The Arc of King County’s Healthy Relationship Program has three primary activities:
1. We offer a Relationship and Sexuality Resource Line for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and community members to ask confidential questions and receive support around healthy relationships and sexuality issues. Common reason people contact us include:
· Resources to help talk to youth about DD about puberty
· Strategies to encourage safe and appropriate behaviors with friends, coworkers, or romantic interests
· Brainstorming strategies to promote “public vs private” behaviors
· Concerns about internet safety
· Questions about bodies, development, and relationships that one might feel embarrassed to ask a parent about
· Resources and support for someone who experienced or is experiencing interpersonal violence such as domestic violence or rape
2. We facilitate workshops for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and community members to learn about healthy relationship concepts such as: consent, privacy, boundaries, healthy sexuality, and trauma-informed care. We offer workshops to families and professionals so they may learn how to teach and reinforce these skills in the individuals that they support. These workshops are free of charge.
3. We teach a 10-week Healthy Relationships School Program to students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in 18-21 year-old Transition Programs throughout King County focusing on understanding healthy interpersonal relationships as well as age-appropriate and medically accurate information about sexuality.
Education about healthy relationships gives students practical information to help them establish and respect boundaries so that they can have safe and healthy relationships with family, friends, coworkers, helpers and even significant others.
This program teaches students broad concepts like positive decision-making and self-esteem as well as nuanced information about sexual health, internet safety, and identifying and reporting abuse. In the classroom we learn about common values like respect, trust, choice, consent, and public vs. private behavior.
We offer information sessions for parents as well as letter home at the end of each unit so that families can reinforce concepts at home. This program’s benefits go beyond friendly and romantic relationships, improving students’ self-esteem and empowering them to engage with their communities.
The Healthy Relationships School Program is free to schools and families, and we provide all materials and all instruction. This is a 10-week, hour-long program offered once a week with instruction provided in the student’s classroom.
This program is adapted from the solutions-focused “Healthy Relationships” curriculum developed by Theresa Fears, MSW at The Arc of Spokane. This program is offered under Robin Tatsuda, MSW, Executive Director of The Arc of King County. The Healthy Relationships Program is funded through King County’s Best Starts for Kids Initiative.
The following webinar was recorded on 11/13/2019 and features Francis Tierney and Daniel Isherwood from the Healthy Relationships Program, as well as Jae Kim, Zack Siddeek, and Kay Barth as they offer information about dating for young adults with developmental disabilities and answer questions from the audience. This webinar is hosted by Rachel Nemhauser from The Ar of King County's P2P.
Francis Tierney, Healthy Relationships Program Manager
Wesley Jones, Healthy Relationships Educator
The Arc of King County strives to provide accurate information in a timely manner, with the highest standard of professionalism. If you have any comments or concerns about the services you received from The Arc of King County, please contact Robin Tatsuda, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.829.7011