#LifeCourse Showcase: Using the Framework to Enhance Education & Outreach

Missouri Family to Family, the statewide Parent-to-Parent and Health Information Center, recently revamped Partnering Together, a newsletter published three times a year and highlights information and featured resources that are of interest to the families of children and youth with disabilities and special health care needs (SHCN) they serve in Missouri using the LifeCourse framework.

Missouri Family to Family (MOF2F) staff sought to find a more meaningful way to organize the content and help provide a focus for the contributions of the Family Partners, four regional parent staff who work with MOF2F and the state system of supports to provide information and support to families with SHCN.  Before using the framework, staff felt they were just throwing each issue together haphazardly and worried that readers weren’t benefitting from reading them as much as they could.

MOF2F uses the LifeCourse Framework as a way of organizing the newsletter, because it provides a guide for the meaningful organization of the content and information in each issue. Each new issue focuses on a life domain or one of its subtopics (ie: Relationships> Social & Spirituality).  The staff then tailor all of articles, Family Partner “columns,” and featured resources to that particular domain or topic.  The Family Partners all respond to a question from the Charting the LifeCourse: Experiences and Questions booklet which is focused on a particular life stage.

Staff reported it made putting the publication together much easier, because they could use the LifeCourse booklet to provide a prompt for contributors and convey resources and information in a way that is family-friendly and peaks readers’ interest about the LifeCourse (especially if they haven’t encountered it before).  In addition, staff are able to use content developed for Partnering Together in other products that they develop to inform and reach out to families.

 

Issue 3.1 focused on Employment (a topic of Daily Life & Employment).
This issue included ideas and resources to help make thinking about employment easier no matter which stage families may find themselves.

Issue 3.3 focused on living options (Community Living). This newsletter focused questions to ask, things to do, and resources to access to develop a vision of where your loved one might like to live in the future.

Issue 3.4 focused on Health.
This issue featured information about a healthy lifestyle for the entire family.

Before the publication was ‘overhauled’ MOF2F began experimenting with using the framework with the articles and content. Visit the MOF2F archives to view issue 2.3 for a graphic connecting the early stages of the LifeCourse framework with the concept of medical home and issue 2.5 for an article focused on health literacy across the LifeCourse using the questions in the booklet.



Rachel is the Media & Design Specialist on the Family to Family team at the UMKC-Institute for Human Development, UCEDD. She completed her Master's in Public Administration with an emphasis in nonprofit management at UMKC. She is proud to say she is a second generation AmeriCorps member! Her passion is where social justice and technology meet. Her specialty is making projects, programs, and organizations look good.

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