Family Leadership Series

Central Region

 The Central Family Leadership Series will kick off soon! You are invited to apply to the Central Family Leadership Series provided by Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change and HMEA. This annual leadership series focuses on providing families with the vision, knowledge, and leadership skills they need to live in their communities as naturally and typically as desired.


The series will bring together families from across the Central Region for three, 2 day-long workshops in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The dates of the Central Family Leadership Series are:

  • Friday & Saturday, January 25 & 26, 2019
  • Friday & Saturday, March 15 & 16, 2019
  • Friday & Saturday, May 3 & 4, 2019

This opportunity is free for accepted participants. Each session is two days in length with materials, food, and overnight lodging provided by the Department of Developmental Services. Participants are required to attend all three sessions. Applications from families with children, or adult family members of any age, who are Department of Developmental Services (DDS) eligible are encouraged to apply.


The Family Leadership Series focuses on:

  • Initiative & Leadership - family members are given information on the background of the family support movement, leadership, advocacy and the importance of self-advocacy, how to effectively advocate for change, and ways to influence funding and delivery systems.
  • Creating a Vision – families are supported to “imagine better” and to create a vision, with and for their family members, that guides their leadership and advocacy.
  • Policy-making at the Local, State, and Federal Level – family members receive information on how to develop networks with professionals and families, and how to use legislative change to procure resources and enact system-wide change.
  • Caring for the Caregiver – participants are offered creative strategies to decrease stress and increase personal satisfaction, as well as the importance of caring for oneself.


To attend the training, families are required to commit to the following:

  1. Attend all three of the 2 day-long sessions with overnight stay;
  2. Participate in and share your experience during each session and complete assignments and reading between each session;
  3. Continue to work to create change for your family and others upon completion of the Series, including reaching out to legislators to share your story, advocating for disability issues important to you, and helping other families in your area to do the same.

After the Series, we hope that you will consider joining the MFOFC statewide network, which provides opportunities to advocate for a policy-driven budget, improved policies and practices that maximize our loved ones’ supports, and their ability to live meaningful, enviable lives in the community.'

For the past twenty-seven years, Family Leadership Series graduates have had a tremendous impact on systems change for families and individuals with disabilities in Massachusetts. Family members have been active in policy and decision-making locally, regionally, and statewide. Families are also involved in community organizing and advocacy, creating change for their loved-ones with disabilities and their families.


Applications must be submitted no later than November 15, 2018.

Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and you will be contacted to set up a phone interview within approximately three weeks. Please note that submitting an application does not ensure acceptance. After phone interviews, applicants will notified of status by mail.


If you have questions regarding the Family Leadership Series or application, please contact:

Haran Phaneuf, Central Regional Coordinator
at (508) 918-4059
or by emailing

“The Leadership Series not only educated me, it made me think differently. It was great to leave with our visions – I am convinced that there will be a better future!”

FLS Graduate

Central Family Leadership Series 27 Application

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