EveryChild,Inc. logo
Our mission is to create a system that ensures children with
disabilities grow up in families instead of institutions
8400 N. MoPac, Suite 201
Austin, TX 78759
Toll Free: 877-742-8844

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Go to Parents of Children with Disabilities section



Using a Support Family

Sometimes support means help from another family. Family circumstances coupled with the particular needs of a child with a developmental disability, can sometimes mean that a family struggles to care for their child at home. If a family finds themselves in the devastating position of feeling they can no longer care for their child at home, they need an alternative other than placement in a facility or relinquishment. Service systems need to develop and promote a system where another family can provide a home for a child.

One kind of alternative to facility placement is a “Support Family.” A Support Family is a family who is recruited, evaluated, trained, prepared, monitored by a provider agency, and paid to care for a child with a disability as part of an organized system with standards and safeguards to assure the well-being of children who are placed with them.
The term “Support Family” is used to emphasize that the role of the alternate family is to support the child and the child’s relationship with their family. The role of the alternate family is not to replace the child’s family or their parents’ authority, but rather is to help parents to meet their responsibility to assure nurturing family life for their child even though they are unable to provide it directly.


Support Families are different from traditional foster care. To learn more about the difference, click on the following link:

Differences between Support Families and Foster Care



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Every child needs a family and there is a family for every child