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Second Convener’s Café Held


On Tuesday, February 3rd , conveners, coordinators, and leaders of Macon’s top collaboratives, coalitions and initiatives came together for the second Convener’s Café`.

One of the partners at the first meeting, Sarah Golden, convener of the Bibb County LIPT, graciously offered to host the convener’s group at Lake Bridge Behavioral Health System.   A wonderful steak lunch was provided by Lake Bridge BHS!

 Two things heard from participants at the first meeting were that they would like to get to know the work of organizations and collaborations better, and to learn more about specific topics.  One topic that was mentioned was family or public engagement, or how to engage residents, families, or consumers of services in the organizational planning process and empower them in leadership positions. 

To accomplish both goals, Community Partnership put  together a fantastic panel to share their experiences and answer questions on the topic of family engagement.  Participants came away from the meeting with tools and techniques for engaging families and other stakeholders in their  collaborative work, and for keeping them at the table.  They also gained a better understanding of the work of. and resources provided by. the panelists.

10959396_635006919937870_8510976973933227185_n Our panelists included:

 Frank Austin, ED of Austin Development Center, Village Green Shalom Zone

 Melanie Henson, LPC, NCC, Director of Clinical Services at Lake Bridge BHS

 Sonya  Hope, Community Support Specialist, Georgia Family Connection Partnership





 Additional support was provided by Annetta Berry, Community Support Specialist, Georgia Family Connection Partnership.


After a Q&A session with panelists, the conveners broke into small groups in the Café model of focused conversation to talk about what Family Engagement looks like in their organizations, what barriers they have faced (and how they overcame them), and how the group could support each other in engaging families.










 The Conveners agreed to meet bi-monthly to continue learning, sharing and supporting each other.  The next Convener’s Café will be held in April!  

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