What is Family Support?

Mom and baby making call"Family Support" helps familes with a child with special needs access services and supports. Family support is a community-based approach that...
  • Increases the strength and resilience of families
  • Supports parents as they help their children with special needs achieve their full potential
  • Improves community providers’ capacity to serve families with children who have special needs

A Promising Practice

Parent-to-Parent support has proven invaluable to families with children who have special needs and has been identified as a promising practice (North Carolina Institute of Medicine, 2005) 
  • Peer-to-peer support is a core aspect of patient- and family-centered medical care
  • Confident and knowledgeable parents are better able to partner with providers from the child-serving system (Ireys, Chernoff, DeVet, & Kim, 2001)
  • Parent-to-parent support increases protective factors that reduce the likelihood of child maltreatment by increasing parents’ confidence, increasing acceptance of their situation, strengthening their sense of being able to cope (Singer et al, 1999), reducing their anxiety, and enhancing their perceptions of social support (Ireys, Chernoff, Stein, DeVet, Silver, 2001)

SupportWhy Family Support

  • Families with children who have special needs experience many challenges, including increased risk of child maltreatment.
  • Family support provides parents with information, emotional support, and social relationships to help them care for their children.
  • Parents who participate say that they are better able to cope with the realities of raising a child who has a disability.

Outcomes Of Family Support

  • Increased knowledge and understanding about the disability
  • Reduced parental stress
  • Informed consumers
  • Parent leaders/advocates for system change
  • Improved outcomes for children