Supporting Families

If family support were truly supportive, what would it look like?

In 2008, MFOFC led a campaign, You Are Invited, intended to bring insight and knowledge about the joys and challenges of raising our sons and daughters in our communities and how Family Support benefits us all. Every year individuals and families advocate tirelessly for increased funding. This year MFOFC has joined other statewide organizations to substantially increase funding for families who are supporting individuals with disabilities in their homes.

Supporting Families is a collaboration of:

  • Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change
  • The Arc of Massachusetts
  • Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers
  • Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts
  • Autism Speaks
  • Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress
  • Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council

We need your story!

We need your help. We know that families across Massachusetts are struggling to meet the needs of their loved one with a disability. We know that many families do not receive enough financial support, and how this can create substantial financial and emotional hardship. We know this, but our legislators do not, which is why five statewide organizations have launched a campaign to substantially increase funding for families who are supporting individuals with disabilities in their homes.

There is a crisis facing many of the eighteen thousand families who support their loved ones at home. The families who face difficulty do not have adequate funding through the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). We can and will provide facts and figures that justify this expenditure, but the most powerful thing our legislators can hear are the life experiences of families like yours. Together, we can communicate the critical need to invest in families, and the incredible potential that will be unleashed when we do.

We are asking you to think about this question: “If family support were truly supportive, what would it look like?” It is important to capture what your life looks like now and what it could look like with more financial support from DDS. Some families have said they could get a job if they had more family support funding; some families say they could pay someone to take over during the night so they could get a full night’s sleep; other families have said they would buy adaptive equipment that would radically change the quality of their loved one’s life.

We need your story so that we can communicate the real challenges faced by real families, and the real impact that increasing family support can have on our families and our communities.

We will be using these stories to raise awareness in the general public and in our legislature. You can choose to have your identity remain anonymous or public, and we will fully respect your choices of how we may use this information.

Please send us your story by completing the attached survey of guiding questions, or email us your story. The survey is also online at Surveymonkey.

Comparta su Historia Familiar para Aumentar el Apoyo de la Familia [MS Word]

The Supporting Families web site.

Together we can make a difference!

What is Family Support? by National Center for Family Support, Portland OR

A Brief History of Chapter 171 History