Understanding the system, how to access the system in the appropriate way, how to affect positive policy changes - this knowledge will better prepare parents to properly make system changes and improve the quality of' the lives of our children. Partners gave me unquestionable gains in my knowledge of the system, how to advocate for my two foster sons, and contribute to enhancing the opportunities for all individuals with disabilities to achieve independence.
At a time when everything in our personal lives seemed bleak and hopeless, and we lacked support and knowing how "the system" worked, Partners made it possible to regain some self worth and patch up a pretty banged up self esteem. I now have the tools to be effective in implementing our goals for our son, to change fear into opportunity and work within the systems to make decisions. Dare to dream... that Partners not only will make a difference, but is the difference.
Partners is an effective and powerful effort because it combines national and local expertise. Parents with in the developmental disabilities system, coupled with Partners training, results in knowledgeable and focused leaders for our state.