AUGUSTA — Registration is open for “Parenting During a Pandemic Survival Toolkit,” a free annual conference offered by G.E.A.R. Parent Network and the Maine Parent Federation.

The conference will be held virtually this year for the first time, and its agenda is tailored specifically toward parents, caregivers and educators.

Recognizing that those in caregiving positions have experienced a year unlike any other, conference organizers wanted to make this educational conference accessible as possible to those it will benefit most.

“We will be sharing information that parents and caregivers will benefit tremendously from,” said Cindy Seekins, director at the parent network, in a news release from Augusta-based Crisis & Counseling Centers. “We’ll navigate topics ranging from mental health, educational obstacles, and vaccination developments during what have proven to be unprecedented times. This conference has been built entirely around the goal of providing knowledge that will empower people to make decisions and increase positive outcomes for themselves, their children, and their families.”

Dates, times and event topics are as follows. Conference goers can choose which events they would like to attend.

• Tuesday, March 16
Back to In-Person Learning, 9-10:30 a.m.; and
Recognizing the Signs of Suicide Risk & Navigating the System of Care, 1-3 p.m.


• Wednesday, March 17
Surviving Parenting: Self-Care is Never Selfish, 9-10:30 a.m.; and
Pandemic Parent Support Group, 1-2:30 p.m.

• Tuesday, March 23
Impulsivity and Disruptive Behaviors in Children and Youth, 9-10:30 a.m., ; and
Vaccination Information, 1-3 p.m.

Wednesday, March 24
Compensatory Education, 9-10:30 a.m.; and
Katie Beckett Waiver, 1-3 p.m.

G.E.A.R. Parent Network, a program of Crisis & Counseling Centers, has been operating since 1987 and is the place where Gaining Empowerment Allows Results. G.E.A.R. Parent Network is totally run by parents for parents providing 1:1 long term parent support, educational workshops, system navigation, information, support groups and advocacy for parents of children with emotional and behavioral health concerns. Through parent-to-parent sharing of experiences and knowledge, G.E.A.R. Parent Network empowers parents of children with behavioral health needs to build on their family’s strengths and to advocate for their family’s needs. Learn more online at

The Maine Parent Federation has been operating since 1984 and works with families to provide information and assistance on topics ranging from specific disabilities, parenting issues, special education, family support, services and resources that assist families and professionals within homes, schools, and the community. Learn more online at

For more information, contact Amber Kruk at 207-557-0534 or

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