Over the course of the past year, we have been developing the SOAR Online Course: Child Curriculum. It has been a challenging and rewarding undertaking.  SOAR for Children is going to be an incredible addition to the work of the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center and an important resource for the field.

The staff of the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center, our incredible expert consultants, and the Social Security Administration have ensured that the information in the curriculum is clear and comprehensive.

Like with the original SOAR Online Course, the child curriculum includes a practice case component.  With our expert consultants, we developed two fictional child applicants. The materials include video interviews, referral forms, progress notes, medical records, and SSA forms. We worked hard to create realistic scenarios that would provide a rich learning experience for trainees.

The process of developing these fictional practice cases wasn’t easy, but it did remind me again of why we do the work that we do. Through the long hours of researching, writing, and triple checking everything I found myself “seeing” these children, their families, and their providers. I could feel the struggles they were facing and the hope that these benefits would bring for stability and recovery. I was feeling it for these fictional children and stopped to remember that soon, SOAR providers would be using the information they learned from this course and these practice cases to assist with actual child SSI applications.

For families including children with disabilities, SSI benefits can be the key to helping prevent and end homelessness and help those in need overcome barriers to stable housing.

I am looking forward to seeing the impact that the SOAR Online Course: Child Curriculum will have for these children and their families.