Trainings for Families

A core component of PPAL’s mission is to provide outreach and support to families of children and youth with mental health needs.  Ultimately, PPAL seeks to empower families to be their own advocates so that their voices are heard across the range of state agencies, advocates and providers with whom they have to engage on a regular basis.  Therefore, PPAL offers free trainings to families and caregivers that provide information on special education, interacting with the juvenile justice system, issues to consider as their children and youth begin to transition into adulthood, and strategies for providing family-to-family support, which is perhaps the most effective and valuable way for families to help each other and find their voices.

Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Students in School will give parents/caregivers a foundation and the steps to build on in order to advance their advocacy skills.  It was crafted to build knowledge around the Special Education and Individualized Education Program (IEP) process.  Topics include:  how to identify, document and communicate your concerns, evaluations, support plans, team meetings and letter writing with the focus on the student’s emotional/behavioral/mental health challenges and the supports that students may need to access the curriculum and life of the school.

Empowering Families: Transition Aged Youth is a comprehensive guide for families and caregivers with young adults with emotional, behavioral or mental health needs who are transitioning into adulthood.  This curriculum includes information for families to consider in planning with or for their children across the range of issues that they must address: post-secondary education or employment, management of access to health care information and decision-making as their youth become legally independent (18 years), housing, and financial management of benefits for which the youth might be eligible or which families might put in place from their own resources.

Juvenile Justice 101 provides helpful information for families to know if their child or youth becomes court-involved.  Court-involvement changes the dynamic for families from one in which the parents can make decisions regarding courses of action and desired outcomes for issues for their children and youth to one in which families have little or no control over the same or similar issues before the court which can impact their children and youth to a great extent.  PPAL’s course is intended to provide high level information to help families navigate the often confusing world of juvenile justice.

All PPAL trainings are FREE of charge to family members. All materials are copyrighted by PPAL.
For more information on any of these training for your community, contact Meri Viano at