THRIVE Director Recognized for Collaborative Leadership

LEWISTON – THRIVE System of Care is pleased to announce that Arabella Perez, Director, received the first-ever Catalyst for Change Award from Southern Maine Parent Awareness (SMPA) at its October 17 Fall Family Conference in Wells.

“Arabella has been instrumental to Maine family organizations working to define a collaborative approach to service,” says Sue Henri-MacKenzie, SMPA Executive Coordinator. “Her dedication to transformational activities for families regardless of barriers is an inspiration to us all.”

SMPA, Learning Disabilities Association of Maine, Maine Parent Federation, G.E.A.R. Parent Network, Autism Society of Maine, Foster and Adoptive Parenting, National Alliance on Mental Illness-Maine, and Helping Hands have formed a coalition to further “family voice” in Maine’s child welfare, mental health, health care, juvenile justice and education systems of care.

“Maine is at a crossroads with statewide initiatives, such as High-Fidelity Wraparound and the Parent Empowerment Program-STEPS,” says Perez, “that are identifying the role of family support partners in the various systems. It’s important for family organizations to come together to define and sustain this peer-to-peer partnering, rather than have it be dictated by outside parties.”

The newly formed coalition also plans to identify shared training opportunities and maximize the uses of its collective data.

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Southern Maine Parent Awareness ( is dedicated to providing information and referral, support, and education to families who have children with special needs.

Category: Press Releases