Family Support

We want to help families navigate the world of caring for a child or adult with special needs and provide support to ensure a successful future. We help people make connections in a way that is comfortable, respectful, practical and sustainable, bringing volunteers and families together. We do this primarily through Respite Care events and Family Support Meetings.

Family Support Meetings

Every quarter, families with children and young adults with developmental disabilities gather to meet with Executive Director Sandi Gerdes to share their experiences and discuss the ways in which they can band together to create an inclusive community that understands how to best support people with disabilities.

Respite Care Events

Family Support Services offers respite services for families with children and young adults with developmental disabilities. People with special needs who live at home with their families receive personalized invitations to theme-based activities and monthly events designed to provide a few hours of respite to caregivers. Pre-registration is required; a $10 fee per person is charged for each event. Scholarships are available for those that qualify and each family must have an enrollment form on file prior to the event.

Helpful Resources

We’ve compiled a list of helpful resources for the families and caregivers of individuals with developmental disabilities. You can find them in the accordion below.

For more information, contact Krista Middlebrooks.

Personal Advocacy Resources+

Laura Baker Services Association’s advocacy efforts are focused at the policy level. We invite you to learn more about our positions and efforts. We understand that many families are wrestling with personal advocacy issues and we want to offer our help by recommending the following resources.

  • County Social Services Offices
    A great starting point to provide information about the services people with disabilities may be eligible to receive, including case management and emergency assistance.
  • Minnesota DHS, Disability Services
    Provides a variety of services, in addition to economic support and health care, to help people with disabilities living in Minnesota.
  • Minnesota Disability Law Center
    Provides free civil legal assistance to individuals with disabilities statewide on legal issues related to their disabilities.
  • Ombudsman
    Available to assist in disputes between service providers.
  • PACER Center
    Provides programs for children and young adults with all disabilities, their parents and families, and professionals working with families. Resources include bullying prevention, social inclusion, assistive technology, transition for students with disabilities, and advocacy.
  • The ARC – Southeastern Minnesota
    Provides advocacy and support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
  • Social Security Offices
    Available to help you understand what benefits might be available for individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria for eligibility.
  • Family Voices of Minnesota
    Provides families with tools to navigate systems and help make informed health care decisions.

In addition, here is more helpful information for individuals and families looking to understand the developmental disabilities landscape.