A Tale of Northshore Families Helping Families

In the early 1990's, families partnered with the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council to be the driving force that founded & formed Families Helping Families of Louisiana.

It all began at a conference sponsored by the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council (LA DDC) in 1988 that focused on community supports and services for people with disabilities. The conference was attended by many young parents who wanted to have full inclusion for their children with disabilities, in the communities where they lived and worked. During the wrap-up portion of the conference, one parent asked for a flip chart, full of great ideas, to serve a purpose besides covering the walls. The Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council took the challenge, began pilot projects and gathered information to write legislation to create ACT 378 of 1989, known as the Community and Family Support Act.

Through these efforts, 10 Families Helping Families centers were created across Louisiana. Each center is independent, has their own 501(c)3 from the Internal Revenue Service and are governed independently by their own Board of Directors. No center is subordinate to another and each centers independent Board of Directors selects an Executive Director for their respective FHF Center. Each center builds its programs based on the needs of its region, sharing a common mission, philosophy; creation and dedication to people with disabilities and their family member. This is the similarity in all Family Helping Family centers.

Northshore Families Helping Families (NFHF) was established in 1992 and is the only family-driven resource center who serves individuals with disabilities in the five Florida Parishes. Each staff member at NFHF has a family member who has a disability or is a self-advocate. A majority of our board members have a disability or have a family member with a disability. NFHF serves individuals with disabilities throughout the lifespan, from initial diagnosis through adulthood.

Understanding the family as a whole is important; we work to address the well being of each family member and the family as a unit. We understand the challenges a family faces and are committed to reaching out to other families with similar experiences. NFHF gives parents and adults with disabilities knowledge, support and confidence by providing peer to peer support, information and referrals to disability resources, education and training.

NFHF gives PARENTS knowledge, support and confidence.

NFHF connects ADULTS with disabilities to vital resources.

NFHF supports PROFESSIONALS who serve individuals with disabilities.

NFHF empowers YOUTH to become self-advocates.

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