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Behavioral Health Family Peer Support Service

offers supports to caregivers of a child who exhibits challenging behaviors or has a behavioral health diagnosis. Parents are offered emotional support, linked to community resources, empowered to use self-advocacy skills, and encouraged to set and reach goals.

Joint Planning Team (JPT)

partners with families experiencing complex mental health needs and engaging in multiple systems. Families participate in a process that nurtures their strengths and 

helps them to identify and implement new strategies. The Joint Planning Team is credentialed by the Youth and Family Training Institute.

Strengthening Families Through Family Peer Support Service

is a partnership with parents involved with the Office of Children, Youth and Families. The goal of this service is to support and engage with families as they identify their needs and develop plans to achieve goals. The Family Support Partner (FSP) is a liaison between the family member and the Caseworker to assist them as they navigate their involvement in the child welfare system. FSPs utilize a compassionate, non-judgmental, strength-based approach to work with parents to obtain resources and carry out mandates, offer support in court, and participate in CYF Conferencing & Teaming Meetings and school meetings. At Allegheny Family Network we recognize any CYF involvement is not easy and can affect every member of the family. 

Fathers Involved Now Program (FIN)

is a dynamic father’s program that promotes partnership between the fathers who are raising children with behavioral challenges and the child serving system. The FIN FSPs are fathers who understand the important role fathers play in their children’s lives.  They coach fathers, many of whom have not parented their children, to develop meaningful relationships with their children.  Events geared to provide fun and significant interactions between fathers and their children are planned throughout the year.

Foster Family Peer Support Service

prepares foster parents to meet the challenges of fostering adolescents.  Using their own experiences in fostering adolescents, the Foster Family FSPs help parents understand how the traumas their foster child has experienced impacts their behavior and helps them build understanding relationships.

Steps to Connect

support parents in affirming their child who identifies as LGBTQI+.  The support of FSPs who struggled to accept and affirm their own child’s choices has been found to be incredibly helpful to parents who are facing the same emotional challenge.  The goal is to strengthen the bond between parent and child and keep the family together.

Employment and Housing Support Services

are offered to families enrolled in individual services through AFN.  The Employment Specialist and the Housing Coordinator help parents find employment and housing by listening closely as they describe their interests and needs and working with them to achieve their goals.   

Circle of Parents

is a self-help support group model designed for parents who struggle with providing positive

reinforcement to their children. The groups are free, confidential, anonymous, and non-judgmental and promote positive and non-abusive parenting. Through conversation and mutual support, the groups offer parents the opportunity to talk with each other about the parenting challenges they face and ways to improve the emotionalhealth of their families.  Parents learn from each other and are sources of strength to one another. The group is led by an FSP Group Facilitator and a Parent Leader.  Groups are on-going, require no intake, and with few exceptions, are open to all parents. Quality childcare and bus tickets are provided to minimize barriers to participation. AFN is the Pennsylvania State Chapter for the Circle of Parents.  

Support Groups

are designed to bring parents together for discussion and sharing are offered in-person and virtually. Parents or caregivers choose what information they would like to receive, what topics they need more information about and can participate in trainings through support groups.

AFN’s support groups are facilitated by FSPs and Lead Parents and are offered to parents or caregivers who are raising children with behavioral or mental health needs.  Participation in the groups provide parents opportunities to share experiences without judgment, and develop a sense of belonging and empowerment, and build leadership skills. 

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