Family Leadership Series

The 27th SE Family Leadership Series has begun! The Series focuses on supporting families and individuals to live in their communities as naturally and typically as desired.  Applications from families with children or adult family members of any age with any disability who are Department of Developmental Services eligible are encouraged.

The Family Leadership Series has a three-fold purpose. The first is to offer information about “best practices” for people with disabilities. The second is to assist families in creating a vision for their family member and a process to achieve the vision through leadership and advocacy.  The third is to develop family leaders who will advocate at the local and state level to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.

The Series:

Initiative and Leadership – family members are given information on the background of the family support movement, leadership, advocacy and the significance of self-advocacy, how to effectively advocate for change and ways to influence funding and delivery systems.

Creative, Progressive and Innovative Ways to Provide Support – how to help our family members and our families to live quality lives. A number of presenters offer their perspectives on a broad range of topics: Inclusion in schools; supported employment; positive practices; community living and family support.

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. What advocacy is necessary to ensure the visions that are developed and what is effective advocacy?

Policy Making at the Local, State and Federal Level – family members receive information on how to develop networks with professionals and families, how to access and control resources that affect family stress and satisfaction and how to use legislative change to procure resources.

Food and overnight lodging for each family at the Holiday Inn in Mansfield is paid for by the Department of Developmental Services. Respite/child care/nursing for family members is also funded.

Families who have completed the Series 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 and some have decided to do legislative advocacy work. Some families have been involved in community organizing and advocacy on a local level. Others have used their talents and skills to create change for their child with a disability and/or their families.

“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

Please contact Kathleen Amaral for more information.

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“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