Family Support



Family Support and Leadership


Young child with down syndrome

Family support and leadership as a focus is the outgrowth of the consumer-led movements of the 1960s and 1970s.  Its roots are the parents at the state and national level who fought against institutionalization, advocated for educational and community services and started the family support movement.  Family participation is critical to the development of quality services, programs and policies and therefore our activities focus on all levels including direct service, program development and systems change.  The goals of our Family Support and Leadership program are to:

  • Improve the lives of families through direct support and education.
  • Improve the ability of community based organizations, especially those that are parent run and/or staffed and those that serve underserved and/or minority communities to meet the needs of families of children (of any age) with disabilities.
  • Develop family support as a profession through training and the development of professional standards to parents and other family members, who work directly with other parents and/or at the program and systems change level. 

We work at the local, state and national level to increase parent professional partnerships and to bring recognition to the value of collaboration with parents and other family members.

Projects, Collaborations and Initiatives


Webinars – We offer webinars targeting the needs and interests of families of individuals with developmental disabilities.  Examples of past webinars include: Employment First, Self-Determination, Changes to the Medicaid’s Home & Community Based Services (HCBS) Regulations and Restraint and Seclusion.  The target audience for the webinars are individuals with developmental disabilities, parents and family members.  However they are also of interest to professionals working in the disability field.

Culturally and Linguistically Self-Competent Self-Determination Project


Consultation to Community Based Organizations

Fiesta Educativa / Chinese Parents Association for the Disabled (CPAD) Community Parent Resource Center (CPRC) - Activities have included monthly staff development sessions for the CPRC, conducting on-going leadership training for advanced level parents. 


Learn the Signs. Act Early. This goal of this national program led by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Learn the Signs. Act Early is to increase the early identification of developmental disabilities through increased routine screening and understanding of developmental milestones.   The target audiences are parents of children 0-5, healthcare providers, early care and education providers and other interested parties.


Imani Franklin, Family Support Coordinator