Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Family Support Services

03/09/12

If you have a developmental disability and live at home with your family or have a family member who is eligible for OPWDD services who lives with you, you will want to know about Family Support Services. 

OPWDD’s Family Support Services (FSS) Program helps families who are caring at home for a relative with a developmental disability; providing aid to the caregiver, enhancing family stability and preserving family unity. 

Through its commitment to FSS, OPWDD strongly recognizes the important work performed by families in fostering natural supports that help individuals living at home fully participate in their communities.

Family Support Services Coordinators are available at each of OPWDD's Developmental Disabilities Regional Offices (DDROs) to help families access Family Support Services.  DDROs work with local community agencies to ensure that family support services for people with developmental disabilities and their loved ones are available when and where they are needed. These services may include: information and referral, family and individual counseling, family-member training, after-school programs, transportation, sibling services, support groups and service coordination.

Nineteen local FSS Advisory Councils made up of individuals with developmental disabilities and family members plan, coordinate and monitor the delivery of FSS across the state.  In addition, a Statewide FSS Committee made up of one representative from each of the nineteen local FSS Advisory Councils  advises OPWDD regarding families’ support needs and the design, implementation and monitoring of FSS. The Statewide FSS Committee is a committee of the Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council (DDAC), a standing advisory body, established by New York State law, that has the ongoing responsibility to advise OPWDD in its development of its comprehensive state plan and on the ongoing improvement, policies, goals, budgets and operations of the developmental disabilities services system. To get in touch with your local advisory council or to learn more about the Statewide FSS Committee, contact your Family Support Services Coordinator  or the Statewide FSS Committee Coordinator.

For a brief overview of our Family Supports program, download a copy of our Family Supports Services brochure.

For information about advocacy and other support organizations, including parent and sibling advocacy, visit our Be Your Own Advocate page.

Read the full text of the Family Support Services Law