FAFASD has been holding workshops on the Brain-Based Approach to FASD for parents and professionals since 2013, and when we do presentations they happen in 1 of 3 ways:
1) We are invited by a group or organization and they handle everything (registration, marketing, booking rooms, travel, etc.), start to finish;
2) We see a need for a training in a specific place (or it is convenient to us – so where we live, or where we know we will be) and we set it up ourselves; or
3) Parents ask us to do a training in their specific location, and we work together.
I thought I’d write a post about how #3 works, as these have usually been our most successful workshops (in terms of attendance and enthusiasm!) and while setting up an event like this may seem intimidating, it’s really a matter of going down the checklist of to-dos. It’s worth noting that even when we handle everything ourselves, it is always helpful to have a person or people where we are going help us figure out logistics!
How parents can host an “FASD and the Brain-Based Approach” training by FAFASD.
- Contact us. An email works great. Who you are, where you are, and the time frame for the training is helpful for starters. Budget 3-6 months to set the whole thing up. Our trainer is often booked well in advance, as well, so contacting us early is always a good idea.
- Figure out a place to hold the training. You will need a classroom or some other meeting hall with tables, chairs, and a high enough level of comfort so people can sit all day. For groups of fewer than 30 and for a day or less we don’t typically need a sound system, but for larger groups on multiple days some way to amplify my voice is much appreciated. We need space on a wall or a screen to project the slideshow, and we will electrical cords, etc. to plug in the projector and laptop. Spaces other groups have helped arrange: church classrooms, school auditoriums, multipurpose rooms in community centers, library meeting rooms, etc. Sometimes groups are able to get these spaces for no cost; sometimes they have a fee.
- Calculate costs. FAFASD charges exact costs for training. Our trainer (me, Adrienne) lives in western Massachusetts and the nearest airport is Bradley International in Hartford, Connecticut. Sometimes a rental car is also needed. Driving is always a possibility if less than 5 hours. Most trainings (even a day or 3 hours) will require an overnight in a hotel , unless very local. Other costs include copies, a per diem for our trainer, and a simple spread of coffee/snacks/drinks for the folks at the training. It’s really nice if you can also provide lunch to participants during the training day(s) as eating a meal together during unstructured time allows people to connect. Actual costs vary, but estimate $1000/day, plus airfare and lodging.
- Figure out how to pay for everything. This can be done several different ways:
a) We can add up the totals and figure out how many people we need to break even and charge people that amount. FAFASD can handle registration through our website (and reimburse you costs) OR you can handle everything (and reimburse our costs.) Either is fine. b) We can help you search out grants and other funding opportunities for the training. Many Developmental Disability Councils throughout the states have parent training grants; sometimes you can get a partner(s) with other interested local organizations; sometimes people’s churches or other civic organizations have some kind of funds to help.
c) Figure out if you’ll be able to offer scholarships to folks, or reduced fees if people need it. Sometimes even if you can’t offer scholarships you may be able to help folks identify local funds that will help pay their registration fee.
d) Consider a 2-tier fee system: professionals often have training funds available through their employers
- Once all these logistics are figured out, open registration! As mentioned in #4, FAFASD can do this for you or you can do it yourself, but FAFASD will *help* you get the word out either way. From experience, however, we know that the best attended events are those that have grassroots (so, local) advertising. Work your connections! Who needs to know about this! Who needs to come? We recommend opening registration no later than 2 months before the event to give folks time.
Some final tips:
- Do not allow children in the training. The training can be very straightforward and intense and emotions run high. While we try to vary the way we deliver information, it is in lecture format, which isn’t appropriate for children, not to mention for children who may have processing speed difficulties, common in people with FASDs
- If a multi-day training, urge people to attend the first day (at least) if at all possible. Day 2 (or 3) hinges on the concepts of the day before.
- Keep us in the loop! Even if you’re handling everything yourselves, let us help spread the word through our social media and mailing list.
- Note: FAFASD itself cannot provide CEUs for professionals. They will definitely ask! But we can provide an outline of the presentation, goals/objectives, and a certificate of completion for all who are present. This is often enough for many professionals to receive credit.