October marks the start of our 3rd year as an organization. In the last 2 years, you have continued to inspire us by just how powerful the love of a parent/primary caregiver is. To wrap up our birthday month and kick off our third year we want to look back at the year and what has had the biggest impact on our families. This year has brought with it many challenges that we have never seen before and as a society, we were forced to adapt to our "new normal." As meetings shifted from being in conference rooms to our living rooms; and all of a sudden your kitchen table transformed into a classroom families across the entire world were put in a very difficult spot. Transitioning from traditional learning to distance learning was a massive feat itself, but added on top of that was having to adapt to working from home (for many), having to worry about the health and wellbeing of your immediate and extended family, navigating the confusing process of unemployment, and managing to actively check-in and protect the mental health of you, your partner, and your children.
As an organization that works to get families the resources they need, when they need them, we have been listening to our members, newsletter subscribers, and readers, and have been tailoring our content to make our website a place where families can go and feel understood, and ultimately get the help that they need. The three main challenges that we heard about this year were; 1. Pandemic Related Stress, 2.Education, and 3. Updates to the Mental Health Consent Law. These three topics really resonated with our audience this year and all three of them are still a concern for many.
For personalized help related to any of the three topics below (or any topic at all) reach out to our free and confidential Family Support Partners at 888-273-2361 or online here.
1. Pandemic Related Stress
Instant stress set in for families across America in March. All of a sudden life as we knew it was turned on its head and we were forced to adapt to "our new normal." Because of this swift change, our families needed more help than ever, but also different help than they needed before. With this in mind, the Home Together Page was created. The page was (and is) a place where families could go to get trusted resources ranging from things to do to keep your children occupied, to how to get help, paying rent, to critical emergency resources. This page quickly became our most popular web page to date. We renamed the page to Moving Forward Together because while some people are no longer working and learning from home, we are moving forward with whatever comes next together.
Even though social distancing is essential to maintain right now, you also know as a parent how important it is for your children to socialize with their friends, neighbors, and peers. This tip sheet may give you some ideas on different things they can do to feel connected to others while still being safe.
We sat down with two individuals who are both sober and got to learn from them how quarantine and the pandemic as a whole have impacted it. If you or someone you know is sober read this article to hear how others are coping right now as well as seeing some of the resources that are out there for you virtually.
Are you a noncustodial parent? Or a family member who is missing a child in your life that you can't see because of COVID? Check out our Staying Connected Tip Sheet that goes through different ways that you can connect with a child at a distance. We know it can be hard to bond with a child over the phone and we hope you can see them soon in the future but hopefully, these tips help in the meantime.
When August approached it was clear that the virus would still impact the 2020/2021 school year. This article detailed some of the questions that parents should keep in mind regarding their own family, and their school district's COVID policies. It remains relevant today as schools are forced to change plans due to increasing case numbers.
Our 2nd most popular tip sheet is the Emotional Safety Plan. This tip sheet guides you through creating a plan in advance for dealing with stressful times. When you are in a heightened state of stress it can be hard to think about what the best ways are for you to relax. This tip sheet helps you problem solve beforehand so you are prepared for when stress arises.
Getting your child the education that they need and deserve can be a tricky process any year, but 2020 added a whole new element when Distance Learning became the norm. How do you ensure your child can handle the technology? Will this impact your child's IEP or 504 Plan? Have these questions and more answered on this tip sheet.
**If a question you have is not addressed in this tip sheet reach out to our FSP's and they will help you find an answer at 888-273-2361 or online here..**
While you have already decided where your students are going to school this year, you may still want to know your options if you change your mind. Check out our webinar (you will need to become a *free* member to watch) where four mothers sit down and discuss what your options are.
These tip sheets went hand and hand with our webinar listed above. They detail things to keep in mind if you were thinking about either homeschooling or sending your child to a Charter School.
This blog breaks down the 15 best distance learning tips that we found. We know that the internet is full of tips, many of them requiring a huge budget and a lot of space in your home. These 15 tips show you where to look for/shop for supplies, some easy DIY projects to set your child up for success, and 5 general tips to conquer distance learning like a pro.
Do you know anybody in nursing school or studying in any healthcare-related field? We sat down with two PA nursing students to see how the pandemic is impacting their mental health not only because they have transitioned to distance learning but also because they are just months away from entering the medical field in the midst of a pandemic.
October brought awareness to a number of different things that can greatly impact the mental health of a child or young adult. This month our blog featured interviews and perspectives from people with first-hand perspectives on the topic to explain how it can impact a person's mental health.
Our bullying prevention tip sheet gives 5 concrete steps that a parent or primary caregiver can take to ensure that their child's bullying is taken seriously and handled correctly.
3. PA's Mental Health Consent Law
Our most popular tip sheet details PA's brand new Mental Health Consent to Treat law. This tip sheet breaks down the ins and outs of how the new law can impact your family or therapeutic practice.
This webinar is for families who are trying to understand how this law impacts them and the people in their lives. In order to watch you will need to sign in or sign up to be a FREE member here.
This webinar is tailored for a professional audience to learn about how the law could impact the families that they serve.
For a more lengthy explanation of the law and its new clarifications check out our blog where we detail when the law changed when it went into effect, and how it could impact you. (This is our second most popular blog of the year!)
First and foremost; thank you for such a wonderful 2 years. Especially in 2020 we have been astounded and inspired by your strength and resilience. Thank you for sharing your stories with us, and our readers who know just what it feels like to be overwhelmed and try and keep it together as parenting throws you some of your hardest situations and decisions. We cannot wait to see what year three has in store for the Parent Alliance.
If you have any questions regarding any of the resources here or anywhere on our website please reach out to our free and confidential Family Support Partners at 888-273-2361 or online here.