Focus on Regional Family Networks and SB 1606
The Oregon DD Coalition has identified the Regional Family Networks as an advocacy priority this session. Regional Family Networks are peer-delivered supports by families, for families. They serve 20 of Oregon’s Counties, representing 76% of the state's population. Disability intersects with all other historically underrepresented families and the rates of disabilities in children continue to increase for families in all demographics. The Family Networks support families with diverse cultures and languages.
Regional Family Networks reach and connect with more than 13,500 families who have children with disabilities, many of whom have barriers to accessing the formal developmental disabilities system. Often time families who have children with disabilities report that they feel the barriers that exist in communities for their families and that they are left out of spaces within the cities and towns where they live. These Family Networks collaborate and partner with more than 5,250 community businesses, organizations, and non-profits to make Oregon’s communities welcoming to all who live in them.
Regional Family Networks allow families to receive support and then reach back a hand to another family who is newer on their journey. These Family Networks are a “soft landing” spot for families to begin a positive trajectory for their child and family in their community. Some of these peer-delivered services and supports include:
- Information and referral
- Family support
- Community building and awareness
- Parent training and opportunities
- Leadership training
- and so much more!
Regional Family Networks are included in the Governor’s Proposed Budget for DD Services at Current Service Level. The General Fund investment for Family Networks is currently $1,392,137. The funding request for the 2023-25 Biennium for is $1.5M for the existing Family Networks. The additional $107,863 requested will allow each of the Regional Networks to reach more marginalized families in need.
The Family Networks were established ten years ago as an innovative sustainability service model through the provision of peer-delivered support. An important bill just introduced this week would make the current Regional Family Network system a permanent part of the DD services infrastructure by statute. More specifically, the newly drafted Senate Bill 1016 directs the Department of Human Services, in consultation with the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services, to maintain regional family support networks to provide peer-delivered supports for families of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
The ongoing sustainability of the Regional Family Networks is a priority for the Oregon DD Coalition. Join us in support the Family Networks in their advocacy efforts to secure their funding and place in the DD Services System statute. Corrected Family Network Fact Sheet LINK.