Meet Daniela & Carolina
See how ChildServe‘s Spanish-Speaking Family Support Group Makes a Difference
At ChildServe, the inclusion and comfort of our families is top priority. Thanks to a Community Transformation Grant from Amerigroup, ChildServe’s Mental Health Therapy program started Conscious Caregiving: a Spanish Speaking Family Support Group. The group started in early 2022 and has impacted many, including Daniela and Carolina’s family!
When Daniela and Carolina were born, they were each diagnosed with an intellectual disability. Carolina was 13 and Daniela was 8 when they started receiving services from ChildServe. Both girls received physical, occupational and speech therapy along with dog therapies, supported community living, and individual and group respite.
Now as young adults, the girls continue to receive services through ChildServe’s Day Habilitation program. Their mom, Dolores, has been attending our Spanish Speaking Family Support Group, where she has made meaningful connections with other families and staff.
ChildServe’s Spanish Speaking Family Support Group offers ongoing support and a framework of positive parenting solutions that honor the unique point of view of the Latino community.
“The Spanish Speaking Family Support Group has been a great emotional support where I have found it helpful to talk with and listen to other parents,” says Dolores. “I get information about resources for people with disabilities and their families. My biggest takeaway has been knowing that we are not alone and that as a parent it is very important to find support to improve our daily challenges.”
The group is facilitated by Spanish-speaking ChildServe team members, including ChildServe – Iowa City Mental Health Therapist Ana Sanchez Smith, LMSW.
“Dolores brings a wealth of knowledge to the group and confidently shares her own experience as a Hispanic parent seeking services in Iowa,” says Ana. “She brings hope to the group as her girls are now young adults. Other families feel safe within the support group knowing they share similar experiences with their own children.”
Using evidence-based practices, the group teaches and encourages positive techniques designed to help participants improve their relationship with their children. Those who co-parent are welcome and encouraged to attend together.
The group meets virtually, allowing ChildServe families from all locations and services to stay connected. During a 10-week session format, families are invited to attend weekly hour-long meetings.
“As a Hispanic community, it is difficult to find resources in Spanish. It has been very beneficial to be in this group because we can share experiences with other Spanish-speaking parents,” says Dolores. “Having the opportunity to speak with mental health therapists in our own language is very rewarding. Expressing our feelings, needs, questions, etc. in Spanish has been very helpful.”
The Spanish Speaking Family Support Group is available to parents or legal guardians of children involved in any ChildServe program. To register, ask your child’s therapist or team member.
ChildServe improves the health and well-being of nearly 5,800 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.