How appropriate for this very special week in May when we intensify our focus on children's mental health that we share with you two great organizations (with two great websites) that speak to the commitment of both youth and family run organizations partnering and supporting mutual growth. Youth M.O.V.E Oregon and the Oregon Family Support Network are definitely two organizations you will want to learn more about if you are interested in doing the same.
On a personal note it has been a joy to watch each of them grow and develop. I have known various leaders from the Oregon Family Support Network since its early stages of development with Judy Rinkin at the helm many years ago. For Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon, watching them grow along with the youth movement within system of care communities has been a great deal of fun for this old rebel as they consistently push for a stronger youth voice in decision-making arenas - and they have been quite successful in doing so.
It is no secret that creating and sustaining a viable family organization is not easy. Family organizations are consistently at the low end of the funding spectrum and consistently do the most meaningful work when it comes to meeting the needs of families who have children and youth with emotional challenges. The Oregon Family Support Network has been moving forward through good funding times and bad and appear to only be getting stronger.
Double the degree of difficulty when it comes to establishing and sustaining a youth led organization. And yet, here is Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon, recently recognized as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, doing great things for young people throughout the state of Oregon.
Quite possibly the most significant thing for me is that these two organizations appear to be on the right track when it comes to both collaborating together and, especially for the family organization, supporting the growth and development of the youth organization. Far too often we see unfortunate examples where the youth voice is stifled and not allowed to flourish. That doesn't seem to be the case here. We need to see more examples of family and community organizations who do all they can to support the true independence of youth led organizations.
So 'good on ya' Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon and Oregon Family Support Network. May you continue to flourish, celebrate and support the mutual independence that makes you a strong collective voice for youth and families.
Okay Network faithful, check out their websites and show them some Network love...
President & CEO