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.


Finding Quality Care for Your Family Member
Wednesday, April 24
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Habilitation, in-home residential support, respite care, or getting a break are different names for the same thing. Respite care assists with maintaining a person with developmental disabilities in his or her natural family home in the community by providing intermittent, short-term relief to primary care givers from caring for a family member with developmental disabilities. This workshop will cover how respite is funded, types of respite available, how to find a provider, and how to evaluate an agency. There will be opportunities to hear from and talk with multiple agencies that provide this service. Participating agencies include Buddy Break, Family Forward, Great Circle, Judevine, Recreation Council, St. Louis Arc, The Synapsory, and UCP Heartland.


Journey Toward Independence: A Personal Narrative

Wednesday, May 1
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Get tips from five young people with disabilities about their personal journeys towards independence. Barbara Stewart will moderate this group of young adult panelists with disabilities.

Planning Ahead: Estate Planning (Intermediate)
Thursday, May 9
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Learn how to plan financially for your family, and avoid unintentionally disqualifying your loved one from receiving public benefits. Topics will include estate tax planning, creditor protection, wills, avoiding probate, and planning for the distribution of property and assets, including charitable giving. This workshop is for anyone who is caring for a family member with intellectual and developmental disabilities of any age.

Supported Decision Making: Hands on Toolkit to Build Capacity
May 16
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
When an individual with a disability becomes 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. Using tools from Missouri Guardianship and Charting The LifeCourse, Debbie and Sharon will coach your family to assess decision making in each of the six life domains (health, employment, safety, etc.) and to create a plan to utilize a variety of resources to build self-determination skills. This workshop is ideal for primary caregivers and their family member with a disability to attend together with siblings and other key people who support planning and problem solving in their lives.

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.