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If you have ever attended a social event or parent workshop sponsored by the Family Support Council, you may have wondered:  What is the FSC?  Who are its members?

In short, the Family Support Council is made up of volunteers who have a family member with a disability receiving services from Lakes Region Community Services. Some are parents of school aged children. Others have adult children living at home. Most Council members are parents, but siblings, grandparents or other family members can also serve.

The FSC’s mission is: “To join with the area agency to strengthen individuals and families and cultivate responsive communities.” Many of the Council supported activities, groups, workshops – occur because members saw a need and took action.

For example, a while back the Council noted a lack of organized social activities for adults. So, it started a monthly Cooking Club, which has become extremely popular. Volunteers plan the meals and do the shopping and then everyone cooks and eats together. The Council also sponsors dances for adults 18 and over.

Other Council-supported events, activities and initiatives include:

SIBS – a social/support group for siblings of children with disabilities.
DADS Group – a support group for fathers and father figures of individuals with disabilities.
Adaptive cycling opportunities offered in conjunction with New England Disabled Sports.
Family Fun Day picnics – connecting families.
Supporting employment for people with disabilities by providing start-up funds for agency-owned businesses.
Participation in digital storytelling project in which families from all over the state shared their experiences.
Workshops on topics such as special education law, guardianship and financial planning for families supporting a person with a disability.
Ongoing communication with families on opportunities and resources through both print and email newsletters. Funding for individual families to help with disability-related needs, camperships, parent education & training, etc.

Do you have a family member with a disability who receives services from LRCS? Do you have a passion for helping people connect and finding ways to meet needs? If so, consider joining the Council. Meetings are usually held the fourth Wednesday of the month. If you are interested in joining or finding out more, please contact Council Chair Lynn Hilbrunner at 527-4893 or kandlranch@metrocast.net.

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Comments, questions, and ideas for future blog posts can be sent to: Joanne Piper Lang, LRCS Director of Development and PR at joanne.lang@lrcs.org