For Family Caregivers

Family caregivers of individuals with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities--whose own health may suffer from the stresses of caregiving--will benefit from the opportunity to learn coping skills that have been shown to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. ProActive Caring Stress Reduction Training provides this opportunity. The training is informed by two evidence-based caregiver training models developed by the Vanderbilt-Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities--Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Positive Adult Development (PAD). It also provides the chance to receive caring, non-judgmental support from other caregivers and to reduce the social isolation caregivers may experience. 

ProActive Caring Stress Reduction is being offered at selected sites in the Hudson Valley, the Capital District,  and Central and Western New York in 2019. It will expand to sites in New York City and on Long Island in late 2019 and 2020. Sessions are offered both during the day and in the early evening hours. Space is limited, and family caregivers will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis

ProActive Caring Stress Reduction Training for Family Caregivers

This is a free, six-session evidence-informed training funded by the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council for caregivers of infants, children, adolescents, and adults with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities. Typically, three sessions are conducted in face-to-face group meetings, and three sessions are offered through podcasts or videos you can access from home.  Pre-registration is required. Many sites offer light refreshments and some will provide free childcare upon request.

Registration is now open for Pro-Active Caring Stress Reduction courses at the following sites:

  • In Depew, NY, at the Cantalician Center, 2049 George Urban Blvd., 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Mondays Sept. 30, Oct. 7, and Oct. 21.  Onsite childcare and transportation are not provided.  Childcare and transportation stipend available.  For questions, contact Parent Network of WNY, 716-332-4170 or
  • In Jamestown, NY, at The Resource Center, 200 Dunham Avenue, 6 pm to 8 pm on Th Oct. 3, Th Oct. 17, and T Oct. 29. Light refreshments will be provided at the in-person sessions. Free childcare will be provided upon request. For questions and childcare reservations, please call Marcia Restivo at The Resource Center, 716-661-1069.
  • In Johnstown, NY, at the Lexington Center, 465 N. Perry Street, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm on Tuesdays Oct. 15, Oct. 29, and Nov. 12. Free childcare will be provided upon request. For questions, call Lexington Family Services, 518-773-2014, or e-mail Nancy DeSando at
  • In Clifton Park, NY, at Helping Hands School, 4 Fairchild Square, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm on Tuesdays Oct. 15, Oct. 29, and Nov. 12.  Light refreshments will be available.  Free childcare can be provided upon request.  For questions, contact Elinor Brook at Helping Hands, 518-664-5066 or
  • In West Amherst, NY, at The Center for Clarity, 1412 Sweet Home Road, Suite 10, 10:00 am -12:00 pm on Mondays Nov. 4, Nov. 18, and Dec. 2.  Onsite childcare is not provided; however, childcare and transportation stipends are available.  For questions, please contact Sarah Smith, 716-430-2524 or
  • In Red Hook, NY, at the Red Hook Public Library, 7444 S. Broadway (Rt. 9), from 6 pm to 8 pm on Tuesdays Nov. 5, Nov. 19, and Dec.10, Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact the library at 845-758-3241 or  
  • In Brewster, NY, at Putnam Independent Living Center, 1441 Route 22, Suite 204 (enter at the back of the Tompkins Mahopac Bank building). Mornings from 10am to 12pm on Thursdays Nov. 7, Nov. 21, and Dec. 12.  Refreshments will be served.  For more information, contact Fiona Rattray at 845-228-7457 or
  • In Lockport, NY, at New Directions Youth  and Family Services, Inc., 6395 Old Niagara Road, from 10 am to 12 noon on Thursdays Nov. 21, Dec. 5, and Dec. 19.  For questions, contact Alicia Vanderwalker at New Directions, 716-989-7381 or

Register NowRegister online today!

Please check back for details about additional courses or join our mailing list to receive more information when it becomes available.

For questions about course offerings, e-mail Elaine Sproat, Project Director, at or leave a voicemail message for the ProActiveCaring project at 1-800-691-3980.