#GIVINGTUESDAY is Dec. 1st – Support FREDLA with a Donation!


On Dec. 1st, 2015, FREDLA will be participating in #GivingTuesday – a global day of giving. Last year, more than 30,000 organizations in 68 countries came together to celebrate #GivingTuesday. Since its founding in 2012, #GivingTuesday has inspired giving around the world, resulting in greater donations, volunteer hours, and activities that bring about real change in communities.

Did you know that one in five children and adolescents in the United States experience a mental, emotional or behavioral health challenges? Treatment can help, but the fact is only 20% of children and adolescents ever receive treatment.

FREDLA’s mission is to improve the lives of children and youth living with behavioral health challenges by strengthening local, and state family-run organizations. These organizations are governed and operated by parents and caregivers who are raising a child with mental health needs and know firsthand the difficulty of navigating systems alone. Family organizations provide essential services and supports to families such as, parent peer support, information and advocacy, and linkages to treatment options.

As one parent said, “Raising a child with mental health challenges is really hard. I don’t know what I would have done without the family organization. They gave me hope and let me know I wasn’t alone.”

We invite you to join the movement and to help get out the give this December 1. Here are some ways you can get involved:

  1. Make a donation to FREDLA on December 1, 2015 at http://www.fredla.org/donations/. FREDLA will use the tax deductible monetary donation to improve the lives of children, youth and young adults living with behavioral health challenges by strengthening the leadership and organizational capacity of family-run organizations.


  1. Use the hashtag #GivingTuesday to talk about the value of supporting FREDLA. FREDLA will be communicating via its Facebook and Twitter pages. Please help us spread the word by liking and sharing our posts.


  1. Encourage your family, friends, colleagues and community members to give to FREDLA on December 1, 2015. By supporting FREDLA with a tax-deductible monetary donation, you will be helping to improve the lives of children, youth and young adults with behavioral health challenges and their families.


  1. Join the membership of FREDLA. Family leaders, leadership of family-run organizations, and organizations who support FREDLA’s mission are all welcome! Visit http://fredla.org/membership-2/ to download the membership application today.


With your support, FREDLA can help family organizations make every day a better day for families raising children with emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs!


Standards of Excellence for Family-Run Organizations

The Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association (FREDLA) has developed Standards of Excellence for Family-Run Organizations to set a high bar for family-run organizations as a means of promoting professional and sustainable organizations that positively impact the lives of children, youth and families. The Standards include the legal requirements for all non-profit organizations and incorporate areas that are specific to family-run organizations. FREDLA believes that the Standards will strengthen both individual organizations and our community of family-run organizations.

The standards are divided into twelve general categories and within each category there are recommended steps to meet the Standards of Excellence. The Standards recognize that organizations are at varying stages of growth and development and may be much further along in one category than in others. The Standards are intended to be a tool for family-run organizations to identify specific steps to achieve a higher level of accountability and effectiveness in all categories.

Standards Of Excellence for Family-Run Organizations


Core Competencies for Peer Support

In April, SAMHSA released a draft set of core competencies for peer support providers and invited public comment. You can see the draft core competencies on the SAMHSA website: http://store.samhsa.gov/CoreCompetencies/feedback/index.html

FREDLA convened a national conference call and developed a letter of response with major recommendations around language used in the draft:

  1. Using “recovery/resilience/wellness” instead of just “recovery”
  2. Using “peer support provider” to distinguish those who are providing services
  3. Using “adult/youth/family” to designate those receiving support.

Trina Osher spent a great deal of time re-writing the draft core competencies using family and youth friendly language and adding many of the values and practices using in the children’s mental health world. This revision was also submitted to SAMHSA.

SAMHSA also held three regional meetings for discussion of the draft core competencies. Many FREDLA members were invited to participate in the meetings held in Atlanta, GA: May 19-20, 2015; Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA June 23-24, 2015; and Baltimore, MD: July 29-30, 2015. At each of those meetings family leaders reinforced the concerns raised by FREDLA members and also reiterated that core competencies for parent peer support providers have been developed and are currently being used for certification of parent peer support providers. All of this feedback has been relayed to SAMHSA. FREDLA will keep you posted as things develop.

To view the letter sent to SAMHSA and FREDLA’s feedback about the proposed Core Competencies, click below:

Letter to SAMHSA on Core Competencies

Input into Core Competencies for Peer Workers in Behavioral Health Services


Summary of Survey of Family-Run Organizations and Crisis Services for Children and Youth

In July, SAMHSA held a two-day meeting to discuss crisis services. To ensure that family-organizations had input into the discussion, FREDLA conducted a 10-question survey of family-run organizations in June to get a snapshot of what crisis services are available and in what way family-run organizations may be involved in their crisis system for children and youth. A total of 18 organizations representing 16 states responded to the survey. You can download a copy of the report below:

Crisis Services for Children and Youth

The report was distributed to numerous departments within SAMHSA.

Based on the survey results, FREDLA made the following recommendation to SAMHSA:

FREDLA recommends that a pilot program be developed that would provide funding for family-run organizations to develop model crisis parent peer support services, similar to the adult model programs which have proven to be effective and reduce the need for more costly inpatient hospitalization and out-of-home services. FREDLA and its member organizations would be available to assist in any way in developing the concept for such a model crisis parent peer support program.



The Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association (FREDLA) is a dynamic, new organization dedicated to: building leadership and organizational capacity of state and local family-run organizations focused on the well-being of children and youth with mental health, emotional or behavioral challenges and their families.

FREDLA was incorporated in 2013 and received its non-profit status in 2014. FREDLA is a partner in the Technical Assistance Network (TA Network) at the University of Maryland School of Social Work to provide training and consultation to family-run organizations attached to Children’s Mental Health Initiative (CMHI) Systems of Care funded communities and states. With funding through the TA Network contract, FREDLA hired an Executive Director located in Maryland and part-time Project Coordinator located in Michigan. FREDLA currently has a membership of 31 state or local family organizations and has an active 21-member Board of Directors comprised of family leaders.

FREDLA has accomplished a great deal since it began and has quickly evolved from an idea into a national voice for family-run organizations. Since hiring staff in February 2014, FREDLA has:

  • Provided technical assistance to 18 local or state systems of care sites across the country.
  • Designed and implemented a Family Leadership Camp that was held in conjunction with the Georgetown Training Institutes. Seventy family leaders from Guam to Alaska to Puerto Rico attended the one-day training.
  • Conducted a survey of 31 statewide family networks and published a report that was nationally disseminated to highlight the array of services provided by family-run organizations and the number of families and youth served.
  • Presented five webinars for 340 individuals on: Certification Options for Family/Parent Support Providers; Accreditation for Family-Run Organizations; and Family-Run Organizations Becoming Medicaid Providers
  • Developed a Diverse Family Leaders Scholarship Program
  • Hosted an annual membership meeting in Washington D.C. with presenters from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors and the National Association of School Psychologists.

FREDLA has many projects on the horizon, including a National Data Collection Project which will be a national survey conducted to develop standardized data collection to quantify the impact and reach of family-run organizations. Additionally, FREDLA is working on an Implementation Guide for Family Run Organizations to Become a Medicaid or Managed Care Organization Provider as a means of sustainability.