As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UMKC Institute for Human Development's Missouri Family to Family (MOF2F) team wanted to support struggling families. They first began organizing online "Good Life Groups" in April, 2020, to provide family members of children and adults with disabilities a safe space to share resources, experiences and support. Since then, over 250 attendees have participated in conversations covering a myriad of topics in the twice-weekly meetings, including:
- Adjusting to COVID
- Hygiene and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD)
- Mental Health Conversations
- Girls Night Out/Girls and Autism
- The Transition "Cliff"
- Impact of COVID on families
- Pros and Cons of using public benefits
- CARES Act
- Charting the LifeCourse (CtLC) and NAMI tools
- Cooking with Yousef & Ezzy
- Self-advocates and careers
- Foster Care - Health Care & DD services
- Re-entry to school
In addition, MOF2F has also offered several rounds of One-to-One Navigation Sessions. Team members provide help with specific situations, often surrounding benefits, formal services, or transition to adulthood. The sessions are offered via Zoom and include an introduction to CtLC tools with an offer to attend follow up coaching sessions to expand on their plans. Families are also encouraged to consider sharing their expertise through MOF2F volunteer leadership training and invited to attend Stakeholders' events. New Navigation Sessions are opened monthly and generally fill within several days. MOF2F expects to need to implement waiting lists beginning in August.