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Indiana Family to Family Internship Experience

By Allyson Lafon, INF2F Intern
En Español

I was introduced to Indiana Family to Family (INF2F) through my Master of Social Work program at Indiana State University. Because of the large amount of internship hours required for Social Work students, the Indiana State University School of Social Work has developed partnerships with many local and statewide agencies that provide students with internship experiences based on their focus and interests. I have a personal background and interest in working with the disability community, and so it made perfect sense for me to have an internship placement with INF2F.
I was first introduced to the disability community by my neighbors, a couple who worked at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and coached a blind sport called Goalball. They introduced me to this sport and convinced me to join their team my freshman year of high school. I played Goalball for all four years of high school, and through the sport also met my first serious boyfriend, who happened to be blind. We dated for two years and through that time, I was able to hear and witness the struggles he experienced due to his disability. At one point he shared with me how his teachers and other school faculty told him that he would get his certificate of completion (not a diploma or a GED) and that was all he would accomplish in life because he and his brothers and friends would act out. I can pin-point the start of my Social Work journey to the injustice of that story.
In fact, I decided then to pursue a Social Work degree and career with a focus on School Social Work because I felt so strongly that no teacher, principle, school faculty, or even parent should be telling a student of any age, any ability, any background, any temperament, or any anything that they will amount to less than the bare minimum or even amount to nothing at all. I decided then that I was going to insert myself into the school setting, where most child and adolescent development occurs, and become a pillar of support for kids and teens who may not be getting that support from anywhere else.
In addition to my education, I also have experience working as a Participant Assistive Care (PAC) Provider through the Indiana Medicaid Waiver program. My time as a PAC Provider was, without a doubt, my favorite and the most rewarding job I have ever had. I would happily go back if I could (either with my previous clients or even with new clients). It was eye-opening for me to see how each client differed from the next from their needs to their presenting symptoms and diagnoses. This experience gave me a glimpse of what it looks like on the family side of things and how additional healthcare and education needs impact the family dynamics.
My educational and personal experiences came full circle working as an intern for INF2F. Working alongside parents of children with disabilities in creating resources for parents of children with disabilities allowed me to get a behind-the-scenes look at what my clients and client families go through. It opened my eyes to the non-traditional side of Social Work and disability advocacy. While I didn’t get to experience client interaction as an intern, I did get to experience a completely different- but equally important- side of the work that is getting done at INF2F. I loved working with the INF2F team to develop creative ideas for a potential plan to build our volunteer base and encourage continued family engagement. It has been so informative to learn about and understand the analytics behind our website and social media to improve outreach, as well as having the opportunity to explore and familiarize myself with our extensively researched fact sheets and trainings. I was also given the opportunity to represent INF2F at trainings and a conference and encourage our work with the Trailblazer’s Project alongside Purdue University College of Pharmacy.
I am so honored to have had this opportunity to work with INF2F, and I am so grateful for the ways the staff have supported and encouraged me. Working with INF2F has been one of the best experiences of my education. I feel that I have not only grown as a professional, but also as an individual moving forward in the world.

What's Happening

Registration is now open for our 2022 Heart to Heart Conference! Join us on Thursday, September 29th for a full day of learning with 12 different sessions available. Our conference is free and fully virtual!

For a sneak peek at the agenda, visit

We'd love to have you join us! Register today!

Special Needs Living Magazine is hosting Special Needs Living Empowerment Day, an event for parents and caregivers put on by parents and caregivers. There will be personal stories shared, round table discussions, and many connection opportunities available throughout the day.

For more information or to register, visit the Special Needs Living Empowerment Day Eventbrite page. 

Join INF2F as we partner with Gordon Homes for two upcoming family financial planning events.

Virtual Training: September 12th from 6-8p via Zoom.

In-Person: September 19th from 5:30-7:30p at the Bartholomew County Public Library.

For additional information or to register, please email

Johnson County Public Library is hosting INF22F and many other great community organizations for the 2022 Read To Me Jamboree: Play and Learn Literacy Festival!
Come meet PBS character Daniel Tiger, author Oge Mora, musician and author Jim Gill, and Professor Watermelon!

For more information, visit:

We are excited to host our annual Founders Breakfast October 20th at Ivy Tech Culinary and Conference Center. This year's theme is "Knowledge is Power". It is sure to be a morning of celebration and elevation of the family experience. We hope you will consider attending to meet with members of our board and staff.  Email Executive Director Holly Wheeler at for details.

INF2F Staff will be sharing information and resources with families at the Southside Disability Resource Fair. This FREE resource fair will take place on Saturday, September 24th from 11:00a-2:00p at the Greenwood Public Library (310 S. Meridian Street, Greenwood). For more information, email Connections Case Management at:

For more information or to find additional INF2F events, visit:
For a more extensive list of statewide events, visit:

Did You Know?

Indiana Family to Family is Indiana's Family-to-Family Health Information Center (F2F HIC). ​F2F HICs are family-staffed organizations that assist families of children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and the professionals who serve them. Because we are staffed by family members who have first-hand experience navigating the maze of health care and education services and programs for CYSHCN, we are positioned to uniquely help families. 

As Indiana's F2F HIC, we have a large network of resources available for families. Check out our
Linktree page to visit our website, register for our upcoming virtual Heart-to-Heart conference, and check us out on social media!
For additional assistance navigating the Health Information Center's resources, contact INF2F at or 1-844-323-4636. 
This newsletter is generously sponsored by
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