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 or Childgarden Early Childhood 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. For the Spring 2019 session, most workshops are offered on Wednesday or Thursday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and require RSVP.


Life By Design: What Does Your Great Life Look Like?
Wednesday, February 20
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Planning for the future will help you move towards a life that YOU CHOOSE – not something that is chosen out of desperation or random circumstances. Individuals with disabilities and their families are invited to attend this interactive workshop where we will use tools from the Missouri Family to Family Charting the LifeCourse to clarify your vision of a great future and take steps to move in the right direction.

Advocating with Health Care Providers
Wednesday, February 27
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
How do you prepare for going to the doctor with your family member who has a disability? Are they treated with respect? Are they listened to? Are you getting the information you need? Do you find you have more questions when you leave the doctor than before you came? Learn how to prepare for an effective appointment, as well as how to advocate for the time and information you need so that your family member with a disability is fully supported. This workshop is relevant for people of all ages and abilities. Teens and adults with disabilities who are learning how to navigate services for themselves are welcome to attend.

Crisis Intervention Team
Thursday, February 28
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Do you have a plan if your family member with developmental disabilities becomes aggressive and you are unable to calm them down? Have you ever had to call the police for assistance? The purpose of the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is to provide effective intervention to people with developmental disabilities or mental illness and their families. Learn how to plan ahead for emergencies and how to use the CIT in a mental health emergency.


State and Federal Benefits (Beginner)
Thursday, March 7
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Do you have questions about what benefits your family member is eligible for when they turn 18? 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.

Nutrition and Health – Ask the Dietitian
Wednesday, March 20
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
This workshop will provide tips and tools for healthy eating, exercise, and establishing a balanced lifestyle. Prior to the workshop, attendees will be surveyed about the specific areas they would like to discuss and explore.

Residential Options through Department of Mental Health
Wednesday, March 27
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
This workshop will address residential options for individuals who will need more than 12 hours per week of staff support (Department of Mental Health funding).

Family Cooking ClassDownload the Spring 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.