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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Support For Families of Children With Disabilities

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Family Services, Human Services

Mission:

The purpose of Support for Families is to ensure that families of children with any kind of disability or special health care need have the knowledge and support to make informed choices that enhance their children''s development and well being. Through fostering partnership among families, professionals and the community our children can flourish.

Mostof our staff members, volunteers, and board members are, themselves,family members of children with disabilities.

Results: Support for Families services impact large numbers of children and families.  Last year alone:• Family Resource Specialists provided individualized information and support to 778 families and 262 professionals, making more than 5,800 phone, e-mail or in-person contacts. • Support for Families provided 602 workshops, trainings, and clinics on a wide variety of topics based on needs expressed by families. Attendance totaled more than 3,500 parents and professionals. • 149 active volunteer Parent Mentor volunteers provided individualized assistance and outreach in English and Spanish. • More than 380 other volunteers contributed 3,400 hours of services. • 283 (unduplicated) family members and professionals attended one of the 21 Support Groups active last year. Total attendance at our family events exceeded 1,000. They include holiday ice skating, Halloween party, Access to Adventure, museum days, and movie nights. In follow-up surveys more than 90% of families consistently report that the information, education, or support they received from Support for Families helped them feel less isolated, helped them become better advocates for their child, and helped their child receive more appropriate services.

Target demographics: families who have a child with any kind of special need or who have concerns about their child; we also help professionals who work with children and families.

Direct beneficiaries per year: thousands of families and professionals throughout San Francisco. 700-800 families benefit from individual assistance each year; 3,000 families and professionals attend our workshops, trainings, and clinics.

Geographic areas served: San Francisco

Programs: a phone line, drop-in resource center, resource library, toy loan, quarterly newsletter, support groups, parent mentors, workshops and trainings, case management, short-term counseling and referral, Assistive Technology resources, and family social events. All services are free of charge. Assistance in English, Spanish, and Cantonese is available. We also offer information and educational services to professionals and actively collaborate with other organizations to help develop a more coordinated, family-friendly network of services for children and families. In a typical year more than 700 new families will receive intake consultations; thousands more receive help through support groups, workshops, our annual resource conference, the newsletter and website. We are based in San Francisco but also are part of collaborations that serve families throughout California.

Community Stories

86 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been connected to Support for Families since my daughter, who has Down syndrome, was born over 25 years ago. Even longer, actually--knowing of the existence of SFCD helped me know, even before she was born, that my family would not be alone raising her. For the first few years, it was the parent support group that helped immensely, as well as various workshops on different topics. Then I became a parent mentor and developed relationships with other families who were new to the world of raising a child who had Down syndrome. More recently, Support for Families has helped my now-adult daughter recruit students for a dance class that she teaches, by letting us set up information tables at their annual Information and Resource Conference and the annual Access to Adventure in Golden Gate Park. Both of these events offer a wealth of information to families and professionals looking for opportunities and activities for their loved ones or clients. And the workshops I mentioned earlier continue, on topics like IEP's, special needs trusts, housing, health care, etc. Support for Families is an incredible organization that I can't even imagine having lived the past 26 years without.

Comments ( 1 )

MCherry Thank you so much for sharing your story. It's wonderful to hear how Support for Families has helped your family for more than quarter of a century, and it's inspiring to know that you are now 'passing it on' as a Parent Mentor. Thank you!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

That you so much for the donation my little girl will appreciate the help this time of year . Riley is my 4 year old daughter with autism she is non verbal , I never knew how hard it would be with a child with autism, Her not being able to talk is the hardest part all I wish for is for my lil girl to be able to have a conversation with me . She is by far the best part of my life I have learned so much from her patience being number 1 I could not have asked for a more precious child , I look at everyone different know and that is because of her I don’t judge as much as I know I did in the past , We want to say thank you for being there for us to help ..

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Support for Families is an absolutely fantastic resource for families, their children, and for professionals. As a board member, I've witnessed the compassion and support from the staff and volunteers at SFCD and how impactful they have been in the community. It's truly a privilege to be able to support this organization!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Support for families is an amazing resource for families of children with disabilities and the professionals who work with the children and their families. As a professional, I often refer families to them. I am honored to be able to give back to SFCD as a board member.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been involved with Support For Families for over 20 years and now am on the Board of Directors. SFCD embodies the principles of family strengthening and support, equity and true partnerships with families. SFCD is an institution in San Francisco and has help thousands of families over the years.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family relies on Support for Families for the latest info on the changing landscape of services for children with disabilities. In addition, they provide great training for parents and guardians about how to successfully advocate for your child. The social activities are fun, too!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Support for Families was and continues to be a lifeline to me and my family. When my daughter was first diagnosed with Autism, I was flattened in the early days by the flood of emotions, stress, and sense of loss that comes with such crushing news. Somehow through many of the specialists seen in the early days, a support group run by Support for Families found me, and that is where I caught the lifeline. I don't know where I'd be had I not . I became a parent mentor as soon as I was able, to "give back". They are a top-notch organization run by wonderful human beings. They serve a need in the community, guiding and supporting families through the hills and valleys of raising a child with special needs. Thank you Support for Familes from the bottom of our hearts. The Raymond Family

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

SFCD is an organization that I can always go to for information and support. I first find out about it through one of my son's doctor when he was 4 years old. My son is now 26 years old and I can still find information and support for him and all the different needs he has through the different stages in his life! I am sure that we will continue to stay connected with SFCD because of their wonderful support and dedication to understand us families with children with disabilities!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have twin daughters with Autism. Although there are many state agencies and systems, including the public school system, to help us, it has been an overwhelming challenge to find the right agencies and access the services we are entitled to. Even the best agencies only really know about their own work.

That's where Support for Families of Children with Disabilities has come to our rescue. Their Family Resource Specialists have been my sherpa through the maze of organizations and services. They have answered my questions, explained what we are entitled to, and taught me how to advocate for my daughters. It has made a huge difference in their quality of life.

It also makes a huge difference to us knowing that Support for Families are there for us, if we encounter more problems or need further advice.

All their services are free to the client. But I have donated to them in gratitude and found them to be very responsive to their donors.

2

Client Served

Rating: 3

When my daughter was born with so many challenges I tried to live up to her strength and persistence. It was a winding road of obstacles and misinformation. I found Support for Families of Children with Disabilities 22 years ago and they literally saved my family.

My daughter, who is enrolled in college, now volunteers with Support. I am a Parent Mentor. Because I work in a school, my connection to Support is something I am able to pass unto to other families.

Those days when I fought not to cry, could not come up with strength or patience, I would take a deep breath and call Support and I knew I could get the help. They walked me thru the IEP process and held my hand when needed. They always believed in us.

Because we are a Spanish speaking home it was also important that Support was welcoming of our family. I have no doubt when I recommend Support to other families.
They always have an answer or a contact.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Came upon this organization as a client many years ago. New to parenting a child with disability at the time. Used all of the resources available. We did OK and are happy to report we are well and child is having his best semester yet in middle school (Currently all A's and 2 B's)! Happy to report that we are still intimately connected to the organization and are now volunteer parent mentors paying it forward after 10+ years. We still utilize the resources as a client every now and then so it is definitely relevant after passage of time.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is a wealth of information and support! I would not have survived my child's early years without the support networks I established here. Immensely grateful for all of the amazing work that they do, the incredible staff, the professionalism, and that all resources are free to the community!

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love this organization! I have benefited greatly over the years from all of the trainings, support groups, family events, resource fairs and more. Support for Families has made me feel less alone as I struggle to learn more about and deal with my son's multiple disabilities and health issues. I have found the training and information provided about the IEP process and laws to be especially helpful.

Board Member

Rating: 5

What an amazing organization! SFCD provides amazing services to families of children with disabilities, from parental support to educational resources. It's all free of charge and often in multiple languages.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you so much for the gift cards for Christmas . I have 3 children with disabilities and my husband is also disabled. Unable to work cause of the appointments and sickness all the time. I do the best I can do and love them so much. It is what it is, I don't dwell, life goes on... thank you again. Lisa

Client Served

Rating: 5

I raised a special needs foster child(adopted). Support for Families of Children with Disabilities was so helpful in equipping me with the right information to help in raising her and in my fight to get what she needed from the school district and private counseling. I am now raising that daughter's child. She, too, has special needs. Once again SFCD has been a great help. I give back by volunteering with them. These are dedicated, caring, devoted people who work hard for families and children.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was an adoptive mom of a foster child with special needs in the late 80's & 90's. Support for Families of Children with Disabilities helped me with references, information, and referrals. I could not have solved several problems I had getting the proper classroom placement and treatment for my child without them. There is nothing else like this available for families with special needs children. The care, concern and individual attention given are unmatched.
I have been volunteering since my children grew up to give something back to this marvelous organization. My grandchild, who I'm raising, now joins me as a 'side' volunteer.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Before nonprofit i was hopeless. I could not help my son to function with his disability without the knowledge of how to help him. I was very grateful when i apply and got assistant from nonprofit to go for training at the Option Institute to learn how to take care of my Autistic son. I am very thankful. Helping me to attend this training has change my life for a promising future and hope for my son and for this I thank you so much with all my heart.

Regards
Keisha

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

I find out when my daughter was 5 she had a hearing problem and today she is 17 and has to wear hearing aids.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Support for Families is there to help parents every step of the way as they learn to support their children with special needs.

3 Tammy78

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

SFCD has supports for a very wide range of families and professionals who work with children who have challenges( ie Autism, ADD, ADHD, Intellectual impairments, Traumatic Brain Injury, Orthopedic Impairments, among others). The range of services is also vast. From parent mentors, to support groups, to books and pamphlets, to ra resource fair, to a library of resources to events and movie nights for clients and their kids, to child care for workshops. SFCD is a wonderful support and resource to families with children who have disabilities to those who support and teach them!

Previous Stories
6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the way SFCD cares about each and every child/adult/family that needs support around someone with a disability. i love their focus on love, support and education. There is no disability that gets more support than another. The range of disabilities supported is amazing. From the most mild to the most severe, every person who comed to SFCD with a need for support, referrals, or education is given the utmost care and respect.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am all a client, a volunteer and a Board member at Support for Families. It is a wonderful organization that helps hundreds of families in the Bay Area each year. All of services to support families of children with disabilities are provided free of charge, most in multiple languages. Support for Families offers information, training, support, social events for this under-served population.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a client served, a volunteer and a Board member at Support for Families. As a client, I have benefited so much from the organization which has greatly helped me raise a child with disabilities. I have attended support groups, I have received extensive trainings, our family has attended social events that make life a bit more inclusive for all of our family.
As I volunteer, I have become a parent mentor and helped countless families. The training program made me feel more informed and empowered both to help our family and also to help other families.
As a Board member, I feel so proud as the organization grows every day, reaching new families, training and empowering families. All the staff, mostly parents of children with disabilities themselves, are so committed to the organization, so understanding of what other families fell and so ready to help.