Parents Education Network (PEN)
1. Why are PEN and CHC joining forces?
This is a strategic expansion opportunity for two organizations with a combined 80 years of experience that share the same mission. For PEN, it provides scale to serve more families, kids and educators. For CHC, it reinforces our commitment to kids with learning and attention differences, helps us serve more kids and families, raises our visibility, and expands our education offerings in our Community Education Network. As a result, we’ll have even more advocates for our kids and families.
2. What does this mean for my PEN membership benefits?
We are deeply committed to PEN members and are working on a new membership plan. We intend to maintain and enhance important benefits like conference discounts and free parent classes (which we offer now) as well as access to online resources, events and classes for educators. We will continue to report on this project as plans take shape.
3. Will all the PEN programs still exist?
Yes. PEN programs will continue to operate and will be incorporated into CHC’s Community Education and Engagement division.
- SAFE: Our desire is to nurture the groups currently in place, and increase them over time. By late August, near the start of the school year, we will communicate our plan for the SAFE groups as well as explore new groups on the peninsula.
- Parent Support Groups: CHC currently runs parent support groups, and we will incorporate the existing PEN support groups. We hope to add even more groups with emphasis on ADHD/LD. At the same time, we are also looking into virtual solutions (using technology like Skype and Zoom) for parent support groups in areas outside the Bay Area. CHC currently offers virtual therapy via Zoom.
- Parent Education: Parent education will not only continue, but will be expanded with the robust offering of courses from CHC. CHC conducts more than 35 classes per year taught by experts from CHC as well as respected guest speakers. All in-person classes are offered free of charge at our facility in Palo Alto and we plan is to offer additional classes in San Francisco. We also hope to offer more class content online.
4. Will EdRev continue?
Yes. EdRev will continue with the same familiar format. It will be held at AT&T Park in San Francisco in April of 2018. We plan to begin promoting the event throughout the Bay Area this fall and to generate more enthusiasm and student participation from Silicon Valley. We will work with current PEN staff during the transition to ensure that EdRev continues to be the amazing conference and resource it is now.
5. What will happen with the donation I made this year?
All donations given during the PEN fiscal year from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 were used to support PEN programs and operations as planned. Any donations received on or after July 1st will continue to support PEN programs at CHC.
6. Can I continue to count on CHC as my “go-to” resource for LD and ADHD supports?
Absolutely. PEN’s online resources will still be available to you through CHC. You will also have access to the online resource library and community education offerings for LD and ADHD at no charge at CHC’s website. CHC also provides, therapy and two schools for families with children that have LD and ADHD.
7. Will any of the PEN leaders join CHC?
PEN staff and board members are carefully working with CHC as consultants and advisors to ensure a smooth transition. Over time, they could potentially join the CHC Board, work on CHC Board Committees, or potentially stay on as employees so that our PEN families, students, teachers, and schools are comfortable with the new organization. There will be no leadership changes at CHC and Dr. Rosalie Whitlock will remain Executive Director.
8. Your release talks about more education and support for ADHD and LD. Does this mean CHC is shifting focus away from teen anxiety and depression?
No. Our commitment to teen mental health will continue without interruption. CHC has been and continues to be committed to four areas of excellence: ADHD, LD, Anxiety and Depression, and Autism. CHC has strong educational and clinical programs in all these areas.
9. Will the addition of the PEN programs have any impact on the educational programs or services that I get today from CHC?
Yes, a very positive impact. We will retain our current focus on our mission to remove barriers to learning, helping children and teens become resilient, happy and successful at home, at school and in life. With the addition PEN, there will be an increase in Community Education classes, more parent support groups, more groups for teens and the wonderful annual EdRev conference.
10. What additional services and benefits can PEN families get at CHC?
CHC is a community-based organization that warmly welcomes PEN families. We care deeply about serving more kids and removing financial barriers regardless of geographic location. We offer free 30-minute consultations with an expert, evaluations, individual and family therapy, virtual therapy, an Intensive Outpatient Program for teens, schools, community education, parent support and online resources.