What to Expect When You Call:
At ASK, we believe that every family and youth who calls is doing the best they can. We accept all people as they are, and we try to help in several ways - by providing hope, listening and supporting, assessing the unique needs of each family/youth, and helping families/youth get their goals met.
If you call, we may provide you with the name of a mentor, give you a great website address, refer you to a community service, invite you to our support groups, tell you about a training, send you a newsletter, fill you in about youth services we offer, or all of the above, depending on what you need.
Sometimes all you need is someone to listen, and we do that too. Having a sounding board when you have had a particularly rough day can be a life saver. Many of our staff and youth have experienced what you and your family are experiencing. Knowing that you are not alone is very powerful.
Raising kids or being a youth can be tough. If you need help, just ASK!
ASK's Family Support Partner Model
A Family Support Partner is a parent or caregiver of a child with mood, behavioral, or emotional challenges. They faced and overcame many barriers while trying to access services for their children. As a result, Family Support Partners are in a position to assist parents with similar situations in navigating the system of care for their children. They provide support based on firsthand experience. ASK's Family Support Partners are currently accessible to families via several community agencies.
What do Family Support
Family Support Partners empower families raising children with mood, behavioral, or emotional challenges by providing parents/caregivers with support, training and advocacy skills. Family Support Partners assist with a listening ear, understanding, and the unique perspective of experience. Parents are not alone in their struggles, and sometimes knowing this can help more than they realize.
Family Support Partners assist families with locating or obtaining needed community resources. They assist in finding or arranging various types of training, seminars, conferences, support groups or discussions to help increase knowledge in critical areas such as Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), Section 504 plans, evaluations, specific disabilities, parenting strategies, local resources, etc.
Family Support Partners also help establish goals for families, plan and prepare for school meetings or person-centered-planning meetings, court hearings, etc., and are able to attend meetings with families for support, if needed.
ASK's Youth Peer Support Model
What is a Youth Peer Support Specialist (YPSS)?
A Youth Peer Support Specialist is a young adult who has lived experience as a youth with emotional, behavioral, or mood challenges. As part of their peer role to youth, they share their direct experiences and help empower youth to reach their goals. They support the youth directly with various skill building activities such as exploring career options, success in school, increased community inclusion, and other activities outlined in the treatment plan. They provide youth with hope that they can achieve the things that are important to them.
What do Youth Peer Support Specialists do?
Youth Peer Support Specialists help support youth with a serious emotional disturbance through shared activities and interventions. The services provided help youth by decreasing isolation, increasing hope, increasing engagement with other service providers, decreasing stigma, and by enhancing youth and family mental health service array. The goals of Youth Peer Support services are to support youth empowerment, assist youth in developing skills to improve their overall functioning and quality of life and working collaboratively with others involved in delivering the youth's care.
ASK's Calling All Youth Motivating Others through Voices of Experience (C.A.Y. M.O.V.E.) Model
What is C.A.Y. M.O.V.E.?
Calling All Youth (CAY) M.O.V.E. is a group of young people, 9th grade to graduation, who have some experience with an emotional, mood, or behavioral challenge. We work alongside professionals, parents, and community members to improve mental health services in our community. The mission of this group is, "CAY seeks to educate and empower youth who have mood, emotional, or behavioral challenges to advocate for themselves, and use their experience and voice to improve the system of care of children's mental health services".
What are the benefits for youth involved with C.A.Y. M.O.V.E.?
Calling All Youth M.O.V.E. offers many benefits to Youth in Kalamazoo county in a safe and respectful environment that celebrates of the diversity of its membership. Being part of the group, allows youth members to have a voice and be heard by authority figures in their life. Through CAY M.O.V.E., there are any opportunities to make friends and develop new healthy relationships while giving back to their community in an important way. In addition, youth who attend and participate in a meaningful way, get paid a stipend for their work. CAY M.O.V.E. youth also have an experience to add to their resume.
ASK provides the following services:
Information, Resources, and Community Referrals
Individual Family Support by a certified Family Support Partner
Twice monthly Family Support Group meetings
Individual Youth Peer Support by a certified Youth Peer Support Specialist
Speakers and Trainings to provide information and reduce stigma
A Parent Advisory Group intended to impact areas in need of Advocacy
A Youth Empowerment Program (C.A.Y.M.O.V.E) designed to increase youth voice and leadership skills
Are you interested in learning more about what ASK can do for you, or to educate your group or organization?
Are you a Provider looking for services for your client?
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