Winthrop, Maine 1-800-273-5200

Invitation to become a Maine LEND Family!

Your Invitation to become a Maine Lend Family

The Maine Leadership Education for People with Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program at the University of New England is a 9-month training program for professionals learning to serve in the field of developmental disabilities.

The Family-Centered Care Experience matches a family with a LEND trainee to gain experience in understanding day-to-day life for families raising an child/young adult with a disability. Each LEND trainee supports a family for about 2 hours per week over 30 weeks. Trainees help families advocate for family-centered care with coaching and supervision from the LEND faculty.

Why become a LEND family?

Families are experts at managing their children’s needs. Over time they learn to work with complex health care systems and find wide arrays of educational and social services. By sharing the rewards and challenges of raising a child/young adult with special needs, LEND families have the opportunity to contribute to the training of professionals who will work with families like their own. Through their trainee, families connect to the wider LEND program, resources, and expertise. Families will meet other LEND families and learn about advocacy for improved services. Participating families will receive a small stipend to thank them for sharing their lives with LEND trainees.  We are seeking families within 30 minutes driving distance of Portland. 

What is expected of a LEND family?

Interested parents or guardians are matched with an appropriate trainee. At initial meetings, family members describe their needs and what they hope to gain from the family-centered care experience. Families and trainees agree on a schedule of meetings, appointments and activities that will take place in the family’s home and community. The roles and expectations of the family member and the LEND trainee are reviewed and agreed upon. At the end of the family centered experience, each family is asked to answer a few survey questions to help the Maine LEND program evaluate and improve the family experience.

To learn more, please contact Kate Loukas, LEND Training Director, at or call (207) 221-4103. Find us on the web at