WHAT WE BELIEVE
MassFamilies Core Values
MassFamilies (formerly MFOFC) laid out the following core values and guiding principles to guide our work in imagining better supports for individuals with disabilities and their families.
- The possibilities for individuals with disabilities are infinite when we “imagine better.”
- Individuals with disabilities and families are the ultimate decision makers in all areas of supports and services that are appropriate for all members of their family.
- Individuals with disabilities and families benefit from advocacy and leadership training to access and procure supports and services responsive to their ever-changing, life-long needs.
- The uniqueness of every family is honored and respected.
- Individuals with disabilities and families living in our communities have access to the wide array of opportunities and resources available to all community members.
MassFamilies Commitment to Diversity Statement
MassFamilies is committed to advancing, cultivating and preserving a culture of ‘access, equity, and belonging’ within our organization, partners, families and communities.
We are committed to identifying and advocating for policies, resources, and supports that foster an environment where all individuals have ‘access, equity, and belonging’ regardless of ability, medical needs, neurodiversity, religion, ethnicity, age, citizenship, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other aspect which makes them unique.
MassFamilies acknowledges that historically the Disability Family Support movement gave way to voices of predominantly white, middle-class families, largely excluding Black Indigenous Persons of Color (BIPOC), increasing the gap in access, equity, choice and service delivery. MassFamilies is committed to initiatives that train and empower BIPOC Family Leaders to design and deliver peer-to-peer trainings that are culturally and linguistically appropriate for their communities.
MassFamilies Guiding Principles
MassFamilies has generated the following principles to guide the development of supports for individuals with disabilities and their families:
- Individual and family supports should recognize and build on existing social networks, strengthen natural sources of support and foster the development of meaningful participation of individuals and families within their communities;
- Individuals or the individual’s responsible family member or guardian, where the individual is a child or unable to make his or her own decision, should be the ultimate decision makers regarding the nature of supports required;
- Supports should be developed to avert crises rather than to respond to crises;
- Supports should be built on a relationship of respect and trust and should be made available and not imposed;
- Individuals and families should have the opportunity and the help necessary to develop, direct and monitor the supports that they receive;
- Individual and family support should be culturally competent and responsive and reach out to people with multi-cultural, multi-ethnic backgrounds. Appropriate interpretive and translation services should be made available;
- Individual and family support should be responsive to the ever-changing, life long needs of the individual and families;
- Family supports should be available to the entire family, not just the member with a disability or a chronic illness;
- Individual and family support is not a single service but is a flexible array of supports used to ensure that persons with disabilities and chronic illness are able to live on their own or with their families in their community.