Workshops

To find your nearest workshop please look in the list or click your county in the map below and then call us toll free at 1-800-264-9224 to reserve your place. (If you live near the border of another county, feel free to take a look at those workshops as well.) All workshops are free and open to parents, grandparents, caregivers and educators of children with emotional or behavioral health concerns. After workshops, G.E.A.R. Regional Parent Support Coordinators may provide one-to-one and/or group support for up to 30 minutes, as needed. Learning is your key to empowerment!

Participate At Home

G.E.A.R. Parent Network also allows you to participate in workshops remotely via GoToMeeting conferencing technology. This is only accessible using DSL internet service. If you are interested in participating in workshops from the convenience of your home, please contact the G.E.A.R. Regional Parent Support Coordinator presenting the workshop below, and he or she will send you the connection information. When accessing any workshop, be sure to list your name and town so we can track participant numbers. If you would like a certificate of attendance with contact hours, please contact the coordinator who presented the workshop.

 

Aroostook somerset Piscataguis Penobscot Washington Hancock Oxford Franklin Waldo Knox Kennebec Lincoin Sagadahoc Androscoggin Cumberland York


York, Cumberland, Oxford and Androscoggin Counties

“ADHD 101-What We Want to Know but Forgot to Ask!”
Presented by Laurie Cavanaugh, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

This workshop will offer the framework to help us understand what Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is, what causes it, how to diagnose and who can diagnose it; the symptoms, what helps, supports; and treatment and management. Come and join in the conversation as we journey together toward greater success.

  • Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, from 6-8 p.m. in the Small LePage Room, St. Mary’s, 99 Campus Ave, Lewiston

“Being a Trauma Informed Parent: Linking Childhood Trauma to Long-term Health and Social Consequence”
Presented by Laurie Cavanaugh, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

Traumatic childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect, domestic violence, or substance abuse in the home can have long-term physical, psychological, behavioral and economic consequences. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study demonstrates the connection between childhood trauma and a wide array of physical and mental health problems. Despite the trauma in their lives, children can survive and even thrive. Protective factors, including healthy relationships with parents and caregivers, foster resilience in children and help them to overcome early adversity. Learn about ACEs and how individuals, families, and communities can influence the development of protective factors in a child’s life that can mitigate the impact of ACEs on his or her development. Target audience: parents/caregivers of children with behavioral health issues; however, all are welcome.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, from 6-8 p.m. at Chamber of Commerce, 4 Western Ave, South Paris

“Good Grief: A Community Workshop on Helping Kids Cope with Death, Loss and Serious Illness”
Presented by Sara Asch, Bereavement Program and Outreach Coordinator, Center for Grieving Children

One in seven children and teens will experience the death of a parent or sibling. But as parents, teachers, and caring adults, we can be uncertain how to help. In this interactive and informative presentation by expert Center staff, you will gain skills for supporting children through loss and increase your comfort level talking with children about these difficult subjects. You will also learn more about what the Center can offer you, your family, and your community.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Dana Center, MMC, 22 Bramhall St, Portland

“The Motivation Breakthrough: Six Secrets to Turning on the Tuned-Out Child” by Rick Lavoie, M.A., M.Ed.
Presented by Laurie Cavanaugh, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

This workshop explores proven techniques, strategies, and scripts, based on six possible motivational styles, that will revolutionize the way teachers and parents inspire children to succeed and achieve. Rick Lavoie explodes common myths and gives specific advice for motivating children. With empathy and understanding, he offers parents and teachers the key to unlocking enthusiasm and responsiveness, proving any child can be motivated to learn.

  • Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, from 6-8 p.m. in the Lobby Conference Room, St. Mary’s, 93 Campus Ave, Lewiston

“Impulse Control Disorder”
Presented by Laurie Cavanaugh, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

Learn about Impulse Control Disorder in children and youth, how ICD impacts the family system, and what parents and caregivers can do to increase their own coping skills.  Better understand how behavioral management strategies such as limit setting, modeling, and positive discipline can decrease problematic behavior in the home and lead to better interactions at school and in the community. Join our discussion and interact with others who are interested in this important subject.  

  • Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, from 6-8 p.m. at Chamber of Commerce, 4 Western Ave, South Paris

“How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop” by Rick Lavoie, M.A., M.Ed.
Presented by Laurie Cavanaugh, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

This unique and interactive program allows participants to experience the same Frustration, Anxiety, and Tension that children with learning disabilities face in their daily lives. See how teachers, social workers, psychologists, parents and friends who have participated in Richard Lavoie's workshop reflect upon their experience and the way it changed their approach to children who have a learning disability.

  • Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, from 5:30-7:30p.m. at Dana Center, MMC, 22 Bramhall St, Portland

“Hot Cocoa and Crafts”
Facilitated by Laurie Cavanaugh, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

Parents and children too, come relax, sip cocoa and create with pompom art, teddy bears, caterpillars, something you can give as a gift or proudly display and enjoy at home all winter. Note: You must pre-register for this workshop.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, from 6-8 p.m. in the Large LePage Room, St. Mary’s, 99 Campus Ave, Lewiston
  • Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, from 6-8 p.m. at Chamber of Commerce, 4 Western Ave, South Paris
  • Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Dana Center, MMC, 22 Bramhall St, Portland

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Kennebec, Somerset & Franklin Counties

Diane Bouffard, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator, 207-612-8996, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

“ADHD 101 - What We Want to Know but Forget to Ask!”
Presented by Diane Bouffard, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

This workshop will offer the framework to help us understand what Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is, what causes it, how to diagnose and who can diagnose it; the symptoms, what helps, supports; and treatment and management. Come and join in the conversation as we journey together toward greater success.

  • Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Community Concepts, 103 Deerfield Lane, Farmington

“Take Action Against Bullying”
Presented by Diane Bouffard, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

Bullying has become such a widespread problem it is now being recognized as a major mental health concern for children and youth, having been found to leave long-term emotional scars and psychological effects similar to anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress. This workshop will help you identify the warning signs of both the victim and the bully. Prevention and effective coping skills will be explored.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016, from 6-8 p.m. at Crisis & Counseling Centers, 10 Caldwell Rd, Augusta

“Building a Bridge: Navigating Youth to Adult Transition”
Presented by Diane Bouffard, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

Transition planning is the key to ensuring success in adulthood for youth with disabilities. This workshop will teach parents and caregivers how to build the transitional bridge from children's mental health services to adult mental health services in order to achieve successful post-secondary outcomes. Learn what you can do now to prepare, how adult services are different from school-based services, what is included in a transition plan, how to meet the unique needs of the individual, and how to empower youth to have a voice in the planning process.

  • Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Community Concepts, 103 Deerfield Lane, Farmington

“504 Information Session”
Presented by Susan Parks, Children’s Advocate

What is a 504 plan? What kinds of services and accommodations can be put into a 504 plan? Come get the answers to these questions plus any other that you may have.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, from 6-8 p.m. at Crisis & Counseling Centers, 10 Caldwell Rd, Augusta

“Creating Christmas Tree Ornaments”
Facilitated by Diane Bouffard, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

Join us for an evening of holiday fun. Learn to make Christmas tree ornaments to use for decoration or to give as a gift. G.E.A.R. will provide supplies. Note: You must pre-register for this workshop.

  • Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Community Concepts, 103 Deerfield Lane, Farmington
  • Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, from 6-8 p.m. at Crisis & Counseling Centers, 10 Caldwell Rd, Augusta

“Parent-Child Playgroup”
Facilitated by Diane Bouffard, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

Parents, caregivers, and children are invited to join in our interactive playgroup sessions! KVCAP and G.E.A.R. Parent Network are offering a child-friendly and developmentally appropriate environment in which parents/caregivers and children can explore, role-play, and discover together. Activities for the play group may include story reading, making a healthy snack, nature walks, play time and more. For more information about this group, please call Diane Bouffard at 612.8996 or Kristen Plummer at 859.2520. Visit us at www.kvcap.org or www.gearparentnetwork.org. Note: Parents seeking transportation are encouraged to explore the usage of Somerset Explorer through KVCAP. Summer bus schedules can be obtained by calling 859-2501. Fares are $1.00 to $1.25. Kids 18 and under ride free.

  • Skowhegan: Meets every Thursday from 10-11:30 a.m. at Skowhegan Community Center Playground, 39 Poulin Drive
  • Pittsfield: Meets 1st Wednesday of each month (Oct. 5, Nov. 2 & Dec. 7) from 10:15-11:45 a.m. at Pittsfield Public Library, 110 Library St

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Knox, Lincoln and Sagadahoc Counties

 

“Helping Your Child Manage Their Meltdowns: Strategies for Gaining Self-Regulation Skills”
Presented by Norm LeBlanc, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

Are you feeling like you are always walking on eggshells when dealing with your child’s meltdowns? Are you at a loss about how to help your child to be successful in your home? You’re not alone! Join in the discussion about what meltdowns are and strategies that can be used to help your child better manage these meltdowns. You'll also learn strategies for parents and caregivers.

  • Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Skidompha Public Library, Carpenter Room, 184 Main St, Damariscotta
  • Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, from 9-11 a.m. at DHHS-District Operations, 91 Camden Street, Suite 103, Rockland

“Improving Transitions in a Sensory Smart Family”
Presented by Maggie McKenna, Occupational Therapist

Do you sometimes feel like you don’t know how to help your child? Children with behavioral health needs do not come with a manual! This workshop will offer a framework to understand the nature of your child’s behavior and methods to flexibly respond to the needs your child presents.  Positive Behavioral Supports emphasizes practical ideas about how to meet your child where they are at and utilize their motivation to increase success. Understanding and using Stage of Change concepts, maximizing provider involvement and enhancing natural supports will be emphasized to provide usable tools that can be applied in a variety of real-life situations. Temper Tantrums are disruptive behavior or emotional outbursts displayed in response to unmet needs or desires. Come and learn how to control your child’s tantrums by using Behavior Management.

  • Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Curtis Memorial Library, Seminar Rm (2nd floor), 23 Pleasant St, Brunswick

“Managing Stress During the Holidays”
Presented by Norm LeBlanc, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

The holiday season will quickly be here! While it is meant to bring feelings of love and cheer, it’s also the harbinger of stress for many of us. Join us and learn a few simple tips you could try to help reduce holiday stress before it begins so that it remains at a positive level rather than an overwhelming one.

  • Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Curtis Memorial Library, Seminar Rm (2nd floor), 23 Pleasant St, Brunswick
  • Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, from 9-11 a.m. at DHHS-District Operations, 91 Camden Street, Suite 103, Rockland
  • Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Skidompha Public Library, Carpenter Room, 184 Main St, Damariscotta

“Make Your Own Ornament Holiday Activity”
Facilitated by Norm LeBlanc, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

The holiday season is here! Join us for a stress-free evening. Bring the entire family and each family member can decorate their own ornaments. This will be a great opportunity to meet and network with other families on similar journeys in navigating the Maine System of Care. All are welcome to join in the fun and the conversation. Note: You must pre-register for this workshop.

  • Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Curtis Memorial Library, Seminar Rm (2nd floor), 23 Pleasant St, Brunswick
  • Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, from 9-11 a.m. at DHHS-District Operations, 91 Camden Street, Suite 103, Rockland
  • Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Skidompha Public Library, Carpenter Room, 184 Main St, Damariscotta

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Hancock, Waldo & Washington Counties

Cynthia Cullinane, Regional Parent Support Coordinator, 207-266-9523, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Note: Childcare is available to Head Start parents at the Stockton Springs and Unity locations with pre-registration. Head Start parents may register with Nettie Simmons, WCAP Family Advocate, at 207.338.4762 ext. 600 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For Unity workshops only, you may also contact Diane Bouffard, Regional Parent Support Coordinator, at 207.612.8996 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with questions or to register.

“ADHD 101 - What We Want to Know but Forget to Ask!”
Presented by Cynthia Cullinane, Regional Parent Support Coordinator (Ellsworth/Searsport) & Diane Bouffard, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator (Unity)

This workshop will offer the framework to help us understand what Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is, what causes it, how to diagnose and who can diagnose it; the symptoms, what helps, supports; and treatment and management. Come and join in the conversation as we journey together toward greater success.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, from 9-11 a.m. at Downeast Horizons, 77 Union St, Ellsworth
  • Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Unity Head Start, 85 School St, Unity
  • Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Stockton Springs Elementary School, 113 Church St, Stockton Springs

“Take Action Against Bullying”
Presented by Cynthia Cullinane, Regional Parent Support Coordinator (Ellsworth/Searsport) & Diane Bouffard, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator (Unity)

Bullying has become such a widespread problem it is now being recognized as a major mental health concern for children and youth, having been found to leave long-term emotional scars and psychological effects similar to anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress. This workshop will help you identify the warning signs of both the victim and the bully. Prevention and effective coping skills will be explored.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, from 9-11 a.m. at Downeast Horizons, 77 Union St, Ellsworth
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Stockton Springs Elementary School, 113 Church St, Stockton Springs
  • Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Unity Head Start, 85 School St, Unity

“Relax with Crafts!”
Facilitated by Cynthia Cullinane, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

Take some time off from the busy holiday season to relax with other parents, learn a new skill, and perhaps adopt a new hobby. We will explore flat felting, an easy craft for all, specially designed for those who say they are not crafty! Projects range from the simple to the complex and can be works of art or functional pieces. Children are welcome, as we will provide age-appropriate materials for them to engage their creative side. Note: You must pre-register for this workshop.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Stockton Springs Elementary School, 113 Church St, Stockton Springs
  • Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, from 9-11 a.m. at Downeast Horizons, 77 Union St, Ellsworth

“Creating Christmas Tree Ornaments”
Facilitated by Diane Bouffard, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

Join us for an evening of holiday fun. Learn to make Christmas tree ornaments to use for decoration or to give as a gift. G.E.A.R. will provide supplies. Note: You must pre-register for this workshop.

  • Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Unity Head Start, 85 School St, Unity

 

 

Penobscot, Piscataquis & Southern Aroostook Counties

Nancy Levine Gray, Regional Parent Support Coordinator, 207-215-6254, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

“Take Action Against Bullying”
Presented by Nancy Levine Gray, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

Bullying has become such a widespread problem it is now being recognized as a major mental health concern for children and youth, having been found to leave long-term emotional scars and psychological effects similar to anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress. This workshop will help you identify the warning signs of both the victim and the bully. Prevention and effective coping skills will be explored.

  • Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, from 10 a.m.-noon at Charlotte White Center, 572 Bangor Rd, Dover-Foxcroft
  • Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016, from 6-8 p.m. at Wings for Families & Children, 900 Hammond St, Bangor
  • Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Cary Library, Meeting Rm, 107 Main St., Houlton

“Managing Stress During the Holidays”
Presented by Nancy Levine Gray, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

The holiday season will quickly be here! While it is meant to bring feelings of love and cheer, it’s also the harbinger of stress for many of us. Join us and learn a few simple tips you could try to help reduce holiday stress before it begins so that it remains at a positive level rather than an overwhelming one.

  • Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, from 10 a.m.-noon at Charlotte White Center, 572 Bangor Rd, Dover-Foxcroft
  • Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, from 6-8 p.m. at Wings for Families & Children, 900 Hammond St, Bangor
  • Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Cary Library, Meeting Rm, 107 Main St., Houlton

“Creating Wax Paper Holiday Lanterns”
Facilitated by Nancy Levine Gray, Regional Parent Support Coordinator

Join us for an evening of holiday fun. Learn to make colorful waxed paper lanterns to use for decoration or to give as a gift. G.E.A.R. will provide supplies. Note: You must pre-register for this workshop.

  • Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, from 10 a.m.-noon at Charlotte White Center, 572 Bangor Rd, Dover-Foxcroft
  • Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, from 6-8 p.m. at Wings for Families & Children, 900 Hammond St, Bangor
  • Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Cary Library, Meeting Rm, 107 Main St., Houlton

“ME Dads Who Care - Parent Support Group for Dads”
Facilitated by Robert Boulier, Parent Volunteer

Dads have a tough job! Have you considered joining a parent support group for dads? G.E.A.R. Parent Network offers a free support group for dads of children with behavioral, emotional, or developmental health needs. Please join us to meet other dads who are on a similar journey. At ME (Maine) Dads Who Care, you will have the opportunity to compare notes, share experiences, and learn new skills in an open discussion. Facilitated by an experienced dad who has been there!

Bangor: Meets various Tuesdays each month (Oct. 18, Nov. 15 & Dec. 13) from 5:30-7:30 p.m.at Wings for Families & Children, 900 Hammond St

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G.E.A.R. Parent Network is a Parent-to-Parent Network of Information & Support for Parents of Children with behavioral health needs, is a program of Crisis & Counseling Centers, Inc. and is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, the United Way and Private Donations

Administration: 10 Caldwell Rd, Augusta, Maine 04330 • 207.626.3448 (voice & TTY); Fax 207.626.3453