“To join with the area agency to strengthen individuals and families and cultivate responsive communities.”
The Family Support Council works in partnership with Lakes Region Community Services. The Council strives to empower families and is a voice for change and inclusion through advocacy and education. The Council also provides a forum for families to make their concerns, needs and preferences known to the Area Agency and policy makers.
If you would like to attend one of the Council’s monthly meetings or are interested in joining, please contact Family Support Coordinator Abby Barton at email@example.com or (603) 581-1596.
Members: Lynn Hilbrunner, Chairperson (Sanbornton); Debra Nugent, Vice Chair, (Belmont); Donna and Rick Champoux (Laconia); Kara Murray-Stanley (Laconia); Irene Fanning (Gilmanton Iron Works); Michelle Juhasz (Laconia); Cheryl Larose (Gilford); Cindy Sullivan (Laconia); Jenny Thibeault (Plymouth); Carrie Duran; Erin Pettengill; Abigail Barton; Kelsey Bolduc
What Does the Family Support Council Do?
Engages in the Legislative Process: Council members have joined families from throughout our region and across the state to reach out to policy makers regarding the importance of the Developmental Services system and adequate funding for the Waiting List. Every two years the Family Support Council joins with LRCS to organize a Legislative Meet & Greet, where families talk to candidates for NH’s House and Senate about their lives and the importance of the services they receive. For more information on the Legislative process, please contact our Legislative Liaison, Carrie Duran
Enhances Communication: The Council supports the distribution of the Family to Family Connection email newsletter and frequent Facebook updates.
Promotes Education & Training: The Council periodically hosts workshops and trainings at little or no cost to families.
Provides Social Opportunities for Families: The Council is committed to increasing social opportunities for adults. Movie or game nights, dances and group cooking classes are just some of the activities that have been available to adults receiving services from LRCS. The Council also hosts activities and social events for families. Have an idea for an event? Contact Abby Barton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cooking Club is an evening activity for adults 18 and over who receive disability-related services from Lakes Region Community Services and their family members. Cooking Club is generally held monthly at Gilford Middle School. Participants receive instruction and assistance in preparing a healthy meal then enjoy dining together.
The Family Support Council holds regular monthly meetings that are open to anyone who has a family member with a developmental disability or acquired brain disorder, who is served by Lakes Region Community Services.
You are welcome, whether you are interested in becoming a member of the Council or just attending a meeting. Meetings are held at the LRCS Main Office in Laconia, with Zoom options available. Dress is casual and the atmosphere is relaxed. Meeting begin at 5:30 p.m. Dinner is served at the beginning of each meeting.
Family Support Coordinator
The Family Support Coordinator works with the Family Support Council and is responsible for initiatives intended to help connect families to one another and resources in the community. These include:
- Distributing Family to Family Connection, an electronic newsletter for families (sign up here)
- Planning social activities for families (these have included family picnics, get-togethers at local community centers and parks, dances, and a family night at a NH Fisher Cats game)
- Organizing parent education training and workshops
- Helping parents who have children with similar needs connect to each other for support and understanding.
- Parent matching through NH Family Ties -find them on Facebook here
- Providing families with updates on legislation that may impact their loved one with a disability
For more information, contact Abby Barton, Family Support Coordinator, at email@example.com or (603) 581-1596.