Why do families receive financial supports and services?
Initially, it may seem strange that state funds would be used to provide accommodation for families. Given the premise upon which The Family Café was founded, however, it makes perfect sense.
Simply put, we believe that educated, empowered families make the best possible choices for themselves and their members with disabilities. In order to become educated and empowered, they require knowledge, training and networking, all of which are provided by The Family Café and its Annual Conference.
For persons with disabilities, the primary resource in any given situation will be the immediate family. Over 90% of individuals with disabilities live with their families. According to well-substantiated studies, in-home supports are often preferable to other solutions, such as residential placement. Given that fact, it becomes imperative to provide information, training and resources to families so they may meet the needs of their own members with disabilities themselves.
Although Florida provides a significant amount of pre-service and in-service training for professionals working with individuals with disabilities, there are limited opportunities for parents. If the State of Florida supports the training and education of its employees that serve persons with disabilities, does it not make sense to support the training and education of families that meet those needs within their own homes? Doing so ultimately provides greater benefit at lower cost, while developing educated consumers better able to navigate the service delivery system