Nonprofit Management

  • The Road to Reopening: When Will It Be the Right Time to Return to your Pre-Pandemic Workplace? The answer will be different for every organization based on multiple factors. The first factor, of course, depends on our mission. If our mission has been “essential” and we’ve remained on-site, what changes will we need to make to accommodate (potentially increased) constituents and any returning paid or volunteer staff? And for those who have continued to work on-site, what additional support do our staff need in terms of time off, longer breaks, or mental health services? For those reopening our doors, we’ll need to consider factors such as the size and layout of the workspace – for individual employees, constituents, and visitors – in common spaces and at workstations. Other factors depend on our geographic location, the spread of COVID-19 in our region, and any public health orders by government authorities. And throughout, we all need to consider not the quickest or easiest ways to do something, but rather seek the highest common denominator of what’s needed by our staff members and the people we serve who may be at higher risk of contracting the virus or developing severe complications. Check out resources on these topics from the National Council of Non-Profits.
  • The Keys to Non Profit Management: So many of the bottlenecks and obstacles we face when seeking to achieve our mission are identical to those who toiled before us. This article in the Stanford Innovation Review contains three critical tips for nonprofit managers.
  • Tools and Resources for Nonprofits: The National Council of Nonprofits produces and curates tools, resources, and samples for non-profit organizations. Click here to view the most recent additions, browse by category or tag, or search for specific information.

Transition to Adulthood

  • How to Help Students with Disabilities Transition to Adult Life: Check out this easy-to-read article on planning for life after high school.
  • Resource Finder Helps Adolescents Transition to Adulthood: Click here for resources that allow young adults with special healthcare needs learn about their diagnosis/disability and how to take care of themselves as they transition into adulthood.
  • Becoming an Adult: Challenges for Those with Mental Health ConditionsFor youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions the changes during this stage of life are challenging and complex. Read more here.
  • ‘Strides in the right direction… still a ton of work to do,’ says the coach during Disability Employment Awareness Month: People who live with disabilities are constantly working to overcome challenges; key among them: finding a place to work. October is Disability Employment Awareness Month, a time to help people overcome that challenge of attaining employment. Read more.

Trauma-Informed Practices

  • Toxic Stress in Children Impact Over a Lifetime: Up to 90% of children will experience at least one traumatic event, which can lead to toxic stress. According to Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, toxic stress is the “excessive or prolonged activation of stress response systems in the body and brain.” Examples of stressful childhood situations include the death of loved ones, illness, divorce, an unstable home environment, crime, natural disasters, mass shootings, terrorism, and war. Many of these situations are becoming a daily and normal occurrence for children around the world. Toxic stress can lead to problems with learning, behavior, and health—all of which can last a lifetime. This article provides an overview of toxic stress, including how the brain develops, the impact of stress on the body, the long-term effects of stress, resilience, and how to prevent toxic stress. Read more.
  • Resources Specific to Working with Low-Income Families Including Those Receiving TANF:  This article summarizes critical information needed to support low-income families.
  • Millions of Kids Get Suspended or Expelled Each Year – but It Doesn’t Address the Root of the Behavior: Each school year, nearly 3 million K-12 students get suspended and over 100,000 get expelled from school. The offenses range from simply not following directions, to hitting or kicking, to more serious behaviors like getting caught with drugs or a weapon. And it starts early in students’ education – it’s not uncommon for preschoolers as young as 3 years old to be suspended or expelled from their childcare program. A big part of the problem has to do with implicit biases. Black students, especially boys, are suspended and expelled at much higher rates than white students. Teachers tend to see the behavior of boys in general and students of color as more difficult, and they respond in harsher ways. This is true even if it is the exact same behavior. But it’s also important to understand what leads to behaviors that end in suspension and expulsion. As a licensed clinical social worker for over eight years, I’ve worked with children of all ages who struggled at school. Many of them had been kicked out temporarily or permanently for things like spitting, running out of the classroom or fighting. One thing most of these students had in common was their experience of trauma at home and in their neighborhoods. Read more.

Special Education

  • OSEP Releases Fast Facts on School Aged Children with Disabilities: OSEP released a Hand In Hand supplemental tool that parents and stakeholders can use alongside the new OSEP Fast Fact. This new tool guides users through the OSEP Fast Facts and is presented with critical questions to allow parents and other stakeholders to engage with the materials. Read more here: Fast Fact sheetHand in Hand toolOSEP Blog.
  • Supporting Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Maximizing In-Person Learning and Implementing Effective Practices for Students in Quarantine and Isolation: This document is intended to support states, school districts, and schools to maximize safe in-person learning opportunities by maintaining safe school operations and to implement effective practices that address students’ social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs when students are temporarily not attending school in-person due to COVID-19 cases. Click here to read more.

Health Resources

  • Health and Wellbeing in Midlife Parents of Children with Special Healthcare Needs: The objectives of this study were to delineate variation in mental and physical health outcomes over a 10-year period among parents with a child with special health needs as compared to parents of a typically developing child; and evaluate the possible protective effects of parental perceived control and social support. The added stressors of parenting a child with special health needs may undermine the long-term health of parents. Behavioral interventions and clinical practices that facilitate parental perceived control may enable resilience and better health. Find out more.
  • Understanding HIPAA: What Parents Need to Know About Privacy & Their Adult Child’s Health Information,” This Q&A Fact Sheet was developed for families under a collaboration between National Family Support Technical Assistance Center (NFSTAC) and the Center of Excellence for Protected Health Information. More information or view the fact sheet. 
  • Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on people with disabilities, including children with special health care needs, highlighting the importance of health insurance coverage, affordability, and benefit package contents, like home and community-based services (HCBS). This issue briefly describes key characteristics of children with special health care needs and explores insurance affordability and benefits for children covered by Medicaid/CHIP compared to those with private insurance only. Read it here.

Youth Resources

  • Effective Strategies for Providing Quality Youth Mentoring in Schools and Communities: Mentoring can be a beneficial experience for youth and young adults. The toolkit, Building Relationships: A Guide for New Mentors, talks about a successful mentoring relationship and the 10 principles of effective mentoring. The guide also includes the following handout: The Mentoring Relationship Cycle, a tool to start implementing the strategies for providing quality youth mentoring. Find it here.
  •  Jump$tart’s Reality Check:Youth and young adults are always asked about their future or goals, but many of those goals need financial support. This tool from Jump$tart helps to start developing financial smarts and take a reality check towards any youthful aspirations. Find it here.
  • Developing an Advocacy Plan: Advocating for a cause takes effort and planning. Youth and young adults can benefit from having a template to read, learn, and organize their social efforts for the common good. Read more.
  • Breaking Down Barriers to a Meaningful Adult Life: Don’t miss this remarkable story of a young man who’s overcome seemingly impossible odds to achieve a successful, fulfilling adult life. Hear his advice for overcoming the challenges of being deaf-blind in school and the workplace. Check it out.

Public Participation Flexibilities

The U.S. Department of Education has highlighted flexibilities with regard to hearings for meeting the IDEA public participation requirements. I have attached two Topic Briefs addressing permissible flexibilities with regard to the public participation requirements at 34 C.F.R. § 300.165 (Part B) and 34 C.F.R. § 303.208 and in section 441(b)(7) of GEPA (20 U.S.C. 1232d(b)(7) (Part C). Please read the documents below.