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Higgins: $480,000 in federal funding for Parent Network of WNY


Fri, Sep 16th 2022 01:40 pm

Funding supports resources for parents of children with disabilities

Congressman Brian Higgins announced a federal grant totaling $480,000 over four years awarded to the Parent Network of Western New York.

A press release stated, “Funded by the U.S. Department of Education and awarded through the Community Parent Resource Centers Program, the grant will provide support for families with children who have disabilities as they navigate the support services available.”

Higgins said, “For families with children who have disabilities navigating support systems and ensuring that their children have access to all the educational and developmental resources they need can be a significant challenge, especially for those living in underserved communities. Funding from the U.S. Department of Education will allow the Parent Network of Western New York to expand their services to reach families in greatest need and assist them in becoming powerful advocates for their children. This is another investment strengthening opportunities for underserved youth and creating a better future for families in the Western New York community.”

Parent Network of WNY Executive Director Kimberly Kadziolka said, “We are so grateful that the U.S. Department of Education recognized the complex needs of families. In 2020, Parent Network of WNY relocated our administrative offices to the Broadway Fillmore neighborhood with an intentional goal of increasing our focus and services to families and students in this and other underserved communities. This grant reassures that we continue to meet families where they are in advocating for their children.”

The press release added, “The Community Parent Resource Centers Program provides critical support for parent information centers across the United States. Parent information centers are one of the primary vehicles under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) providing information and training to parents with children who have disabilities. The program provides the funding necessary to assist parents in understanding their children’s rights to educational and early intervention services, as well as the nature of their children’s disability and their educational and developmental needs. Additionally, it assists parents in communicating effectively with those providing special education and early intervention services, and participating in the development of individualized education programs and family service plans.

“Funding from this four-year grant will support the Parent Network of Western New York’s Buffalo Community Parent Resource Center, which provides high-quality services to underserved families in the community. The center will continue its work to increase parents’ capacity to help their children with disabilities improve their early learning, school-age and post-secondary education outcomes. Funding from the grant will also maintain direct assistance, training and specialty resources to help families access services to support their children’s developmental and academic goals.”

The Parent Network of Western New York is a nonprofit agency that provides education and resources to families of individuals with special needs and for professionals. It provides one-on-one support and education through resources, workshops and support groups. To learn more, visit https://parentnetworkwny.org/.

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