ProActive Caring: Train-the-Trainer Conference

Daemen College - Wick Hall, 4380 Main Street, Amherst, NY
Tuesday, June 18, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.


About ProActive Caring

The ProActive Caring Program was designed by The Center on Aging and Disability Policy at Mount Saint Mary College to enhance quality of life for parents and other family caregivers who are raising children or caring for family members with intellectual, developmental, or other disabilities. To that end, it created a course to teach effective coping mechanisms for short- and long-term stressful situations. This free course, called ProActive Caring Stress Reduction, is informed by Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Positive Adult Development (PAD)--evidence-based training models that were developed by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. ProActive Caring Stress Reduction is open to family caregivers of individuals across the lifespan, from birth to end of life.

To offer the ProActive Caring Stress Reduction training widely, the Center on Aging and Disability Policy at Mount Saint Mary College is partnering with community service providers across New York State and conducting Train-the-Trainer sessions for teams of clinical and peer facilitators.

Conference Program

8:30 am            Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 am            Welcome & Overview -
                         Lawrence T. Force, PhD, LCSW-R, and Elaine Sproat

9:45 am            Curriculum of the ProActive Caring Stress Reducation Trainings
                         Jeffrey Kahana, PhD

10:45 am          The Power and Focus of Breath
                         Elisa Gwillam

11:00 am          Break

11:15 am          Facilitation Skills - What to Expect as a Group Facilitator 
                         Lawrence T. Force, PhD, LCSW-R

12:15 pm          Lunch

1:15 pm            Simulation of ProActive Caring Stress Reduction, Session 1
                         Sharon Murray-Cohen, LMSW, and Jeffrey Kahana, PhD

2:15 pm            Break

2:30 pm            Breakout Groups: Interactive Exercise                

3:30 pm            Q&A and Wrap-up

4:15 pm            The Power and Focus of Breath
                         Elisa Gwillam


Train-the-Trainer conferences are offered free of charge, but as space is limited, pre-registration is required!

We expect most who register to be part of a team (a clinical and a peer facilitator) affiliated with a Community Service Provider. 

Community service providers will be asked to host the family caregiver trainings (comprised of three in-person classes and three podcasts) twice in the six months following the conference, to reimburse the time of a clinical facilitator, and, if possible, to provide refreshments and childcare for participants. Agencies with limited training budgets may apply for grants to help subsidize these costs.

Participating social workers may apply for 3 social work CEU’s, which are awarded free of charge to those who go on to facilitate ProActive Caring courses. Informal caregivers will receive a stipend for each course for which they serve as a peer facilitator.

Registrations are encouraged by Wednesday, March 27. Register here:

Registration Form

For additional information, or to inquire about registering if you are not part of a team or are not affiliated with a community service provider, please contact Elaine Sproat, Director of the ProActive Caring Program, at or 800-691-3980. 

This training is funded by the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.