Family Support

Caring for a child or adult with special needs can feel overwhelming and isolating.  Laura Baker’s Family Support Services (FSS) offers resources for families caring for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, as well as volunteer opportunities for the community.  FSS is intended to alleviate some of the stress parents and caregivers feel by creating opportunities for respite, community connections, and information sharing.

Saturday Fun Respite Events

Family Support Services offers a monthly program for families who are caring for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Young people (ages 5 – 21) with special needs who live at home with their families are welcome to join LBSA on the second Saturday of the month for a couple hours of crafts, games, outdoor activities and snacks.  The events are designed to provide a few hours of respite for caregivers and social interaction for participants.  Community volunteers help to staff the event.  Pre-registration is required and families must complete an enrollment form prior to the event.  A $10 per person fee is charged for each event; fee waivers are available for those that qualify.

Family Support Meetings

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

Helpful Resources

Do you have a question about local, state or national resources available for your loved one with developmental disabilities?  Our FSS Coordinator can be a source of resource referral and information sharing.  In the section below, we’ve also compiled a list of helpful resources for the families and caregivers of individuals with developmental disabilities.

For more information, contact our FSS Coordinator, Krista Middlebrooks.

Family Support Resources+

Here is some helpful information from Northfield Hospital & Clinics about obtaining care during COVID-19.

Care During COVID – NH+C Guide for Community

Below, find links to local, state and national resources providing assistance to families caring for individuals with disabilities.

  • Rice County Social Services Offices
    A great starting point to provide information about the services people with disabilities may be eligible to receive.  If your family lives in a different county, check this link to a directory of county social services offices in Minnesota.
  • Minnesota Dept. of Human Services, Disability Services
    State agency that provides a variety of services, in addition to economic support and health care, to help people with disabilities living in Minnesota.
  • Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
    Independent state agency available to assist in disputes between clients and service providers.
  • Social Security Offices
    Find the closest Social Security Administration office available to help you understand what national benefits might be available for individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria for eligibility.
  • Minnesota Disability Law Center
    Statewide nonprofit providing free civil legal assistance to individuals with disabilities statewide on legal issues related to their disabilities.
  • PACER Center
    Statewide nonprofit providing programs for children and young adults with all disabilities, their parents and families. Designated Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) for Minnesota, focused on issues related to the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Resources include bullying prevention, social inclusion, assistive technology, transition for students with disabilities, and advocacy.
  • The ARC – Southeastern Minnesota
    Regional office of statewide nonprofit providing advocacy and support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
  • Family Voices of Minnesota
    Statewide nonprofit providing families with tools to navigate disability systems, and offering the Parent to Parent program, a one-to-one match with a trained volunteer support parent.
  • Disability Hub of Minnesota Free statewide resource network for individuals with disabilities and their families.
  •  Searchable state website to find services for people with disabilities or chronic illnesses.
  • Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities
    State level council appointed by the Governor that advocates for all persons with developmental disabilities.  Coordinates the Partners in Policymaking Program, a training program for self-advocates and parents to work in partnership with elected officials to positively change the way people with disabilities live, work and are educated.
  • University of Minnesota Institute on Community Integration
    Through collaborative research, training, and information sharing, the Institute improves policies and practices to ensure that all children, youth and adults with disabilities are valued by, and contribute to, their communities of choice.

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