Family Support

Group of 12 ladies standing in a treed area

Vermont Family Network Staff September 2017

Vermont Family Network (VFN) has been helping families of children with special needs or disabilities for more than 25 years. We are here to listen and to help with any needs or concerns you may have related to you or your child’s health, education, or well-being. We are families of children with special needs ourselves and understand the challenges and the gifts our children offer.

Conversations are confidential and services are free.

Call us to talk about your child’s:

  • Medical diagnosis or other health concerns
  • Challenges in school, home or in the community

You are not alone!

How can we help?

  • Explain how systems and processes in education and health care work
  • Learn to be a better advocate
  • Brainstorm next steps on self-identified needs
  • Connect with other parents who share similar concerns
  • Provide information, resources, and supports

How can you stay connected?

Families learn what they need as they walk their own unique journey. Information can be powerful. To get connected, you can:

Family Support Programs

  • Helpline. Talk with experienced Family Support staff who are parents themselves about concerns you may have for your child at school, at home, or in the community. Learn about supports and resources related to your child’s health and education. We listen and offer support and resources to assist you in being your child’s best advocate.
  • Parent-to-Parent Match. Request a parent match with one of our veteran mentor parents who have walked a similar path and understand the challenges of raising a child with a disability. Support parents can offer support, share resources, and help you on your journey. You are not alone. Maybe you are ready to be a Support Parent? Let us know!
  • In-Person Support. Meet with Family Support staff to discuss your concerns about your child’s health and education. We can help fill out forms, prepare for upcoming meetings at school or in the community, and review resources and supports. On a limited basis, Family Support staff may be available to attend a school or health-related meeting with you or participate via telephone.
  • Parent Leadership. Share your family story to raise awareness and make change. Participate in Family Faculty, by teaching family-centered-care to students in education and healthcare. Join a disability-related board or council or participate in a focus group. Testify at the Statehouse. Join our Vermont Leadership Training Program!
  • Webinars, Workshops, and Annual Conference. Our learning opportunities include webinars, workshops, and our annual conference. Check our website for upcoming events. We also attend events at schools and in the community upon request.
  • Funding Opportunities. Parents and caregivers may apply for grants to attend a conference related to your child’s diagnosis, to start a family-led support group, and for medically necessary supplemental funding.
  • Support Groups. There are many support groups across Vermont. Can’t find a support group that interests you? Start one! We lend support and assistance to emerging parent-led support groups.
  • SIBSHOPS. Brothers and sisters come together for fun activities and to meet others who know what it’s like to be a sibling to those with special health care needs. The group is for children ages 6+. We meet in Chittenden County at various locations. Take a look at our upcoming events.

Vermont Family Network employees are not attorneys and do not provide legal advice. VFN’s ultimate goal is to empower families through education and support, thereby increasing their capacity to be engaged and effective in every aspect of their child’s education and healthy development. If you have a problem or issue that requires legal advice, such advice should be obtained from an attorney. 

Translate »