To promote services and supports that meet the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities
and their families through collaboration, advocacy, and education.
In August of 1990, the Family Support Coalition hosted the first statewide meeting to launch a campaign for legislation that would provide supports for families caring for loved ones with developmental disabilities. It took several years of hard work, but on March 29, 1993, the Family Support Act was signed into law. This law created a family support system that was meant to be flexible and responsive to the needs of families as defined by those families. “Family Support” included such services as respite, camperships, assistive technology devices, and home and vehicle modifications.
Throughout the last three decades, there have been many changes in the services and systems, rules and policies that impact the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Most notably:
- In 2013 services for children under the age of 21 were moved from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) to the Department of Children and Families (DCF). PerformCare New Jersey working with DCF assists families in accessing services and provides a single point of entry.
- In 2018, DDD began making a significant change in the services system for adults by transitioning from a primarily program-based system to a system of individual budgets in a fee-for-service, Medicaid-based system. All individuals over 21, who are both DDD and Medicaid eligible, will now be served under either the Supports Program or the Community Care Program. Levels of funding are based on an assessment which determines an individual’s “tier” (dollar amount assigned to cover their support needs).
The Family Support Coalition has maintained a vibrant and ever-present voice in advocating for person-centered, family-friendly policy and design in all aspects of the systems that serve individuals. We continue to support the right of individuals to live lives of value and dignity regardless of challenges or support needs. This coalition of families and providers is devoted to advocacy as well as educating and informing legislators, policymakers, our communities, and each other about critical issues affecting the present and future well being of New Jersey residents with developmental disabilities.