Special Needs Parenting
Special Needs Parenting
by Nancy Moody
Floridians who have a family member with developmental disabilities have special status under state law and our state is exclusive in this position among all the other states. Yes, that’s right, by an act of Florida law, Chapter 393, if you are an individual with developmental disabilities or you are a parent, sibling or guardian, you have the ability along with others to influence the effectiveness of services in your area.
In 1993 the Florida Legislature set-up 15 all-volunteer Family Care Councils to be located within each service area of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). Individuals become members of Family Care Council through a lengthy application process and are then appointed by the governor.
Family Care Councils were established to assist in providing information, education and out reach to families. Each Family Care Councils is to review and make recommendations about the effectiveness and delivery of supports and services within the service area of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD).
Area 15 APD serves Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties. In Area 15, there are presently 1070 individuals with developmental disabilities who are Medwaiver consumers. Another 566 individuals have applied for the waiver and have been placed on a waiting list.
Because of drastic budget cuts to our state, many individuals with developmental disabilities, including those in Area 15, are experiencing a reduction of services. A new Tier system has been implemented which assigns individuals to a tier category with rigid capped amounts (except for Tier 1).
The Family Care Council of Area 15 is conducting an outreach to families and individuals so that we can make plans together to improve conditions for persons with developmental disabilities. We sincerely care about the need for :
- better job opportunities
- improved medical and dental conditions
- independent living
- concentration of resources for the waitlist
- more inclusive education in schools and post-secondary opportunities
- more dependable transportation
- particular attention to the 30+ population
We welcome you to join us and help us advocate for a better quality of life for yourself if you have a developmental disability or if you are a parent, sibling or guardian. We urge you to become involved. Everyone is welcome.
The Family Care Council’s meets from 10 AM to 12 Noon at the Morningside branch of the Port St. Lucie Public Library on the 2nd Wednesday of the month (except December and July). The library is located at 2410 S.E. Morningside Boulevard. The library can be reached at 772-337-5632.
For more information, please contact Nancy Moody, Chairperson of Family Care Council Area 15. Email address: email@example.com You can also visit the Family Care Council Florida at www.fccflorida.org