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!

2024 Summer Kick-Off:
Reserve Your Tickets

Get a head start on a fun summer by choosing two summer activities from the list below!

Community Bridges Family Support Council is offering tickets to summer activities for our connected families!

SUMMER FUN!

This opportunity ends June 15, 2024, at 6:00 pm.

* Please note that tickets are not readily available. You will be contacted when they are ready for distribution, and your connection to Community Bridges has been verified.

Select 2 of the activities listed below and the number of tickets needed for your immediate family members to attend when ordering tickets.

  • Crazy Kids
  • Mt Washington Cruise
  • MV Mt Sunapee Cruise
  • Altitude Trampoline Park
  • Canobie Lake
  • Storyland
  • Santa's Village
  • SEE Science Center
  • Chuckster
  • Montshire Children's Museum
  • Funcity Trampoline Park
  • Water Country
  • York's Wild Kingdom
  • Boston Museum of Science
  • New England Aquarium
  • Stone Zoo
  • Chunky's Movie Passes
  • Apple Cinema's Movie Passes
  • NH State Park Pass

Frequently Asked Questions about the Family Support Council

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 partners with Community Bridges and its Board of Directors.  Essentially, we help Community Bridges carry out its mission, ensuring that families' voices are included in strategic planning and decision-making. We influence policymaking 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 practice enhancement.
  • 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 family members of someone who experiences a disability and resides in one of the towns in which Community Bridges serves. Members need only their own qualifications, experience, or perspective.

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When does the Council meet?
The Family Support Council meets on the last Tuesday of every 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 receive orientation materials that provide additional information about the Council, Family Support, the Area Agency, the Area Agency Board of Directors, the Bureau of Developmental Services, the Area Agency system, etc. The orientation is designed to assist new members in learning 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 sponsored by FSC, as deemed necessary. The members’ level of involvement and availability will determine the actual time 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?
Sometimes, 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 before 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 an FSC meeting and asked to complete a basic application if you are 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:  melaniecamelo98@gmail.com

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How do I benefit from being on the Council?
Participation in the Family Support Council allows you 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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Primary Contact - Family Support Council
Please reach out to your service coordinator about available opportunities.
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