The Family Support Program became a part of the School of Social Work on July 1. Formerly housed at Carr Mill Mall in Carrboro, the office has relocated to the first floor of the School.
The Family Support Network, a part of the Family Support Program, was originally developed 25 years ago as a program in the UNC School of Medicine, when a pediatrician and social worker collaborated to prepare a proposal to the N.C. Council on Developmental Disabilities to fund the creation of three local programs to provide support to families with children who have special needs.
Over the years, that program grew and developed. There are now 17 independently operated affiliates serving families all across North Carolina with a focus on providing parent-to-parent support.
The Family Support Network’s University Office, now a part of the Family Support Program (FSP) at the School of Social Work, provides training and technical assistance for these local affiliates. FSP also manages an information and referral service about conditions and disabilities, and about resources available in North Carolina.
FSP includes special projects focused on supporting military families with children who have developmental disabilities, and on helping individuals with disabilities and their families to make plans to ensure their preparedness for emergencies. The mission of the Family Support Program is to promote and provide support for families with children who have special needs. As such, it becomes an important part of the School’s activities focused on developmental disabilities.
FSP’s director, Clinical Professor Irene Nathan Zipper, Ph.D., MSW, is a familiar face at the School, having held a faculty appointment here for a number of years.