Family Peer Support Services achieved a double win at the Rehabilitation Foundation’s annual Scholarship and Awards Reception on August 19, 2015.
It earned both the Roger Hennig Memorial Art Enrichment Grant and The Patrick J., Jr. & Rita L. Carroll Memorial Award for its innovative use of art to support families of children and youth with mental health issues.
The program offers a wide range of services to support families raising a child or young adult with emotional, developmental and/or behavioral health challenges in their home, school or community.
Its unique approach to supporting the child by strengthening the family utilizes the wisdom of a peer advocate who has also experienced caring for a child with a mental health issue. The peer advocate coaches parents on vital, and often creative ways to promote the child’s ability to thrive.
It was the program’s creative, out-of-the-box initiative that supported the agency’s mission, incorporated its values, while also enhancing the department that earned it The Patrick J., Jr. & Rita L. Carroll Memorial Award. The award provided funding for hands-on art projects, including making polymer clay jewelry and spoon rings.
The art projects, which were held in the safety of a secure group setting, helped both the parents and children feel comfortable learning new activities together while also building rapport and a stronger family unit.
The grant also offers program participants opportunities to attend creative cultural activities in the community. The funds gave the children and their families a visit to the Corning Museum of Glass and the Niagara Mohawk Power Plant. At the Museum of Glass, the children and their family members explored together colorful exhibits of hand-blown glass and live glass-blowing demonstrations presented by the museum.
At the Niagara Mohawk Power Plant, the children made crafts including gingerbread houses and pinecone bird feeders, and watched a musical performance by a local high school band.