Community of Practice: Supporting Families Throughout the Lifespan

The Supporting Families Project involves working with states to develop systems of support for families throughout the lifespan of their family member with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Supporting Families Project is operated under a five-year grant awarded to NASDDDS by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) beginning October 2012. Grant partners include University of Missouri-Kansas City Institute on Human Development, the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI), and the National Association of Councils of Developmental Disabilities (NACDD).

The Goal of Supporting Families

"The overall goal of supporting families, with all of their complexity, strengths and unique abilities is so they can best support, nurture, love and facilitate opportunities for the achievement of self-determination, interdependence, productivity, integration, and inclusion in all facets of community life for their family members."

From: ADD National Agenda on Family Support Conference, 2011

What is a Community of Practice?

A Community of Practice is a group of people that come together to focus on and study a specific topic or issues. By sharing information and experiences the members learn from each other and have the opportunity to apply what they learn. Members meet virtually and in person to share, create, and disseminate knowledge related to their shared concern.

How will the Community of Practice Work?

Each state has a Community of Practice Team that includes the state I/DD office, the state council on developmental disabilities, families, self-advocates, and other stakeholders. The team will complete a self-assessment and develop a five-year work plan with technical assistance from the project staff.

Based on the five-year plan, states will develop policies that support family networks, provide family-centered support coordination, expand service available in the home and strengthen the role of families in all models of services.

The project will form a national community of practice for the participating states to share information and learning from each of their experiences.

A National Resource

Resources, presentations, and progress report of the project can be found at Community of Practice: Supporting Families throughout the Lifespan.