While volunteering with your local Regional Family Support Planning Council (RFSPC) is an excellent way for family members to advocate for substantial positive changes on our support and service systems for children and adults with developmental disabilities, dedicated family advocates can take their efforts a step further by participating in our Statewide Family Advisory Council (FAC).
The FAC serves as an official advisory group for family members of individuals with developmental disabilities who are served by the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), and facilitates a holistic representation of such families, including all types of disabilities, and across all geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds within our state. The FAC provides direct input to DDD in all areas of family support, including the Supports Program, Community Care Waiver, and with regard to individuals living both in-home and out-of-home.
Members of the FAC meet regularly with DDD officials, with the understanding that DDD will take every measure to incorporate input from the FAC in its decision and policymaking.
*NOTE: Currently, the Family Advisory Council solely represents families of individuals with developmental disabilities within the DDD system. However, the Regional Family Support Planning Councils meet regularly with the NJ Department of Children and Families to advise on issues faced by families of children (up to age 21) accessing supports through the NJ Children’s System of Care.
How to Become a Member of the Family Advisory Council
In order to serve on the statewide Family Advisory Council, interested family advocates MUST FIRST become active members of their RFSPC. To find your Regional Family Support Planning Council, please click here.
The Statewide Chair and Vice Chair of the Family Support Planning Councils will be permanent members of the FAC. Chairs of each of New Jersey’s ten RFSPCs can nominate one or more of their Council members to serve on the FAC, with voting being done by Council members.
The FAC may have up to 12 active members, each having one alternate member. Each member of the FAC may serve for up to two years.
In order for family advocates to serve on the FAC, they must:
• Make a two-year commitment to serve on the FAC
• Attend all regularly scheduled meetings
• Secure the input of their RFSPC when preparing input to DDD
• Maintain confidentiality on all required matters
• Communicate regularly with their RFSPC to encourage dialogue and open discussion on matters brought up at FAC meetings
- In recognizing the RFSPCs’ Family Advisory Council, DDD agrees to the following:
- • Refer all family members of individuals with developmental disabilities to their local RFSPC based on where a family member resides in New Jersey
- • Recognize the FAC as the official stakeholder input group to DDD policies and procedures
- • Meet regularly with the FAC to solicit input to all policies and procedures affecting family members and individuals with developmental disabilities
- • Obtain direct input from the FAC before proposing or adopting new or revised DDD policies and procedures. Provide feedback to all FAC recommendations, whether or not they are adopted by DDD, with justification and/or explanation
- • Appoint DDD staff liaisons to meet with the FAC on a regular basis. The purpose of these meetings is to maintain open communication before any decisions are made