Family Support

There are many family supports that exist throughout the state to aid, educate, and create a community for families that have a member that has complex health care needs.

Peer and Support groups

Dads M.O.V.E. seeks to provide every parent/caregiver (especially dads) with the tools, support, and training needed to be fully engaged in the recovery of their children.  Hosts a bi-weekly Dad’s Support meeting.

Families of Color Seattle programs include parent groups, community resources and events, and racial equity consulting.

Parent Trust for Washington Children creates lasting change and hope for the future by promoting safe, healthy families and communities.

Family Support Programs

Lifespan Respite WA offers support in the form of a voucher (financial award) for unpaid caregivers who support a family member, friend, or neighbor who has a special need or condition. The voucher is used to pay for services or programs that allow the caregiver to have respite, or “short breaks”. Lifespan Respite vouchers are for short-term respite. Respite care takes many forms, and care services may include:

  • In-Home Services
  • Recreation
  • Day or Overnight Camps
  • Day Services
  • Education/Classes
  • Retreats
  • 24-hour care

Learn more about the voucher program and find out if your family may be eligible.

Online Family Resources

Keep Connected – Ideas, activities, and experiences to help build strong family relationships

Making Friends Where You Live – A Toolkit for Building Friendships Between People With and Without Disabilities

Mommies of Miracles – Support group for mothers of children who have medical complexities, life-limiting conditions, or developmental disabilities

Parent Help 123 – Information about accessing benefits, child development, and special needs

The Association for Successful Parenting (TASP) – Supports families where parents have learning difficulties.

The Arc of Washington – Provides resources for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, including the statewide Parent 2 Parent program.

Watch Me Grow in Washington State – Get more health and safety information for your child

Articles on Family Support and Self-Care

Climbing the Emotional Caregiving Mountain
A mother’s reflection on raising a child with complex health care needs.

Communities of Grieving

Self-Care is Critical for Caregivers with Unique Challenges
A helpful article from the PAVE website written from a parents’ perspective on how to practice self-care as a caregiver.

Self-Care for Caregivers: How Special Needs Families Recharge
An article on self-care for caregivers written by Angela Nelson, the executive director of Family and Clinical Services, Rethink.

What if My Child is Not Capable of Representing Him or Herself? Guardianship May be Needed
Information on Guardianship, Conservatorship, and the Age of Majority