CIF Travels to D.C. to Facilitate Training

June 9, 2015

Last week, Center for Independent Futures traveled to Washington, D.C. to host two days of training for eleven families working toward community-based housing solutions for their loved ones with disabilities. After these workshops, which focused on selecting supports and planning for move-in, these families have now completed CIF’s New Futures InitiativeTM (NFI) training. This proven process supports the creation of alternative housing solutions in communities throughout Chicagoland and across the country.

In the first half of their NFI training, hosted in Evanston in February, the families built community, mapped out their assets, and solidified their vision. Building on this work, CIF’s first day with the families in Washington, D.C. focused on developing the support the individuals will need in their new homes. The trainers shared CIF’s models for support, including information about personal networks, person-centered planning, and skills training. After exploring different principles of support, the group developed their own criteria for support partners. Then, the group heard presentations by selected area support providers to see what’s available in their region.

Day two focused on the details of the moving out process, from planning and living skills inventories to moving in and following-up. CIF trained the families to prepare for the different phases after individuals move into new homes, including the “honeymoon period,” the challenges, and establishing equilibrium. CIF puts the process in a timeline so families can know what to expect from this transition.

From the expertise needed to acquire housing, to selecting supports and navigating the moving process, CIF’s New Futures InitiativeTM training has given these families the tools needed to build more independent lives with their loved ones. The family groups from the Washington, D.C. area are coordinated by Maedi Tanham-Carney of M&L Special Needs Planning. Maedi recently formed a non-profit called Integrated Living Opportunities with families who participated in NFI last year. CIF looks forward to continuing our partnership with this group as we create community-based housing options for individuals seeking full, independent lives.

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