What We Do
Huff Osher Consulting is dedicated to promoting the social and emotional well being of all children and supporting their families. Huff Osher Consulting, promotes family-driven practice, affects public policy, and supports systems change by:
- Training families and family-organizations to develop their voice and use it effectively.
- Fostering family leadership through training, coaching, and mentoring.
- Helping individuals, agencies, and organizations strengthen their partnerships with families and family-run organizations.
- Creating practical tools and materials for families, organizations, agencies, and systems.
- Tailoring technical assistance and consultation to maximize individual community and family strengths and goals.
Who We Are
Barbara Huff and Trina Osher are distinguished family leaders who are veterans of the Children’s Mental Health System and System of Care movements. Their wisdom, knowledge, experience, skills, and integrity are highly respected.
Barbara Huff’s struggle to get appropriate services, supports, and treatments for her daughter with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse challenges led her to advocating on a larger scale. Starting a statewide family–run advocacy organization in Kansas, Keys for Networking, led to her involvement in a national movement to include families in their children’s care, in systems change and in the design, implementation and evaluation of services and supports. Barbara Huff was one of the founders of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health as well as it first President and first Executive Director. During her 12 year tenure over 120 family-run organizations affiliated with the National Federation developing family leadership and strengthening the voice of families on federal, state, and local policies and practices essential for the behavioral health and well-being of children and youth across the country. Barbara served on the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration Advisory Council from 2003-2008 where she raised the family voice to a new level of influence. Barbara is currently working part time as a Technical Assistance Specialist for the Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health Campaign.
Trina Osher had extensive experience as a special educator and administrator before her personal experience raising two children with behavioral health and other special needs provided her with an intimate consumer’s knowledge of all the child serving systems. Her awareness of the critical need for systems and providers to engage constructively with families led her to the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. During her 12 years as Coordinator of Policy and Research for the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health she provided training and technical assistance to promote family leadership in transforming systems that serve children, youth with mental health needs and their families. As its principal architect, Trina worked in close collaboration with the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch of the Center for Mental Health Services to develop the definition of family-driven care and the Ambassador’s Guide for its dissemination and implementation. She provides technical assistance to help all stakeholders make the transformation in practice that it requires. Trina Osher has served on the Board of the Maryland Coalition of Families for Children’s Mental Health, represented families on Maryland’s Juvenile Justice and Mental Health Policy Design Task Force, and co-chaired the Children and Adolescent Subcommittee of Maryland’s Joint Mental Health Advisory and P.L.99-660 Council. She speaks with a family voice working to build collaborative alliances between families, policy makers, and providers in the mental health, education, child welfare, and juvenile justice communities. She also collaborates with the research community in studies that will result in information that can improve the quality of life for children, youth, and families.
Products and Resources
Why Children are not Little Adults
Working with Families of Children in Need of Mental Health Support
Shifting Gears to Family-driven Care Ambassador’s Guide
Family Driven Care Self-Assessment Tool Kit
- 12th Working Definition of Family-Driven Care – Download
- Characteristics of Family-Driven Care – Download
- A Family-Driven Journey – Download
- Making the Transformation to Family-Driven Practice, An Introduction – Download
- NOTES – Making the Transformation to Family-Driven Practice, An Introduction – Download
- Memo for Users – Download
- Need for a Definition of Family Driven Care – Download
- Paradigm Shift in Service Delivery Systems for Children and Youth with Emotional Disturbance – Download
- Family Driven Care and Practice System Self Assessment Tool – Download
- TIPS for Effective Partnerships – Download
- TIPS for Driving Safely – Download
Download Full Tool kit – Download
Closing the Gap: Cultural Perspectives on Family-Drive Care (PDF)
Blamed and Ashamed
Volume 1 - New Roles for Families in Systems of Care
NDTAC Toolkit: Facility Toolkit for Engaging Families in Their Child's Education at a Juvenile Justice Facility
This expanded version of NDTAC’s previous guide to family involvement provides multiple tools for facilities looking to better engage families. Tools 1–5 are intended for distribution to students’ families. Tools 6–8 are intended for use by facility staff. All are customizable to meet the unique needs of each facility and the families it serves.
» Full Toolkit (PDF | MS Word)
» Tools for Families
- Tool 1: Family Guide
- Tool 2: Sample Letter to Parents
- Tool 3: Contact List Template
- Tool 4: Sample Education Questionnaire With Cover Letter for Families
- Tool 5: Family Tip Sheet
» Tools for Facilities
NDTAC Guide: Family Guide to Getting Involved in Your Child's Education at a Juvenile Justice Facility
This guide presents practical strategies that a family can use in building a relationship with their child’s facility school program and keeping their child on track to complete school and become a successful young adult. This guide is both a stand-alone document and Tool 1 in NDTAC’s Facility Toolkit for Engaging Families.
- Connecting With Your Child’s Facility School
- Making Sure That Your Child Is Doing Well in the Facility School Program
- Visiting Your Child at the Facility
- Connecting With Other Families for Information and Support
- Helping the Facility School and System to Improve
- Preparing for Your Child to Return Home and to a Community School
Involving Families of Youth Who are in the Juvenile Justice System
How Family Partners Contribute to the Phases of the Wraparound Process
The Application of the Ten Principles of the Wraparound Process to the Role of Family Partners on Wraparound Teams
Social and Emotional Learning for Families
Understanding and Using Performance Measurement as a Tool for Advocacy
Quoted About Us
Beyond the efficacy of the trainings that Barbara and Trina have conducted, and the empowerment that participants walk away with, is the fact that they are both very organized, intelligent, and articulate. These qualities provide both substance and process to any consulting they do. Trina’s technical assistance to our statewide chapter provided direction and strategies for impacting policy decisions at the Federal and State level including training and technical assistance that helped us organize and mobilize our membership to successfully impact legislation and overall public policy. Barbara has provided invaluable assistance and “big picture” planning. Barbara’s trainings have taught me effective strategies for partnering with professionals to impact decisions affecting our families.
As mentors and providers of professional support Barbara and Trina have had a direct impact on my knowledge base and practice. Their trainings are consistently effective due to the passion and dedication they bring to their work and their communication skills. Though always professional, both have a “tell it like it is” style that resonates with practitioners at all levels. Both have a well-honed ability to listen and engage. I have never hesitated to contact either for a consult and never been disappointed by the results. They practice system of care values and lead by example.
When Barbara and Trina came to Guam they had meetings with all the child serving agencies key staff and it was truly awesome to observe how they interacted with each agency on a very personal and practical level. They had the ability to converse equally with each displaying a clear knowledge of their mandates, funding sources, challenges and strengths, as a result they were able to create a safe atmosphere to draw out a great deal of information to produce positive outcomes. Barbara and Trina know family involvement through and through and they are system of care veterans at the highest level who lead by example.
I first knew Trina as a colleague on the Outcomes Roundtable for Children and Families. She became the Co-Chair of the Roundtable with my full support and urging. In that role, she represented the needs of families in an impeccable manner and was very
articulate in expressing not only the needs of families but also the voice of reason. We co-authored, with Maggie Mezera, A Tip Sheet on Outcomes Measurement designed for families. Over the years we have been in many forums together and I have always respected Trina’s positions and her passionate voice for families and children.