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Bend, OR

Horizon Family Solutions, LLC,
Welcomes Susanne Buxbaum Aboard.

Dore Frances, President

May 16, 2006

Horizon Family Solutions, LLC, a Bend, Oregon education consulting business serving at-risk youth and their families across the country, has recently welcomed an experienced education law expert and children's rights advocate aboard.

Susanne Buxbaum, MA, MS, joins Dore Frances, Educational Consultant, in her efforts to assist families in conflict, particularly parents with "special needs" children, to locate the right path, one which is highly individualized in the best interest of the child.

Susanne and Dore have been professional colleagues for several years with an appreciation for each other's areas of expertise.

Susanne's career with special needs children began while she was working as a long term substitute teacher and private tutor for different learners in Southern California nearly twenty years ago. Concurrently, she coached children and adults with ADD/ADHD and other learning differences in the areas of learning strategies and life skills. As an independent contractor, she worked, as needed, for the Betty Ford Center and a year before relocating, initiated a support group for the parents of children with Attention Deficit Disorder and Learning Disabilities, community supported and at no cost to attendees.

When she moved her family to Central California, her business also moved and took on a greater scope when she taught a course specifically designed for those with learning differences (or "disabilities"), the Master Student Class at Monterey Peninsula College for college-age, transitioning students and returning students at Monterey Peninsula College. She soon taught a modified version of this course at Chartwell School, a unique, central coast campus for dyslexic children from grades K-8.

As a result of her success with these academic presentations, Susanne has stated that she felt re-energized with new and exciting teaching strategies when she signed on at Monterey Peninsula College, as adjunct faculty, to teach remedial English courses.

In 2002, Susanne became a member of the San Jose based nonprofit organization, Unity Care Group's Wraparound division as their Resource and Mentoring Coordinator. Wraparound is a strength based, family centered process designed to identify the needs and strengths of a child at risk of losing his/her placement in the home and change a family's involvement with "the system", one in which the court directed many family decisions through the Department of Social Services, the Department of Children's Behavioral Health and possibly the Department of Juvenile Probation, reversing that process to "family centered" with collaboration from those agencies. Wraparound began as a strategy to keep potential foster or group home children in their homes, partnering with those county agencies in a less formal, less deficit-based manner. Susanne soon became that Central Coast Wraparound team's Program Manager, was promoted, eight months later, to Program Director, continuing to provide advocacy for children and their siblings receiving Wraparound services.

She received certification and began delivering community trainings at Hartnell College's Wraparound Academy for families and professionals through a ten week course in partnership with Hartnell College and SB 163, the Wraparound Initiative of Monterey County.

Although Susanne recently decided (April of 2006) to resign from her position of Program Director with Unity Care Group, she was happy to return to advocating for the rights of child and adolescents via natural collaboration with Dore Frances. She plans to continue to provide trainings regarding education law and special needs children through Kinship Center, an adoption agency celebrating twenty years of providing adoption, foster and relative care services to the children and families of California.

Additional Wraparound trainings are also on her schedule with Hartnell Community College's Wraparound Academy and trainings in communities, in some of the twenty-six counties where Wraparound services have become an entitlement for all residing foster children.

Susanne and Dore are currently designing a separate curriculum for professionals (providing CEU's when appropriate) and care providers to assist them with the challenge they see as family-specific but which can be identified as obstacles which families with children with special needs have in common. Horizon Family Solutions, LLC uses the term "special needs" to identify children experiencing difficulties with their academic or family/social relationships. These challenges may be the symptoms of unidentified or unaddressed learning disabilities (which can be identified through a battery of diagnostic assessments performed by public school psychologists or those licensed to provide private assessments), behavioral problems as demonstrated in school settings, at home or in the community as a result of issues which may be both mental health or environmental in origin. Children whose best interests (safe living circumstances, drug free homes, parental encouragement and participation with school success and strength-based foundations) are not recognized in the home, at school or in the community are also the children who get the attention of this organization.

For further information or to learn more about Horizon Family Solutions, LLC, please visit www.guidingteens.com or call 866-833-6911.

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