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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Family To Family Network

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Disabilities, Disabled Persons Rights, Education, Educational Services, Family Services, Human Services

Mission: Creating success for children with disabilities by empowering their families with information, referrals, training and support as they navigate the complex education, health care, and social service systems.

Results: As of 6/30/17 - Over 1300 persons made email, phone or online requests for information on the special education process (38%), finding resources in the community (26%), information on how to navigate the adult service system (21%) or had other areas of need for information & support (13%). There are over 2000 individuals receiving our monthly e-newsletter of family events, training opportunities or support groups. Attended 29 community resource fair events where F2F spoke to over 1600 individuals. Held a conference event as well as provided training in the community to over 900. Provided many social opportunities to approx. 400 family members. Represented families on a number of Texas Education Agency stakeholder committees at the state level and the local Harris Center for Mental Health and Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (IDD) IDD-Project Advisory Committee. Held a Legislative Forum in collaboration with the Arc of Greater Houston before the 85th Legislative Session.

Target demographics: Families with children with disabilities or chronic illness

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2781

Geographic areas served: Greater Houston Area

Programs: Information & Referral; Texas Project FIRST, Educational events (workshops & conferences) , Guided Transition program, Leadership & Advocacy, & family events

Community Stories

129 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

This has been an awesome resource for much needed information. They have also been able to provide us with special event vouchers to help my child participate on events that he would otherwise not be able to currently attend. Very happy with this service :)

Client Served

Rating: 5

A Family to Family Network workshop was my first introduction to IDEA. Not only was the presentation very informative, but during that one meeting I met members of their organization who have helped me numerous times with education issues regarding my special needs son. They are an essential resource for parents of special needs children who attend public schools in this community. The staff of Family to Family Network have expertise that can only be gained through years of experience and lots of effort on their part in working to understand IDEA, as well as the state and other resources available to families. Through their efforts the educational opportunities for many special needs children in our area have been significantly improved.

Cynthia30

Client Served

Rating: 5

Family to Family has been providing a high quality variety of needed services in the Houston area for over a decade. They were one of the first resources that I turned to for help with my son with autism when he was first Dx'd 11 years ago. Over the years I have used them in variety of ways: attending events when my kids were young; going through the Disability Leadership training; getting spot advice when I was in a pinch with the school; being matched to an older couple through the Family Friends program (no longer funded) and networking with other families. Now they produce the best special needs monthly calendar in the city of Houston-- I regularly forward it to professionals who are looking for resources for their client families. I also regularly forward the website for Texas Project First--the only website for parents written by parents. They will make sure any of funding is put to excellent use in direct service of families who need help.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Family 2 Family is without a doubt a needed and valuable asset to the many families with children who have unique and special needs. Most importantly, keep in mind that the effort put forth by F2F supports the entire community, as the foundation of the organization assists parents in raising independent adults who contribute to society. Without the efforts of F2F the entire community will experience the negative impact due to the loss of such a wonderfully supportive organization. There is not enough time or room on this post to list all the many positive ways F2F makes an impact on the community it serves. I am immensely thankful to F2F staff and board members. Robin Rettie, Lighthouse Learning & Resource www.LHlearningresource.com

Board Member

Rating: 5

Family 2 Family Network has provided me with the power of knowledge. I understand my child's academic rights thanks to trainings, conferences and seminars that were sponsored by Family 2 Family Network. I also reference the Texas Project FIRST website to answer any of my further questions. I am proud to say that I am a Parent Advocate for my two girls and I always try to help others (the best to my knowledge) by educating new parents of children with disabilities. I have Family 2 Family Network to thank for making me a better and stronger person for my children.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Family to Family Network has helped my family become better aware of our rights within the school district. We are parents of two special needs children whom were struggling academically until Family to Family helped guide us in the right direction. Now, with the right modifications in place, our children are successful in their school environment. Thanks, Family to Family Network!

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Donor

Rating: 5

Family to Family has provided me and my community with a plethora of helpful information and resources. I look forward to attending their workshops and annual Special Education Parent & Resource Fair. Their willness to provide assistance at low or no cost to parents struggling with issues related to having a child/love-one with a disability is key.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have a daughter with special needs and I got such a great help when I was going thru a very difficult time with my daughter’s school.
Family to Family organization helped me by:
- Listening attentively to my problems and concerns
- Providing great guidance on steps to follow and options that I had at the time
- Putting me in contact with other people that could help.
Many thanks!!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Family to Family Network has been a life saver!! I have to children with disabilities and I found about this organization about 14 years ago. The knowledge, experience, support, training, help, friendships, understanding, etc.... I can not explain in words. It is invaluable!!! Thanks in part to this organization and what I have learned from them my children have a bright future in front of them! I have attended parents training's, workshops, social meetings, I know how to do a Portfolio, I know how to advocate, I feel strong thanks to them. They have always helped me when I have called them with questions. My family participated in the Family Friend Program. This organization is the BEST in Houston. My children disabilities are not the same and any other organization specializes in a certain disability, this is also what makes F2F unique! I will always be grateful for all their help and support thought out so many year. Thanks F2F!!!. Angeles

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started as a volunteer about 5 years ago. Great training and great people = Great Orginazation!!! I have personally gained so much from volunteering and being a Donor for F2F. I feel very blessed to be a part of this group and I tout their achievements every chance I get!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Family to Family Network has been my lifeline to accessing the support and information I need for my son with Down Syndrome. When my son was three, I attended his first ARD meeting at the school – the experience was so overwhelming, I left in tears. Soon afterwards, I found Family to Family Network and gained the tools and confidence I needed to successfully navigate the complex special education system and advocate for my child. That was 18 years ago, and I will attend his exit ARD from high school next week and prepare for graduation! I can honestly say that because of the guidance and information I received from F2F, I have been able to make informed decisions about my child’s educational programming that have enabled him to reach his potential. Today I continue to get help from F2F in figuring out his options for the future – which, thanks to all I have learned from F2F, will include living and working in the community. I know that I join so many other families who have benefitted from the free services they have received from F2F to build brighter futures for their children with disabilities.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 1

Family to Family Network abruptly cancelled the Family Friends program as of November 1, 2010 so it no longer provides any respite for families and can no longer claim any credit for the reported 1800 hours of respite care or 540 hours of volunteer time. As a result, the organization now serves only the informational needs of parents who have one or more children with a disability. Family to Family Network no longer has any interest in or capability of providing one on one mentoring relationships. The former Family Friends program director is looking for a new sponsoring 501(c)(3) organization to serve the 48 plus families currently matched with their family volunteer.

Comments ( 1 )

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FamilytoFamilyNetwork 11/10/2010

Family to Family did not abruptly cancel the Family Friends program...they kept it going for two years after the National Council on Aging grant ended. Unfortunately, a substantial donation was needed to keep a staff person on and keep the program going. Reported hours of any volunteer time during these years is allowable as funds were used to support the program during the fiscal years ended 2006 - 2010. Fund raising is part of the Executive Director's and she was successful in maintaining the Family Friends program past the original grant end date. The decision to end the program was a financial decision made by the Board of Directors in order to focus efforts on the 750+ families served by our other programs, which many of the same 48 families served by Family Friends participate in.

rparker

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been involved with F2F since 1994. They do a great job of providing support to families with children who have disabilities all over Houston and beyond. F2F helps by providing information that is relevant to parents of kids with disabilities and by training them for the challenges they will face raising a child with disabilities. They are experts in the area of education and our family has personally benefitted from their advice. Recently, F2F has been developing training programs for families with adult with disabilities, so that F2F staff can continue to provide services as children with disabilities grow into adults. F2F is very good at what they do and are very encouraging to parents. Their services are invaluable.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are so grateful to family to family organization for all parent training and classes to help us how become a good advocate for our son which could included him in resource and regular classes to raise with his peers. otherwise could be so hard without their support. I stongly recommend them for all parents with a disabled child.

Client Served

Rating: 4

It is very easy to become overwhelmed and frustrated when trying to find help raising a child with disabilities. The best part, for my family, about Family to Family Network, is being able to speak with other parents who have walked in our shoes. Their own personal experiences and advice they shared with us have been so valuable. We have learned the importance of planning ahead and visualizing what the future will look like for our son and then showing us the steps it takes to get there.

Client Served

Rating: 5

F2F newsletter serves as a lifeline for us. I look forward to receiving it to find out what opportunities are available in our area. As the parents of an autistic individual, we are always searching to gain more knowledge to enable him to reach his full potential. My only conpliant is I wish we had had it sooner.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Family to Family has always been a lifeline to our family. Whenever we have a question, someone is there to help us. Family Friends has been a great program, matching a volunteer who would come spend time with not only our son with autism, but she also made sure to share her time wtih our two other kids as well. The office staff are always friendly and eager to help, and they are all a tremendous source of valuable information!

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I first found F2F, my son was 2 years old and I felt lost. After attending meetings, and meeting other mothers who have children with disabilities, I felt empowered. I learned what I needed to know to have my child included in a regular classroom and receive the services he needed. He is now 16 and a successful high school student in pre-AP classes. If I had listened to my school district when he was 3, he would have been put in a "Special" class with only children with other disabilities and he would have never progressed the way he did by being in a regular classroom. I now serve on the board of directors for F2F because they have given me so much that I felt I needed to give back to them. This is a great organization that helps all people.

Previous Stories
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Client Served

Rating: 5

Family to Family Network has been an inspiration to me. The staff not only is helpful, but supportive in many areas of the needs of children with disabilities. I feel comfortable calling with questions about school,federal law/programs,or medical needs. These women have helped me help my children throughout their lives. I have made life long friends at F2F by networking with other families with children with disabilities.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love F2F Network! The Parent Liaisons helped me to learn the law and correct approaches to an ARD. They gave me the tools to present my case for inclusion which allowed my daughter with Down syndrome to attend her neighborhood school rather than be segregated at a different campus. Now, I am helping others due to the training I received. I also participate in a great program called "Family Friends" which paired a volunteer with my family. This volunteer has befriended the family and comes to play with my daughter with Down syndrome. She's like an adopted grandmother and has been quite a blessing.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

F2F has helped me tremendously prepare for my child to enter public education. They have helped me to see things differently and to fight for what will be best for my son through valuable training and 1:1 interactions.

Review from Guidestar

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

When moving to Katy, TX from Virginia, I was quite overwhelmed. The educational process in Texas is very different than in Virginia and Family to Family helped by having many discussions on the phone, meeting in person to go over IEP forms. They send out many e-mails regarding upcoming events that help parents stay in the loop regarding special education in Texas. Wonderful group of people.