Supporting and Enhancing Resilient Families – Parent Support Program (SERF). This program began last year through the ASD Clinic and continues to run this year. The SERF program is funded through a grant received from the Alabama Department of Child Abuse Neglect and Prevention which is aligned with the national organization, the Children’s Trust Fund. In an exciting new turn of events, the SERF Program also received a generous donation from the Nick’s Kids Foundation to help support this important program.
The purpose of the program is to provide SERF Program is to provide parent education, skills training, and other supports for all members of families who might be impacted by a child’s diagnosis of Autism or other developmental concerns. In addition to the higher levels of emotional, financial, and social stress experienced by parents of children with special needs, recent information provided by the Alabama Autism Task Force suggests that parents of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental delays also experience significant stress related to navigating service options, or a lack of service options, available for their child and their family. Thus the SERF Program uses strategies directed towards working with parents to nurture children in positive, sustainable ways so that they have opportunities to grow and maximize their potential – essentially, we are supporting children by supporting parents. The SERF Program incorporates evidence-based practices for families of children with special needs. Services delivered in the SERF Program are available in both in-clinic and online formats, increasing accessibility to families in our catchment area, including those with limited ability to travel due to financial and/or time constraints. Thanks to the generosity of donors and grant funding, the cost of the program is free to parents/children.