Get Educated

Accessing services and supports for children and youth with emotional and behavioral problems can be a confusing, exhausting, and time-consuming process. As a parent, you may often wish for a voice of wisdom to help you make decisions about what is best for your child.

We have developed educational programs on a variety of topics to help you feel more knowledgeable and confident as an advocate for your child.

Our programs can help you:

  • Understand the services and supports that are available to help your child and family

  • Learn the most important parts of the laws and regulations that affect the services your child receives

  • Find out how to make sure your child’s services are working

  • Develop skills for working with service providers

  • Connect with other parents who have similar experiences

We know that it is not always easy for parents to be able to attend a program, no matter how much you want to: you may lose wages from having to take time off of work, you have to worry about finding childcare, and you may not have the funds to cover the costs of gas, hotel accommodations, and meals. To make sure that all parents who want to are able to attend programs, we offer scholarships to help parents with the costs of childcare, lodging, meals, and mileage.

Below is the catalog of programs for parents. Educational Programs are generally offered to groups of parents who are invited by a community agency or by Keys as a grant deliverable. Please call 1-800-499-8732 or email us for more information about the availability of these programs.

Collaboration Between Families and Providers
This 3 hour program explains federal and state requirements for family involvement and outlines the rationale behind them. Participants learn strategies to help families and providers move to higher levels of expert-identified best practice. Participants are exposed to national research and best practice and given opportunities to apply theory to specific incidents of school and mental health planning for children with serious emotional and/or behavioral problems. This program is also available on CD-Rom for purchase from Keys.

Connecting the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act
This is a 12 hour program that introduces participants to changes made in the 2004 IDEA Reauthorization, espcially those that align special education law with NCLB. Participants learn to develop IEPs, according to IDEA 2004 and NCLB, that a) address academic, developmental, and functional needs, b) align goals with curriculum standards, and c) provide services and supports that have been proven to work in scientific research. The program also addresses how to evaluate the effectiveness of IEP goals by monitoring academic progress.

Cultural Competence
The 3 hour Cultural Competence program defines categories of culturally competent practice and establishes criteria to move to higher levels of expert-identified best practice. Participants are exposed to national research and best practice and given opportunities to apply theory to specific incidents of school and mental health planning for children with serious emotional and/or behavioral problems. This program is also available on CD-Rom for purchase from Keys.

Developing Behavior-Focused IEP’s
This is 6 hour program for parents on planning and preparing strategies to assist school teams to develop behavior-focused Individualized Education Plans for children with emotional and behavioral disabilities. The training leads parents through strategies that identify behavioral needs, establish a vision and set goals, brainstorm service options, select interventions based on strengths and resources of the team, and, finally, establish the protocols and timelines to evaluate progress. The program helps parents understand their rights at each stage of the process: referral, identification, placement, and evaluation.

Developing Behavior-Focused Section 504 Plans
This 6 hour program focuses parents on planning and preparing strategies to assist school teams to develop behavior-focused Section 504 plans for children with emotional and behavioral problems. The program helps parents whose children are found ineligible for special education related services. The program leads parents through strategies that identify behavioral needs, establish a vision and set goals, brainstorm service options, select interventions based on strengths and resources of the team, and, finally, establish the protocols and timelines to evaluate progress.

Family Involvement
The Family Involvement 3 hour program defines the continuum of deepening family involvement principles and establishes criteria to move to higher levels of expert-identified best practice. Participants are exposed to national research and best practice and given opportunities to apply theory to specific incidents of school and mental health planning for children with serious emotional and behavioral problems. This program is also available on CD-Rom for purchase from Keys.

Family Strengthening: Reaching for the STARS
Family Strengthening: Reaching for the STARS is delivered over 8 weeks course in 3 hour-long weekly classes. It is a program to help families understand the role of the family in society and the important role of culture and ethnicity in determining family values. The program emphasizes parent teaching and parent modeling. It is based on the work of Dr. Marilyn Steele. Classes are scheduled when 10 parents are registered.

Managing Your Child’s Behavior: The Techniques of Raising a STAR
This is a 6 hour program that focuses on helping parents understand the rationale behind common forms of misbehavior. Using the principles of Cooperative Discipline, parents learn to select interventions based on underlying reasons for behaviors, as well as ways to reconnect with their child to maintain self-esteem, social competence and self worth. This program is also available on CD-Rom for purchase from Keys.

Monitoring Academic Progress
Monitoring Academic Progress (12 hour program) teaches strategies to monitor academic progress according to state and district curriculum standards. Participants learn to compare student performance on state assessments, report cards, and class work. The program focuses on utilizing this information to develop appropriate educational services and supports.

Negotiation Skills
Negotiation Skills program is available in 3 and 6 hour sessions. This course offers families, schools, and community service providers instruction in the basic concepts and techniques of Win, Win negotiation. Instructors help participants identify options and communication strategies in the context of securing children’s services. The program is based on the concepts set forth in Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Fisher, Ury, & Patton

Outcome Development
The Outcome Development 3 hour program focuses parents on developing specific behavioral outcomes and benchmarks so they can participate with provider teams (school, mental health, court services, foster care reintegration, etc.) in defining the success/failure of agency plans for their children and family. The course teaches families to develop check points and strategies so they can determine when agency plans are working/not working. This program is offered by request.

Parent-to-Parent Support/Advocacy
This 12 hour training is available in both face-to-face and telephone group presentations. It is offered four times per year through a grant with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. Additional trainings are available by appointment. Costs are negotiable. The training includes many of the small topics covered in individual trainings.

Positive Reinforcement, Not Punishment
This program is available in both 3 and 6 hours sessions. This course compares the effects of punishment with those of positive sustained behavior supports that shape desired behaviors and sustain self-esteem. Instructors offer participants opportunities to practice as well as study theories of self-discipline.

Preparing for Crisis
Preparing for Crisis is a 6 hour program that helps parents define, with their children and service providers, the stressors that lead to crisis and study the strengths and resources of the child, family and team to de-escalate stress and critical incidents. The instructors use the Keys’ “Building Your Own Volcano” kit to provide youth with concrete representation of the emotional eruption process and to help them establish self-soothing and coping strategies for “cooling the lava.”

Supporting Your Child in School and Developing Parent, Teacher, and Student Learning Compacts
This is a 6 hour program offered on site to help parents establish and maintain relationships with teachers through an analysis of the child’s learning strengths. Participants develop a learning compact to facilitate communication links between home and school. This program is offered by request to Kansas schools and community agencies. It is free to agencies that include parents in the program.