>Four times a year the Family Support staff get together for a full day retreat as a department. These quarterly retreats are a chance for us to celebrate our accomplishments, plan for the up-coming quarter, gain new skills and continue to strengthen our team. Last week we focused on building skills in two important areas; disability awareness and CPR/First Aid.

One of the programs of the Family Support department is Northshore Special Families, a parent-led community of families with children with special needs who offer supported social opportunities for children and families through our Northshore Family Center. Amy Young, a parent leader with Northshore Special Families, facilitated an experiential training with our staff where they had the chance to explore what it would be like to have sensory, cognitive and physical disabilities. We spent time reflecting on what we can do to ensure that all people feel welcome and included in activities at our family centers.

Thank you to Amy Young and Northshore Special Families, and to the Vineyard Community Church who provided free space for our meeting.

We also all participated in an Infant, Child and Adult First Aid/CPR class taught by the Shoreline Fire Department. As human service professionals it is important for us to be prepared to get involved in the case that an emergency happens during our activities. To enhance our abilities, we provide this opportunity for staff to update their certification on an annual basis. Shoreline Fire department staff worked with us in small groups to give us a chance to practice our skills.
Thank you to Melanie Granfors and the Shoreline Fire Department for helping arrange for this training and providing free use of your facility.

And it wouldn’t be a Family Support Retreat without a great lunch!