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As a lead up to our annual conference next spring, we’re pleased to announce that Sara Forward and Tracey Girdich will be facilitating a free, 3-part Parenting Series called “Play Your Way Home.”

This Series is for parents of children or youth with disabilities or special health needs. Parents are asked to attend all 3 sessions. Watch a short YouTube video interview with Sara to learn more.

Space is limited so please register today!


Sara Forward and Tracey Girdich are thrilled to offer this Parenting Series which is focused on the healing and transformative power of play for parents. Come and start your day at Vermont Family Network and leave a little lighter with a few new tricks for parenting. We will explore games and stories from multiple cultures. You will be invited to learn what kind of “player” you are and what that means for who you are as a parent. You will reflect with others about places in your parenting journey where you might have room to let play in and create more space for humor and creativity to create stronger bonds within your family. 

All 3 sessions in this Series will be held at Vermont Family Network in Williston (600 Blair Park Rd., Suite 240) from 8:30 am – 10 am. 

Session 1 

Tuesday, January 23, 2020 – Parent as Player, Play and the Brain

Session 2

Thursday, February 11, 2020 – Play it Back to Me, Co-regulation and Play

Session 3

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 – Playing for Keeps, Creating Play Bonds that Last

If you have questions or need help registering, contact or (802) 876-5315 x218. If you need an interpreter or would like to request a reasonable accommodation, please contact Janice by January 6, 2020.


Photo of Sara Forward

Sara Forward, LICSW, is a proud Vermont transplant by way of Kentucky, Michigan, and Louisiana. In addition to being a mom, Sara has worked with children and families as a mental health consultant, clinician, classroom teacher, and professional coach and trainer. Her interests include supporting families in transforming challenging dynamics through self-reflection and mindfulness training. Her current work with the Child Welfare Training Partnership at the University of Vermont allows her to support family services workers, foster, adoptive, and kinship families around Vermont with training and coaching. Sara’s focus in training is on practical knowledge and strategies for parents and professionals and her presentations draw on her love of reading, travel, live performance, and the joy of playing with children in nature.

Photo of Tracey Girdich

Tracey Girdich is an interventionist in the Early Childhood Program of the Child, Youth and Family Services division of Howard Center. She has over 25 years of experience working with young children. She is also an actor, producer, director, storyteller and creative dramatics teacher. She is currently studying play through the Goddard Graduate Institute of Plainfield, VT.

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