DAC Positive Peer and Family Connections Program
What is the DAC Positive Peer Connections Program?
The DAC’s Positive Peer Connections Program is part of a larger DAC initiative, DAC Connect. The mission of DAC Connect is to create and cultivate positive connections with our peers, our family, and our community while emphasizing the importance of one’s own self-care, self-awareness, and self-love.
Positive Peer and Family Connections: A series programs, activities, and incentives that cultivate a culture of positive interactions for all program participants. Focusing on one another’s strengths and encouraging healthy relationships with peers, family, caregivers, and staff. Providing families with the knowledge and resources they need to live full lives and be confident in decisions they make for their child and family.
Goals of DAC Positive Peer Program:
- Create a positive group and center environment at the DAC by rewarding an individual’s good behavior and kindness.
- Encourage positive behavior outside of the DAC through modeling and providing examples of appropriate interactions and relationships while participating in DAC programs.
- Provide clients and families with the resources they need to handle stress, engage in healthy relationships, and make good choices in their actions, communication, and interaction with peers.
Examples of Positive Peer Connections Incentives:
- Lunch with a DAC staff person of their choice.
- An off-site field trip of their choice.
- Gift cards or small prizes.
- Recognition by their peers, family, and staff.
Positive Peer Connection Program:
Kindness Cards: Through our Kindness Card system clients will be rewarded for positive behaviors both at the center, in the community, and at home. Clients can earn points on their kindness card through observable actions and interactions at the center. Clients and families can also share examples of good deeds that take place at home and in the community, earning additional points on their kindness card.
Membership Spotlight: Several times each year, DAC staff will choose a client to be highlighted for their commitment to learning, working, and being a positive force at the center, at home, and in the community. The Member Spotlight will be featured on the website, social media, and in the monthly newsletter.
Family/Caregiver Trainings and Support: Opportunities for families to learn from one another, share resources, and access training and information from the DAC’s network on disability service provider partners.
Additional DAC Connect Programs that support Positive Peer Connections:
Bullying Prevention, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Structured bullying prevention program and resources for adult clients and in-school students with special needs. Implement advocacy and education programs for both the individual with a disability and their peers to foster positive relationships and reduce the negative impact of bullying, stereotyping, and non-inclusion.
Mindfulness: DAC Staff have received training and certification in mindfulness and resiliency to better equip and educate clients and families on the value of how being mindful can significantly improves one’s emotional health, reduce stress, increase self-awareness, improve sleep and attention, and foster self- care and compassion.
Social and Emotional Wellness: Programs and services developed to empower clients to better understand their emotions, handle adversity and stress, make good decisions, and embrace healthy relationships. Future programs may include on-site counseling and therapy services in addition to programs including Best Life and You’ve Got This!