- Partner with family members and professionals to promote family involvement in Virginia
- Work with family members to develop their skills as advocates, mentors and leaders
- Seek out, support and connect a network of family leaders
- Develop and provide materials and training opportunities around family involvement
- Gather information about the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families
- Research strategies for family involvement
- Develop a clear picture of family involvement activities in Virginia
- Encourage organizations to include family members in advocacy, mentoring and leadership roles
- Initiate and maintain a family involvement website
- Link family involvement activities and resources across Virginia
CFI Activity Highlights
Collaborative Standards-Based IEP training
CFI provides online training modules and print materials for Collaborative Standards-Based IEP training.
Disability History and Awareness Month
The Center for Family Involvement staff at the Partnership for People with Disabilities work collaboratively to support parents, youth and school systems in hosting events and activities that bring awareness of October as Disability History and Awareness Month in Virginia. A toolkit of information designed by youth and parents facilitated by CFI and Center for Disability Leadership staff can be accessed under the Disability Awareness tab at www.virginiaselfadvocacy.org.
Family to Family Network of Virginia
Because parents report their most valuable information often comes from other parents who have similar situations or needs, the CFI operates the Family to Family Network of Virginia, a statewide network of locally based Family Navigators. Family Navigators are culturally and linguistically diverse family members trained to provide volunteer peer-to-peer information, referrals and assistance to other parents and family members of individuals with disabilities in their communities. The network can be reached at (877) 567-1122.
Family Involvement Network
Working to coordinate efforts in family involvement around the state, CFI collaborates with the Virginia Department of Education to bring together a group of statewide representatives interested in promoting parent and family involvement and engagement in the education of children and youth. Members include parents and professional as regional representatives from VDOE’s Training and Technical Assistance Centers and Parent Resource Centers, as well as representatives of the state’s Special Education Advisory Committee, Title I schools, the Virginia PTA, military Exceptional Family Member Program representatives, PEATC, state agencies, family organizations, and the CFI. FIN group members meet three time a year to ensure regional and statewide networking and collaboration, and to develop and implement an annual plan for promoting family involvement in education. This group also coordinates activities each November for Virginia Family Involvement Month as established by Proclamation by Governor of Virginia.
FIN Membership Update Feb.2015 (2) (1)
Sample FIN Annual Plan
Family Engagement Month Proclamation 2014
Family Engagement Month 2014 (1)
Governor’s Proclamation — November 2013
Family Involvement in Education Month — November 2013
I’m Determined Parent Summit
In tandem with the I’m Determined Youth Summit, the CFI hosts an annual Parent Summit to assist parents in networking with one another and in getting the information they need to support their youth.
Parent Resource Centers
The Virginia Department of Education encourages school divisions to initiate and maintain Parent Resource Centers. The CFI provides training, technical assistance, data collection and networking among the almost 50 PRCs around the state tht provide information, resources and training to parents. VDOE also provides a PRC Guidebook and resources.
Transition and Self-advocacy
A transition website, www.ALife4Me.org, invites middle school students with more challenging disabilities and their parents to start planning for their post-school future. The CFI also partners with the Partnership’s Center for Disability Leadership, formerly the Center for Self-Advocacy Leadership, in training and mentoring activities for youth and young adults. Visit the CDL website at www.virginiaselfadvocacy.org.
Virginia is for Siblings
In 2014, the CFI, Arc of Virginia, Autism Society Central Virginia, Formed Families Forward, and the Statewide Family Network at NAMI, joined to form Virginia’s chapter of the National Sibling Leadership Network — Virginia is for Siblings. Our collective vision is for siblings of people with disabilities to form connections, share lived experiences, access information, utilize resources, and advocate for systems change. Visit Virginia is for Siblings at www.vasibs.org.