Rather than teaching traditional classes at Penn State, I am involved in Penn State Extension. Through this role, I collaborate with researchers and practitioners around Pennsylvania to inform, disseminate, and practice community-based education. I am currently working on programming for families navigating parental substance use disorder and communities facing high rates of substance use disorder.
Relatives as Parents Program
The Relatives as Parents Program aims to support both relative caregivers in Pennsylvania and the organizations who work with them. In conjunction with WVU Extension, our team is creating a training guide, lesson plans, and other resources for organizations interested in starting support groups for relative caregivers. Additionally, we are currently planning a series of weekend retreats for relative caregivers and their children to support family bonding. We plan to evaluate these retreats and create a guide to aid other Extension services and organizations in putting on these events.
PA Communities Tackling the Opioid Crisis
Currently, there is little programming at Penn State Extension directly addressing the opioid (and meth) crisis in Pennsylvania. I am currently conducting a community needs assessment to learn of the informal work being done by grassroots groups of residents in rural counties across the state. Findings will be utilized to identify gaps in resource pipelines from the state to local communities and to design programs to aid local communities in their work to support people who use drugs and people in recovery.