Connecting Individuals with Disabilities
to their Communities

Individuals with disabilities and their families work with Community Bridges to manage their unique challenges, maneuver the obstacles and thrive in their communities.

For over 35 years, Community Bridges has provided the tools and support to individuals with disabilities, so they become welcomed and active contributors in our community, and that makes it a better place for everyone!service area

Our individual approach is focused on creating the best life possible for every individual we serve. From early childhood through all phases of life, people experiencing developmental disabilities or injuries have an advocate and caring partner to help them utilize their skills and talents to live a productive and rewarding life that they choose for themselves.

Our Service Area

Allenstown, Andover, Boscawen, Bow, Bradford, Canterbury, Chichester, Concord, Danbury, Deering, Dunbarton, Epsom, Franklin, Henniker, Hill, Hillsborough, Hopkinton, Loudon, Newbury, New London, Northfield, Pembroke, Pittsfield, Salisbury, Sutton, Warner, Weare, Webster, Wilmot, Windsor

Family Support Council

Just what is the Family Support Council?

As part of its contract with the Bureau of Developmental services, each area agency must have a Regional Family Support Council which in part serves as a liaison to the state Family Support Council.  Each regional Family Support Council is unique, and we are proud that ours at Community Bridges is active, vibrant and forward thinking. Consider our mission statement:

OUR MISSION:
The Family Support Council will join with the area agency to promote person-centered, family directed practices, provide learning and networking opportunities, and foster personal and collective advocacy with the result of positively influencing family capacity to develop meaningful life outcomes with their loved ones.

We’d like you to learn more about who we are and what we do, and we invite you to consider joining us!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Family Support Council do?

Who can become a member of the Family Support Council?

When does the Council meet?

What type of commitment is involved in joining the Council?

What if I can't make a meeting?

How does a new member join the Council?

How do I benefit from being on the Council?


What does the Family Support Council do?
The Family Support Council works in partnership with Community Bridges and its Board of Directors.  Essentially, we help the Community Bridges carry out its mission, ensuring that the voice of families is included in strategic planning and decision making. We influence policy making at the state level through our work with other Family Support Councils throughout the state.  We do this by:

  • Developing an annual plan that identifies family priorities and allocates resources in a continuing effort to further strengthen the mission of Family Support.
  • Advising the members of the Community Bridges Board of Directors on matters affecting families who have a family member who experiences a disability.
  • Collaborating with Family Directed Support and Case Management staff to sponsor, plan and coordinate events, activities, guest speakers and workshops based on current issues of interest to families
  • Fostering opportunities for meaningful networking and parent to parent support between families to develop and flourish
  • Seeking feedback about the quality of, and satisfaction with, supports and services provided to families within the region, and promoting continued enhancement of practice.
  • Staying informed about legislative advocacy initiatives, communicating with families when advocacy is needed and providing support for how to advocate effectively.

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Who can become a member of the Family Support Council?
The Family Support Council (FSC) is made up of individuals who experience a disability or a family member of someone who experiences a disability and reside in one of the towns in Community Bridges’ serves. The only qualifications, experience or perspective members need is their own.

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When does the Council meet?
The Family Support Council meets every third Wednesday of the month from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Community Bridges. (Holiday seasons occasionally require a change.) The Council also meets with the Area Agency Board of Directors twice a year. These meeting times are scheduled on the basis of convenience for both groups.

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What type of commitment is involved in joining the Council?
We strive to keep our members’ commitments at manageable levels that include:

  • New members will be provided with orientation materials which provide additional information about the Council, Family Support, the Area Agency, Area Agency Board of Directors, the Bureau of Developmental Services, the area agency system, etc. The orientation is designed to assist new members to learn about the Family Support Council’s philosophy, history and background, and current priorities.
  • Council members are expected to attend Council meetings, contribute to some subcommittees and participate in any functions that are sponsored by FSC, deemed necessary. The members’ level of involvement and availability will determine how much actual time is spent each month.
  • Council members can also network with other agencies and organizations.

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What if I can't make a meeting?
There are times when your personal schedule may conflict with a Council meeting, and we all know that “life happens” while you are busy making other plans! It is important to let the Council Co-Chair know if you will not be available for that meeting prior to the meeting.

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How does a new member join the Council?
Potential members should contact the FS Council via email to express their interest in joining the FS Council.   You will be invited to attend a FSC meeting, and are asked to complete a basic application if interested in joining. The FS Council will vote, and the applicant will be informed of the council’s decision. 

Contact the Family Support Council via e-mail:  fsc@communitybridgesnh.org

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How do I benefit from being on the Council?
Participation on the Family Support Council provides you with an opportunity to offer input from your perspective and on behalf of all families and individuals served by Community Bridges. Participation in Council activities helps you build self-confidence, self-esteem and leadership skills. You and fellow council members are presented with opportunities to participate in public speaking, focal area events and other opportunities to build community connections for families and individuals. But the most important benefit is the feeling of personal satisfaction that comes from collaborating with other families and recognizing when you know you have made a difference in someone else’s life as well as your own.

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Contact the Family Support Council

fsc@communitybridgesnh.org

Primary Contact - Family Support Council