The FREDLA Annual Meeting on September 10 and 11 is an event you won’t want to miss! Our theme is:


Creating a Unified Vision for the Future of Family-Run Organizations


We begin with a dinner or Thursday evening when we all come together for networking and reconnecting with family leaders across the country. Friday starts with Sheila Pires giving us a national perspective on the changing healthcare landscape followed by a national dialogue on creating a vision for the future of family-run organizations. This is your chance, as a family leader, Executive Director, or Board Member, to have a voice in creating the vision. It is always electric when we are in a room together and the ideas and passion are flowing. Make sure you are part of the process.


To access registration materials with information to make your hotel reservations, click here:

2015 Annual Meeting Registration


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.