We held our 2022 Fall Family Forum virtually this year on Saturday, November 5. We were very pleased to have in attendance many families who learned about updates to our policies and programs. The families in attendance shared their appreciation for current information and enjoyed the informative conversations.
- Executive Director and CEO Tibi Guzmán moderated the forum and shared our continued low infection rate of COVID-19 among our individuals in residential homes and staff. She also reported on the new guidance received from OMPDD sharing that mask wearing is now optional. Ms. Guzmán emphasized that mask-wearing is still required after COVID-19 positive exposure and we remain vigilant in our safe hygiene protocols including, hand washing, health checks and social distancing when possible. Another item on the agenda was the upcoming NYDA Capitol Rally in Albany on November 16. She encouraged families to either attend the rally that will advocate for additional funding for our workforce or simply write a letter to Governor Hochul. She also discussed a collaborative art exhibit between The Arc Westchester’s Children School and The Westchester Children’s Museum. Artwork from our students at the Hawthorne preschool and works from some adult artists will be on display until December 31st. As we prepare for the holiday season, the board of directors plans on residential and program visits to spread thanks and good cheer.
- Deborah Mondello, Senior Assistant Executive Director reported on the DSP Recruitment and Retention initiatives taking place and the need for families to spread the word that we are hiring. We have created a multipronged approach, internally and on the state level, that includes many strategies to assist with the hiring of new direct support professionals.
- Our friend and parent advocate, Margaret Vogt, was also a featured speaker at our Fall Family Forum. She has recently joined The Arc Westchester Foundation board and shared how important the foundation is to the overall sustainability of programs and services at The Arc Westchester. She encouraged family members to show their support in a variety of ways, including special appeals and events.
If you would like further information on any of the above agenda items, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and put Family Forum in the subject line.