Family Workshop Series

The St. Louis Arc Family Workshop Series provides in-depth information on supporting a family member with an intellectual or developmental disability.  Most of our workshops are free, open to everyone, and take place at the St. Louis Arc Centene Family Center.

Community members, volunteers, and St. Louis Arc staff lend their professional expertise to provide information and resources in a variety of workshops. Workshops are offered in two sessions, January – May and September – December. The Fall 2019 workshop schedule is now available. Materials from popular workshops can be download in the online Resource Library.


Wednesday, September 25
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Preparing for Employment
This workshop will provide information about preparing for employment, the funding options available, and services offered in the community to help support individuals with developmental disabilities in the workforce.
Presenter: Brian Hubler, Director of Employment and Transition Services, St. Louis Arc


Tuesday, October 1 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
State and Federal Benefits
Do you have questions about what benefits your family member is eligible for as a legal adult? Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, SSI – find out who is eligible, what the differences are between the programs, and how to access the appropriate contacts in order to apply for services. Information about working while receiving benefits will also be covered.
Presenter: Bhavik R. Patel, Attorney & CEO, Sandberg Phoenix

Wednesday, October 2 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Fostering Friendships
Take meaningful steps towards building a variety of significant friendships using tools from Angela Amato’s workbook, “Friends.” Rachel Bradshaw will facilitate a panel of Best Buddies participants and parents who will share their experiences of making and keeping friends. This workshop is designed for the whole family to participate.
Rachel Bradshaw, Program Manager,
Best Buddies Missouri
Sharon Spurlock, Director of Family Support, St. Louis Arc

Wednesday, October 16 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Save with Missouri ABLE Accounts
Missourians with disabilities are now able to sign up for tax-advantaged savings accounts without having to risk losing federal benefits. This tool can help people save without penalties to their Medicaid benefits. With these accounts, individuals in the disability community will be able to save money for things like education, medical expenses, housing, and more. This workshop will answer your questions about Missouri ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts.
Presenter: Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick’s Office

Thursday, October 17 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Introduction to Supported Decision Making: An Alternative to Guardianship
When an individual with a disability turns 18 they are legally an adult. This workshop is designed to help families understand the options they have to assist their loved one in making good decisions, without removing their rights through guardianship. Learn how to assess the decision making skills your family members have and the supports they already use to assist them when making decisions. Legally binding tools that can be created with the person and their family, without seeking guardianship, will be shared and discussed.
Presenters: Sharon Spurlock, Director of Family Support, St. Louis Arc; Debra Fiasco, Administrator, Parent Education and Diversity Awareness, Special School District

Tuesday, October 22 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Working Effectively with the Department of Mental Health
This workshop will help families understand the Missouri Department of Mental Health – St. Louis Regional Office planning, funding, and priority processes, including waivers. It will also cover the importance of developing the Individual Support Plan (ISP) in partnership with your support coordinator and how to use the plan to access community services.
Presenters: Tauvaris (TJ) Moore, Information Specialist, Department of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities, St. Louis Tri-County Office; DeVaughn Jones, Case Manager Supervisor, Department of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities, St. Louis Tri-County Office

Tuesday, October 29 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Adult Day Options
When your family member with intellectual and developmental disabilities completes high school, what is available if they are not going to participate in a sheltered workshop, employment, or college?  Learn about adult day service options, funding sources, and how to determine the best fit for your family member. This workshop is geared toward individuals caring for an older teen or an adult with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Presenters: Megan Favazza, Director of Community Engagement Services, St. Louis Arc; Janice Schenewerk, Director of Day Services and Medical, The Center for Head Injury Services;
Ashley Stockman, IN Program, Director of Adult Day Center, Jewish Community Center

Family Cooking ClassDownload the Fall 2019 Family Workshops Schedule

To attend any of these workshops, please RSVP to Brianne Smith, Information Coordinator of Family Support, at 314-817-2216.

The Arc offers a small selection of handouts and resources from the Family Workshop Series available for download.