Strengthening Family Involvement in LEND Training Programs

Strengthening Family Involvement in LEND Training Programs


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Archived Recording
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Wednesday, September 6, 2017
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Webinar

Webinar Descriptions:

Over the past two decades there has been a growing role in LEND programs for family members to provide interdisciplinary teams with an invaluable perspective in the scope of their training: the perspective of the family. This role is unique in that the experiences of being a family member or parent of an individual with a developmental disability cannot be learned in any university course but contain information vital to the success of clinical, research, and public policy interventions. As the role of family members has grown in LEND programs and other MCH training programs, the LEND Family Discipline Workgroup has aggregated the successes and challenges of incorporating the unique knowledge and experience into training. This webinar will provide a forum for discussing issues related to the inclusion of family in MCH Training programs. Panelists will discuss existing resources to strengthen the family discipline and strategies for program leaders and family faculty to build their programs by broadening and deepening the involvement of families.

Intended Audience:
Leaders from MCH training programs involved with building or strengthening family involvement


  1. Know what family discipline resources exist and how to access them,
  2. Understand the range of roles that families can play within a training program, 
  3. Describe and implement a range of strategies for increasing the involvement of family members in LEND Training, and
  4. Describe strategies for building partnerships with other MCH funded programs and supporting family involvement within those partner programs.

A Webinar from AUCDs Family Discipline Workgroup


Fran Goldfarb

Fran Goldfarb, MA, MCHES, is one of the first family support faculty, having served as the director of parent support at the USC/CHLA UCEDD and Parent Faculty in the LEND program at the USC UCEDD for the last 20 years. Ms. Goldfarb has played a role nationally in the development of this LEND discipline, and currently chairs the AUCD LEND Family Discipline Workgroup. She is a board member of United Advocates for Children and Families and served as a member of the North LA Autism Taskforce supporting the CA Senate Select Committee on Autism and Related Disorders. She trains teachers and school administrators on autism as a member the LA County Autism Spectrum Alliance (LACASA). She is the founder and co- Leader of the Los Angeles Asperger Syndrome Parent Support Group. Most importantly, she is the mother of an adult son who has Asperger Syndrome.

Babara Levitz , MS EdBabara Levitz , MS Ed, is the Director of Family Partnerships Training at the Westchester Institute for Human Development and has faculty appointment from the School of Health Sciences & Practice and the Department of Pediatrics at New York Medical College. As a LEND Core Faculty member, the focus of her work is curriculum and resources on Family Partnerships, Policy & Advocacy and Transition for interdisciplinary graduate trainees as well as other for teaching medical students, physicians and other professionals. She co-developed the websites, publications for the National Gateway to Self-Determination Initiative, and several MCH publications and training products. She is a conference presenter and has a leadership role with the LEND National Family Discipline Network and the AUCD Family Support Special Interest Group. She served for more than 15 years on the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, the Commissioner's State DD Advisory Council and Statewide Family Support Committee, and was instrumental in the establishment of Parent to Parent of State.

Linda V. Russo, MAE, BS, RRT-NPS Linda V. Russo, MAE, BS, RRT-NPS is a member of the UAB LEND Faculty and serves as Family Leader for the Pediatric Pulmonary Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in Birmingham, Alabama. She is responsible for the coordination and planning of Parent Consultant meetings, as well as Family Centered Care coordination areas involving collaboration classes with fellow PPC sites and for trainees. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Business from Auburn University and was the Respiratory Trainee in a Maternal and Child Health Program while completing a Master of Arts in Health Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.


Babara Levitz , MS EdPhyllis Shingle, Family Member, LMSW CIRS, represents the family discipline on the faculty team and facilitates opportunities for family-professional collaboration within the LEND curriculum. She is also the manager of the Center for Development and Disability Information Network, which includes the CDD Library and the disability resources phone line. She is a licensed Social Worker, a nationally certified Information and Referral Specialist, and a graduate of the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) Family Scholar program.


Please Note: 

  • There is NO cost for this webinar.
  • CEUs are not offered for this webinar.
  • For disability accommodations email Anna Costalas or call 301-588-8252 a minimum of five days in advance.
  • This webinar will be archived.