Autism     Spectrum, and Neurotypicals – Boise

Monday, January 20th

IFFCMH Respite Care Provider training webinar

Tuesday, January 21st

IFFCMH Webinar: Strategies for Parenting Teens with ADHD

Friday, January 24th

IFFCMH Youth Group – Coeur d’Alene

Saturday, January 25th

3rd Annual Family Caregivers Conference – Boise
IFFCMH Parent & Youth Groups – Caldwell
Monday, January 27th

NAMI West Region Conference – Boise


Tuesday, January 28th

IFFCMH Parent Education Group – Idaho Falls


Friday, January 31st

IFFCMH & IPUL Parent Education Group – Grangeville


Thursday, February 6th
Disability Advocacy Day at the Capitol in Boise