Monday, April 18, 2011

Aspiranet Program Spotlight: Family Focused Support Network

Did you know Aspiranet has more than 35 programs across California working toward our vision of taking collective action to support communities and families as they love and care for children? Our diverse programs range from foster care and afterschool programs to encore career opportunities for retiring professionals. 

To introduce our supporters to the life-changing work of our Aspiranet programs, we have created the Aspiranet Program Spotlight. Today, we speak with Sheri Reynolds, Director of the Aspiranet Family Focused Support Network for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. April is National Autism Awareness Month and Sheri has been busy raising her voice as an autism expert. Read on to see what the Family Focused Support Network has in the works...

What does the Family Focused Support Network do?

Family Focused Support Network (FFSN) provides intensive case management and in home behavioral services to families and children challenged by developmental disabilities. Youth referred to the program have severe behavioral issues, such as aggression, hygiene issues, bolting, rigidity and communication issues. 

What led you to begin the Family Focused Support Network?

We initially started FFSN to help keep families together and prevent out of home placement.  While the program still works with families on this goal, we are now also helping family relationships from deteriorating. We are also focused on helping younger children to learn skills earlier in age that they can use throughout their life.

When you look back on your work, is there an individual story that stands out to you as embodying the success of your program?  

I have so many stories that involve youth coming to us while living in their home, disconnected from their family.  With our help, the family gains connection, learns skills and increases their relationship harmony. Often, the youth gain social skills that allow them to make friendships. Seeing these success stories time and again makes me a firm believer in the importance and need for our Family Focused Support Network. 

What does the Family Focused Support Network have on the horizon?

We're working on many different projects right now! Soon, we'll be offering psychotherapy services to families and individuals. We're also getting ready to launch social skills groups in the Greater Bay Area. Lastly, I'm hosting a free public webinar titled "Decoding Autism" Saturday, April 23 at 10am in support of National Autism Awareness month. I'm going to discuss treatment strategies, including the use of the iPad as a component of a comprehensive treatment plan. To register or learn more, please visit the Aspiranet website

How can we learn more about the Aspiranet Family Focused Support Network?

Visit us on the web or send me an email at, I'd be happy to speak with you about the work we do and discuss ways the Family Focused Support Network can help you. 

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