About Family Support Center
The Family Support Center (FSC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing an array of services, accessible through a toll-free number, to families of individuals with disabilities and special health care needs as well as professionals throughout the state of New Jersey. Established in 1994, the Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey developed a “one-stop” shopping Family Support Center program model, which was designed to help families and professionals to have access to up-to-date information, services, and resources on a local, state, and national level. Consisting of 500 members, educational materials include the Family Support Lending Library, which contains a large variety of materials on disabilities, family experiences, programs and resources; and a Private Provider Directory, to assist families in identifying their own private respite care providers. The Family Support Center maintains a database of individuals statewide, who are available to provide in-home respite services and their “Options” was developed as a “family-friendly” guide for parents and family members of a child with a disability. The manual includes information on a variety of disabilities, as well as parent-to-parent tips on how to access national, state, and local programs, resources, and services. Program activities include a resource database that offers comprehensive information on National Family Support initiatives, program models, family support issues and research, information on local and state resources, availability of services from New Jersey provider agencies, as well as adjunct services are updated and collected regularly and the “Telephone Network,” which enables parents to be matched with a support parent whose situation is similar. The telephone network experience allows parent opportunities for the sharing of experiences, the discovery of new ways of coping and the provision of links with agencies and community options. The “Family Support Workshops,” regarding issues in family support, topics, as requested by families, include recreation, circles of support, estate planning, advocacy, siblings, etc.