January 24, 2017
From Executive Director, Sandy Bumpus, Oregon Family Support Network, Salem, OR
Providing Family Peer Support
Trauma Informed Care is on everyone’s mind these days including the Oregon Family Support Network (OFSN).
OFSN provides family peer support to parents and direct caregivers raising a child, aged 0-18, with significant mental or behavioral health challenges. Everyday OFSN connects with families and youth who have and continue to experience trauma. Families involved in OFSN services and supports have a wide range of traumatic experiences and sometimes, unintentionally, these experiences are magnified when agencies or systems fail to recognize or understand how to respond with approaches that offer healing and hope.
Over the past year and a half, OFSN has been providing opportunities around the state for families and communities to gather and learn about why trauma is important to know and talk about, how it impacts our lives and those we love, and what we can personally, individually, or collectively do to ease its impact.
OFSN’s Statewide Training Program now offers “Trauma: The What, Why and How We Can Respond.” The training discussion focuses on various types of trauma, its effect on the brain, body and health, and explores trauma as it relates to behavior. Participants learn how to identify ways to reduce episodes of re-traumatization (re-triggering).
Additionally, OFSN is committed to offering services and supports to families that are trauma-informed as well. Using a model of family peer support, OFSN hires parents or direct caregivers with shared lived experience. The benefits of family peer support are significant. Families receive validation and support to help them walk through the dark moments in their lives and overcome their fears and sense of isolation. OFSN staff walk beside families to let them know they are not alone and that they too can move toward their goals and dreams.
To learn more about OFSN’s Statewide Training program, check out our website at www.ofsn.org/training-program. To schedule this training, please call us at 503-363-8068.