Recently I spoke with a Families as Allies staff member. He coached me on how to effectively engage in an IEP meeting. I got off the call feeling empowered. Families as Allies is a wonderful place to go to get the support and resources you need to help you help your child, who is dealing with mental health an/or behavior challenges, realize his/her potential.
Thanks to Families as Allies, I went from victim to warrior. They gave me every tool I needed to fight when I was at my weakest, and I’m proud to do what I can to give back.
As a career social worker with Jackson Public Schools, I had the privilege of helping many frustrated, fearful, and overwhelmed parents find, through Families and Allies, the support of other families and advocates who had walked in their shoes. I was thrilled to discover so many of those same parents later assisting other parents as advocates, family support specialists, and professionals at Families as Allies.
As an advocate, I’ve seen firsthand the positive effects of empowering others. With the support, guidance, and advocacy training provided by Families as Allies, parents and caregivers are empowered to not only represent their children as experts when navigating educational and mental health situations, but to teach others these same skills; building an ever-larger foundation of passionate, informed families able to fight for their children. I am proud to support Families as Allies in their mission.
BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE
Our board meets on the third Thursday of January, April, July and October from 6:30 – 7:30 PM. Board meetings are usually held in the conference room at the Families as Allies offices in Jackson (840 E. River Place, Suite 500 • Jackson, MS 39202) but are currently being held virtually via Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes to the meeting schedule are posted on our Facebook page.
All of our meetings are open to the public and include a Public Comment Section. We find the public comment section to be one of the most valuable parts of our meetings and welcome feedback from as many people as possible. We request that public comments be limited to three minutes so that everyone who wishes to participate has the opportunity to do so. Comments can also be faxed to 601-355-0919 or scanned to firstname.lastname@example.org
Families as Allies, to me, means that no parent, including me, ever has to feel alone or that no one understands. It is also powerful and comforting to see what happens when families all work together. Sometimes it just astounds me. Everyday doing this work with families humbles me and brings me joy.
Having advocated for my children, I have learned the importance and value of speaking out for larger systems change.
“My work at Families as Allies has allowed me the time to share my experiences as a dad who inspires, encourages and advocates for his own children in systems that are not always fair, inclusive and equal. I believe that all children can be successful with compassion, support, encouragement and equal opportunities.”
From my personal experience with Families As Allies I look at the organization as a extended family. I’ve experienced some traumatic events since I’ve been employed here and I’m thankful to say everyone has supported me through the transition. Coming from a family member receiving services it’s a pleasure to be a parent providing support to other families. It has increased my knowledge and understanding of the educational laws, rights, and it has allowed me to gain the tools I need to support families.