Grafton in Action – Fall/Winter 2018

As a parent, addressing your child’s disability can make you feel very vulnerable. Making the decision to seek the level of support provided by an organization like Grafton is brave, but also difficult. At that moment, the most important thing is an assurance that your child will be safe and well cared for. That is why, at Grafton, we want to help families be engaged throughout the entire duration of their child’s care. Please understand this does not just mean involved; it means true partnership in the care of their child. Not only does it provide parents with peace of mind, it also helps to improve outcomes.

In recent years, Grafton has moved toward a comprehensive model of family engagement by:

  • Embedding the approach into the work of all staff members – from case managers and the clinical team to direct service professionals and beyond
  • Nurturing strong relationships between families and the organization through open dialogue and ongoing collaboration
  • Ensuring all family members — not just parents, but siblings, grandparents and others­ — are engaged in goal-directed activities to improve outcomes
  • Collecting data for families and children that is then used to support individual outcomes

Our efforts also include things like events — picnics, holiday celebrations , etc. — that help families get to know Grafton staff outside of the “normal” channels of multi-disciplinary meetings and individualized education planning. These offer an opportunity for staff to better understand parents as individuals. Parents, in turn, are able to see the Grafton team as more than just the professionals serving their child. Ultimately, these events also create stronger bonds and better overall support for the client. We have also worked to provide family engagement activities of all kinds every week. These activities help to ensure that the parents feel a part of our team, and directly tied to our decision-making throughout the course of treatment. You can read about real world examples of these efforts later in this newsletter.

To ensure our goals are being met, we established a family steering committee that meets regularly. This group is already developing forward-looking plans to enhance family engagement at Grafton, and is also providing important input to our current processes and procedures.

Read the full newsletter here.