First Program Of Its Kind In Jefferson County That Provides Parents With Children Of Special Needs Extra Support


STEUBENVILLE, Oh.- (WTRF) Raising children can be challenging at times and extra encouragement can be extremely helpful.

A 13-week training program that is geared toward parents of children with special needs is new in Jefferson County.

The pilot program is a collaborative effort that has been a longtime in the making.

ENGAGE, an organization through the Family and Children First Council in Jefferson County, is sponsoring the program along with Kendall Behavioral Solutions of Martins Ferry.

The counseling center is providing the classes while All 4 Kids, which is located in Steubenville, is hosting the 13-week event at its facility.

F.C.F.C. Coordinator Linda Trushel says the county has struggled to find classes for parents of children with special needs.

The goal of the pilot program is to provide families with the support they need so they don’t have to feel alone.

Trushel says, “When we come together and we realize there’s somebody else that is experiencing the same thing it really provides support for each other. So, we go, I’m not a bad parent, I just need to approach it in a different method and it really makes us feel calm that we can bring our children here for childcare while I’m sitting in class learning and then when I leave I have another parent to reach out to and say, hey, how was your day going.”

Katie Kendall, who owns Kendall Behavioral Solutions of Martins Ferry, says, “I hope these parents take away the internal strength that they can do this because they are learning so much from each other and as professionals we are learning so much from them. I hope that at the end of the day they’re able to reflect on this time and all the tools that we’re giving them and utilizing these tools in the home, but with other families as well and they really build long-lasting friendships with this group of people.”

This program is completely state funded so that means it is free to all families.

These classes continue through August 31st.

Now you can call the Jefferson County Educational Service Center at 740-283-4437 for more information.

There is still plenty of room if you would like to sign up for the next session of classes which begin sometime in September.

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