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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!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Given that there are so many non-profit organizations out there, I can not begin to tell you how genuinely and truest to their name is Support For Families of Children With Disabilities. Words can not even begin to describe the level of services, supports, and commitments the organization has to the families of these precious children with life and educational challenges. Aside from the free educational workshops, daycare, and programs at the center, Support for Families empowers the parents to be strong advocates for their own children in educational setting and medical services. They empowers the parents to make changes at the State level to laws that need to give voices to our children for the services that they need to be functional and contributive members of society to the best of their ability. They empowers the parents to be educators, leaders, and role models in times when as parents we feel helpless, unsure, ...weak because of the myriad of challenges in raising our own children with disabilities. Support For Families of Children With Disabilities is a non-profit that holds true to their identity. For that, we are deeply greatful.
S.P.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great resource for children and adults with special needs. They have free training with a variety of subjects like behavior training, conservatorship, how to do IEP, alternative strategies, etc. They even provide childcare. They have bilingual staff who speaks Spanish and Cantonese. They coordinate events like picnics, movies, and annual ice skating to mainstream special needs children.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Support for Families had a rep, Mr. Lockett come down and provide assistance and support at my son's IEP meeting. We really appreciated their support as we felt our son's IEP was not being followed and our son was not receiving the support he needed. They are very instrumental in providing info, support and constant workshops that help families that require that extra support with children with different needs. I acknowledge them to be a crucial asset in the community!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Support For Families of Children with Disabilities has been an essential support for our family ever since our daughter was diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder when she was 3 months old. She is now 25 and Support For Families has provided guidance and support when we needed vital information about schools, doctors and state agencies. Now that our daughter is out of school we are very grateful that they are sponsoring an AAC conversation club for young adults who use computer devices to communicate. This is a great learning and social opportunity for our daughter who is not eligible for any adult day programs. We never know what challenges each new day will bring but we are very thankful that Support For Families has always been there for us.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Support for Families' excellent staff provide personal, on-point support and resources to help families navigate the challenges of caring for and parenting a child with disabilities.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so impressed with all that Support for Families does for the families in our community. As a childcare provider, I have referred many families to them for services over the years and the families are always 100% satisfied with the services and supports that were given. They have so much to offer! They also provide many free trainings to the community, providers and families, that help support us in doing the best we can for the children in our lives.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hello!
Everyone has some kind of special needs. We never know what will happen to us tomorrow! We cannot control how we are born, but we can advocate for those who needs our support to grow, thrive, and survive by learning essential job skills in life!
Thank you for supporting families of children with disabilities!
Warm regards!
Vivien Ng
6-9-15

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I work with students with special needs at schools and have gained an enormous amount of knowledge from attending the workshops here (such as sensory motor deficient, misbehave issues, kid empowerment, social and emotional issues with autistic children, as well as ipad workshops) for parents and professionals. They offer workshops all year around as well as provide professional growth certifications for teachers.
Thank you so very much!
Warm regards!
Vivien Ng
9-4-14

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

One of the amazing services that this nonprofit provides is support for new parents. As a new mom with zero experience with infants, I found the playgroups and the massage class absolutely key in forming my relationship with my baby, learning to communicate with him and learning ways to help him grow and develop. Super grateful for all the help and support.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My school has went to several trainings and they have came onsite and helped our site in so many ways. The trainings and support are great..I am able to bring alot of tools and resources back to the program.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at support for families with disabilities Saturday workshop for the past year and I watch the presenter give the presentation and am amazed and how well the presentation is given. The presentations are about topics about children with special need such as the iPad, inclusion program at school. I would highly recommend these workshops for anybody with a child with a disability. Workshops are held the second Saturday of every month.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an organization staffed with caring and knowledgeable people who have done so much to support our family and so many other families in San Francisco!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

SFCD is absolutely vital to our family. It acts as a bridge between our world and the world we have to function in by providing recreational, social, educational, and support services that families like mine need to enhance the quality of life for our children. The annual Ice Skating event is tons of fun and we look forward to it each year! I've learned so much at the Resource Fairs and through a parent leadership training that prepared me to become a more effective advocate. The experience of being around people that care and can relate to your experience and want to provide support has been invaluable. Gratitude and respect for SFCD!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The people in this organization are such caring, compassionate people, thoroughly involved in whatever way they can help families find resources for their own care of children with special needs!! An absolutely outstanding group. We know from personal family experience!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Following the terrifying realization that your sweet child is disabled, a chilling sense of being alone and different from all the other parents in your world hits you. How can I help my child? Often doctors and therapists don't know about services for or rights of a disabled child. Then you find SFCD. You are no longer alone and clueless.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

i have been both a client and a volunteer parent mentor for over 12 years. I can't imagine life without SFCD, I have learned so much and made a lot of friends and connections!

1 LStrawn

Board Member

Rating: 5

Our daughter, Julia, is learning how to speak up for herself and advocate for everyone who needs a bit of understanding and support. Thanks to all of the help and support and knowledge we all gain from Support for Families, our kid is seeing the world as richer, bigger and more compassionate. Julia is a kid with cerbral palsy, but that is secondary to the amazing things she has gained from this "difference" and to the incredible way she uses all the gifts Support for Families has given her.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

When you learn you are a parent of a child with a disability, everything changes. There are questions, concerns, fears, and stresses about all of the things you need to do to give your child the best possible opportunities in a world where nothing is familiar. Support for Families begins offering support and information the moment you contact them. It is a very difficult thing for most people to ask for help, but the staff and volunteers at Support for Families makes this easier, with a real understanding and compassion for parents thrust into a new world. With the parent, staff, and volunteer support, our family found great help, information, and skills to be the best advocates and champions for our daughter. We also have made some of the best friends we will ever know. Because of the many ways Support for Families has helped us, our new world is actually bigger, brighter, and more hopeful than we ever imagined. We would strongly encourage anyone with a question, concern or need about their child or loved one with a disability or special health care need to give them a call or an email!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have had the privilege of working with a resource person from Support for Families. The time and energy they put into working with teachers to develop strategies to support children with special needs
made a huge difference in the relationship between teacher and child and teacher and parent. All the children in our school benefited from the professional development the teachers did with our resource person. Teachers felt empowered and positive when working with children that needed extra support.
We have continued to use the strategies as part of our practice and it has made a difference in the way teachers and children interact each day.
The teachers also learned how to use the Ages and Stages Screening Tool during an on site training. The group was small so the teachers received individualized training. The trainers were patient, bilingual, and eager to share their knowledge.
I highly recommend Support For Families of Children with Disabilities as a resource to answer questions, for training, support in learning about a disability and most of all a kind a place with professionals that care deeply about helping families and children with disabilites.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm on the East Coast and there's no organization that comes close to SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES. I've told many friends looking for help to contact this amazing organization. They always been there, found connections where my friend's lived and never asked for anything in return.

That's why I proudly support this fine organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son have been volunteering for support for families and really love it, it is a great way to give
back. Thanks for being present.\

nathalie.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was able to receive help to improve my daughter's education and they helped when no one else did. They responded quickly to my questions with good information.