Workshops and Consultation Services

Who are we?

We are a statewide family support organization committed to ensuring all Vermont families of children with special needs are empowered to have a voice in the care and services they receive. We are the federally-designated Parent Training and Information Center, the Family-to-Family Health Information Center, and the Vermont chapter of both Family Voices and Parent-to-Parent USA. We have been serving Vermont families and the professionals who work with them for more than 30 years. 

What do we offer?

Our workshops are approximately two hours and include a presentation and discussion among participants. Customized workshops are also available. During the pandemic, our workshops are “virtual” rather than in-person. We will resume in-person workshops when it’s safe to do so. Consultation services are based on the individual client’s needs. We are providing consultation services “virtually” (Zoom meeting, phone, email) until it’s safe to offer in-person services.

Who are the trainers?

Our Family Support Consultants have more than ten years of experience at VFN and “lived experience” parenting a child with special needs. We combine technical knowledge with practical experience and suggestions in a family-friendly way. Employees are not attorneys and do not provide legal advice. Our ultimate goal is to empower families through education and support thereby increasing their capacity to be engaged and effective in every aspect of their child’s life.

What type of consultation services do we offer?

Consultation services are based on the individual client’s needs and preferences. We hear from many families that services are frequently not coordinated or helpful. As such, here are examples of how we can help:

  • Assist with developing family-friendly communications such as emails, procedures, or website content.
  • Provide a comprehensive overview of our programs and share resources at your staff meeting.
  • Arrange for parents from our Family Faculty program to share their stories as part of an in-service training for your employees.
  • Train family members on your advisory council, board, or committee, to be more effective members of your group; for example, your agency could sponsor a parent’s attendance at the Vermont Leadership Series.
  • Conduct a focus group or listening session with the families you serve to get input and improvement ideas.
  • Coach your organization in creating your own parent match or parent-to-parent support program.

How can I learn more?

Please contact us to discuss your needs and for information about our fees: email or call 1-800-800-4005 and ask for the Training Specialist. Printable Flyer

What topics do workshops cover?

Workshop topic examples: We address the questions parents and professionals frequently ask us.
Special Education & Individualized Education Programs (IEP); 504 Plans; Other Education Programs, Services, and Supports Family-Centered Thinking and Planning; Building a Medical Home for Your Child; Caring for the Caregiver; Planning using Charting the LifeCourse ToolsTransition to Adulthood for Youth with Disabilities: Independent Living, Health Care, Employment, Post-Secondary Education, Social Life, and Community Living

Advocating for Your Child; Effective Communication and Collaboration Skills; Making Changes at the Legislative or Systems Level

Children’s Challenging Behaviors; School Behavior Supports; School Discipline; Bullying & Harassment

Resources, Services, and Supports to Help Families of Children with Special Needs, which is 1 in 4 Families in Vermont