Families Supporting Families (FSF) is an Incorporated Charity Organisation which was formally launched in 2003. FSF provides opportunities for families in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie areas with children with special needs to exchange ideas, information and experiences.
FSF was born from almost accidental contact between parents in specialist's waiting rooms, early intervention programs and in hospital wards when sitting beside their children’s beds. These parents quickly realised that they understood each other; that they could problem solve for each other purely based on first hand experiences.
The FSF committee is made up of volunteers and are families who have experienced the challenges frequently faced when raising a child with a disability. The committee members have developed significant knowledge relating to services and current information on disabilities and special needs issues.
Our current programs include:
Carers’ Café: an informal morning tea meeting with a focus on peer-to-peer information exchange. This meeting is held at different venues in the greater Newcastle and Lake Macquarie areas to encourage participation from across the area. Where possible this event is held at venues that support employment for people with a disability or suffering hardship, for example; Café Tempest (Wallsend), Chars (Broadmedow) and Sals (Speers Point).
Carers’ Café Plus: this event is more formal with a speaker presenting on a topic relevant to families dealing with disability. Topic selection is driven by members and has recently included: anxiety; ipads for children with a disability; adult children with disability in supported accommodation; self-care for carers.
School Holiday Activities: we aim to organize one activity each school holidays for children with disabilities and their siblings to attend. This creates a unique opportunity for children with disabilities to have a fun day out with their siblings in a supportive but mainstream environment. Activities include: bowling, movies, magic show and the very popular “party” at the Hunter Sports Centre. Many children with a disability never get invited to parties so these events offer a chance to socialise.
Carers’ Dinner: the “Dinner” is held annually to coincide with National Carers’ Week and creates an opportunity for parents to mix in an evening setting. A mix of respite, a chance to dress up, swap anecdotes and information, this event is well attended by mums and dads.
Our Facebook page is intended to provide valuable resource information to families of children with special needs and keep families up to date with what is happening. We welcome comments and invite you to share any content from our Facebook page.
Families Supporting Families may be the first point of contact for someone with a disabled child.
We help provide information and knowledge to other families who share similar situations to each other.
Our members become a part of the FSF community, part of an award-winning not-for-profit organisation that consists of families who support each other within our local community. The membership fee is low and affordable being only $10 per year / per family (renewed April each year). The benefits of being a member are numerous and include electronic copy of our regular newsletter, invitation to our monthly carers cafe, involvement in family gatherings as well as informal and formal workshops. New members will be joining a not-for-profit organisation that consists of families who support each other within our local community; where you can share your story and knowledge. Contact us today to join.
Unless otherwise stated in any of our correspondence; ALL FSF workshops, carer’s cafes and events are FREE for current financial members.
FSF is a not-for-profit organisation, therefore we need the support of our sponsors, members and donations to keep us running.
Families Supporting Families Incorporated is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient from 14 Nov 2003, as such we are able to receive income tax deductible gifts. Regular donations can be made automatically on a regular basis or a once-off. Contact us for further information.
The FSF committee is made up of a group of registered volunteers who fulfil the following roles:-
Each year FSF hold an Annual General Meeting. At this meeting all positions become vacated. If you would like to be part of our volunteer committee, then the AGM is a great place to start.