Family to Family Network of Virginia
The Family to Family Network of Virginia (F2F), an initiative of the Center for Family Involvement at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Partnership for People with Disabilities, has grown from one statewide Family to Family Health Information and Education Center begun in 2005 to a nine-site (and growing) Family to Family Network where family members of culturally and linguistically diverse children and young adults with disabilities have people in their own communities to call upon in their efforts to identify and obtain needed information, services and community supports.
The Center for Family Involvement works with families to increase their skills as advocates, mentors and leaders so that families, children and young adults with disabilities can lead the lives they want. CFI partners with the Virginia Departments of Education and Health, the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and others in supporting a variety of activities to strengthen family involvement.
The local networks (contacts can be found at www.centerforfamilyinvolvement.org) provide:
- 1:1 emotional, informational, and disability and community services and systems navigational support
- Family-friendly information and resource referrals on topics such as special education and early intervention services, health care and related financing (such as private insurance, TriCare and Medicaid), disability services, and other community resources
- Leadership development to support families in advocating for and participating in the design of more family-friendly, effective service systems
- Connections to cultural brokers from culturally and linguistically diverse communities
Cultural brokers are available that provide specific support for the African-American, Asian, and Latino communities. As well as liaisons to specific disability communities: Autism, Behavioral/Mental Health, Blind/Visual Impairment, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, and Traumatic Brain Injury.