Editor’s note: This post was updated to reflect that SEVEN Facebook communities are now up and running for families of kids with disabilities, including a group led by Sandra Peoples for ministry families impacted by disability.
Key for Families seeks to provide encouragement and support for families of kids with disabilities through several types of online gatherings; large group communities (housed on Facebook and organized around a specific condition, disability, or area of interest), special interest study groups organized around a topical study (Bible study, book study or shared media, housed on Facebook but including opportunities for real time interaction via videoconferencing) and more intimate small groups.
In anticipation of the launch of Key for Families during the first week of June, we’re pleased to open registration for our first
six seven Facebook communities.
Facebook communities are:
- Broadly organized around common interests
- Are directed by a team of hosts responsible for overseeing the content and membership
- Are “closed” groups. Any member can invite a new member, but members need to be registered with Key for Families and approved by a community host.
- Typically feature links to articles or content of interest to the group shared to promote awareness or discussion.
Adoption and Foster Care Community – hosted by Stephanie McKeever. Stephanie and her husband are parents of boys, one a young adult with both physical and intellectual disabilities. God is teaching her big things through her family’s trials that she probably would have never learned without them. You can find more from her through her blog, where she shares what Christ is teaching her through her son and disability, intellectual and physical.
Autism and Asperger’s Disorder Community – hosted by Sarah Broady. Sarah is married to her college sweetheart, Kyle, who is a worship pastor where they live in Somerset, KY. The second of their three sons was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2.
Sarah advocates for children with autism within her state to boards making decisions impacting insurance benefits for children with autism. She has testified before House and Senate and committees when she lived in Maryland to secure more openings on the autism waiver. She has also lobbied on Capitol Hill for meaningful policies and laws that benefit families living with autism.
Her greatest desire is to reach the hearts of special needs parents and give them the hope that is found in Christ. Sarah blogs about raising a son with autism at Hope in Autism.
Homeschooling Parents of Kids With Disabilities – hosted by Jennifer Janes. Jennifer is a writer, speaker, and work-at-home mom to two daughters, ages 10 and 12 years old. She is a former public school teacher and spent a year as an artist-in-residence for the regional arts and humanities council. She is also an advocate/case manager for her younger daughter, who has multiple special needs.
She co-authored Homeschooling: What to Do When You Want to Quit, The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas, iBlog, iBlog Pro, Well Planned Homeschool, Focus on Special Needs, and 31 Days of Encouragement for the Homeschool Mom.
Mental Health Community – co-hosted by Dr. Steve Grcevich and Julie Brooks. Julie is a nurse and tireless advocate for families impacted by mental illness. She and her husband (Todd) live in Lewisville, TX and lead a Grace Group at Fellowship Church. Their middle son (Carson) lived with chronic bipolar illness much of his life. He took his own life in July of 2010. He was 18.
Julie’s family believes and trusts in Jesus Christ for direction in this journey. With their eyes wide open, they intend to live each day with no regrets; as such, Julie transparently shares through her blog her family’s thoughts, research…and pain.
Ministry Families Impacted By Disability – hosted by Sandra Peoples. Prior to joining Key Ministry, Sandra served as editor of Not Alone, a collaborative website featuring authors who are raising children with special needs in the Christian faith. Her family resides outside of Houston, Texas where her husband (Lee) is planting a new church. They have two sons, one with autism.
Sandra has a degree in English from Hardin-Simmons University and a Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. A year after her son’s autism diagnosis, Sandra wrote a book about her family’s experiences – Speechless: Finding God’s Grace in My Son’s Autism. Together, Lee and Sandra wrote Held: Learning to Live in God’s Grip: A Bible study for special-needs parents.
Parents of Adult Children With Special Needs – hosted by Dr. Karen Crum. Karen has a doctoral degree in Public Health and Preventive Care. She promotes the health and well-being of children with autism and mental illness. She has developed and presented programs to support special-needs children, and currently focuses on educating and supporting parents as they care for their children with social, emotional or behavior challenges.
Karen’s newest mission includes her work with a Christian focus. She is the author of Persevering Parent: Finding Strength to Raise Your Child with Social, Emotional or Behavior Challenges. Her book points to God’s truths and to practical and spiritual principles that enhance hope, joy and effective special-needs parenting.
PTSD and Trauma Community -hosted by Jolene Philo. Jolene Philo is the daughter of a disabled father and the mother of a child with special needs. After 25 years as an elementary teacher, she left education in 2003 to pursue writing and speaking. She’s the author of several books about special needs parenting, caregiving, special needs ministry and her most recent book, Does My Child Have PTSD? Jolene speaks throughout the United States about parenting children and adults with special needs and post-traumatic stress in children. Her blog provides resources and encouragement for parents of kids with special needs.
To join any or all of these Facebook communities, register here today! Feel free to share the link with any interested friends or family members.
Key Ministry is pleased to make available our FREE disability ministry consultation service to pastors, church leaders and ministry volunteers. Got questions about launching a ministry that you can’t answer…here we are! Have a kid you’re struggling to serve? Contact us! Want to kick around a problem with someone who’s “been there and done that?” Click here to submit a request!