The Division recently announced a proposed Consumer and Family Leadership initiative (CFL) that was well-received and generated a great deal of interest from families and self-advocates. Since that time the Division has been in ongoing discussion with the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities'
Regional Family Support Planning Council
(RFSPC) to ensure the CFL initiative would not duplicate RFSPC's efforts. As a result, the Division has revised the CFL proposal, as follows:
Together with the RFSPC Chairs and the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Division has determined the most effective way to promote regular engagement with families is through utilization of an existing network. With an active statewide network of families, the RFSPC is well positioned to take on this task, and therefore the Division supports the development by the RFSPC of a distinct
Family Advisory Council
The FAC is intended to be broader than just family support and will provide input to the Division in all areas, including the Supports Program, Community Care Waiver, and with regard to individuals living both in-home and out-of-home. The goal of the FAC is to facilitate a holistic representation of the families of individuals served by the Division, including all types of disabilities, and all geographic areas of the state.
Members of the FAC will be selected from among the family advocates who serve in each of the state's ten RFSPCs, with each regional council nominating one or more of their members to serve on the FAC. In order to serve on the FAC, a family advocate must first become a member of his/her local RFSPC. To learn more about becoming a member of one of New Jersey's RFSPCs, please visit
, where a dedicated FAC web page is in development, or contact Kyoko Coco at 609.341.3112 or
The Division is also in early discussions with the New Jersey Self-Advocacy Project and Statewide Self-Advocacy Network (NJSSAN) to facilitate development of a similar
Self-Advocate Advisory Council
comprised of adults with developmental disabilities. Again, the utilization of an existing network will enable more effective participation of a broad range of individuals and regions.
We are deeply appreciative to the many individuals with developmental disabilities and families who responded to the Division's Consumer and Family Leadership proposal. The Division will be in contact with all those who expressed interest to ensure they have every opportunity learn more about the newly-forming Family Advisory or Self-Advocate Advisory Council. The Division's intention is that RFSPC and NJSSAN will support and coordinate the councils, and will invite and encourage ongoing participation from all interested individuals and families.