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Southeast Region Family Leadership Series

Family Leadership Series

Southeast Region

The 28th SE Family Leadership Series will kick off November 2019!

The Family Leadership Series focuses on supporting families to advocate for their family member with disabilities to live in their communities as naturally and typically as desired.  Applications from adult family members of people with disabilities who are Department of Developmental Services eligible are encouraged.

The Family Leadership Series has a three-fold purpose.

  1. to offer information about “best practices” for people with disabilities, 
  2. to assist families in creating a vision for their loved one and a process to achieve the vision through leadership and advocacy, and
  3. to develop family leaders who will advocate at the local and state level to improve the lives of people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD).

This series takes place over several months as four, 2-day sessions. One of the main requirements to be considered for this series is a commitment to attend and participate in all eight training days. 

The 2019/2020 Southeast Family Leadership Series dates are:

  • November 1&2, 2019
  • January 17&18, 2020
  • April 3&4, 2020
  • May 8&9, 2020

Space is Limited!
Deadline to Apply is September 30, 2019.

Applicants will be notified by end of first week in October.

Series Outline

Click the tabs below to learn more about what is covered in each session.

Initiative & LeadershipCreative, Progressive & Innovative Ways to Provide SupportCreating A VisionPolicy Making at the Local, State & Federal LevelCaring for the Caretaker
Participants are given information on the background of the family support movement, leadership, advocacy and the significance of self-advocacy, how to effectively advocate for change and ways to influence funding and delivery systems.


  • Families will acquire knowledge of leadership concepts
  • Families will explore various leadership roles
  • Families will acquire knowledge of the implication’s leadership can have on the lives of families and people with disabilities

Participants will learn ways to help their family member live quality life of full inclusion in their community. Several presenters offer their perspectives on a broad range of topics: Inclusion; Supported employment; Positive practices; Community living and Family support.


  • Families will acquire knowledge of “best practices” in supports and services
  • Families will learn strategies for developing relationships and community involvement
  • Families will acquire knowledge about the quality of services and supports
  • Families will develop their vision toward full community inclusion

Participants are supported to “imagine better” and to create a vision of full community inclusion, with and for their family members, that guides their leadership and advocacy. What advocacy is necessary to ensure the visions that are developed and what is effective advocacy? 


  • Families will acquire knowledge of the concepts and implementation of advocacy
  • Families will consider best advocacy practices for their personal situations
  • Families will learn how to share their personal stories for maximum impact with legislators

Participants receive information on how to develop networks with professionals and families, how to access and control resources that affect family stress and satisfaction and how to use legislative change to procure resources.


  • Families will visit and gain knowledge of the Massachusetts State House
  • Families will gain knowledge of the Massachusetts legislative system
  • Families will acquire the ability to procure resources through legislative change
  • Families will acquire strategies to develop networks with professionals and families

This is arguably the most important topic, this theme is weaved throughout, but tied up nicely by a full day focus on the importance of and ways to address and support themselves along the process.


  • Families will experience an interactive session on the importance of the care of caretakers
  • Families will acquire creative strategies to decrease stress and increase personal satisfaction.



Food and overnight lodging for participants is paid for by the Department of Developmental Services.


Families who have completed the series have had a tremendous impact on systems change for families and individuals with disabilities in Massachusetts. Family members have been active in policy and decision making locally, regionally and statewide and some have decided to do legislative advocacy work. Some families have been involved in community organizing and advocacy on a local level. Others have used their talents and skills to create change for their child with a disability and/or their families.


If you have questions regarding the FLS or application, please contact:

Regional Coordinator, Family Leadership Series:

Kathleen Amaral


Outreach Coordinator-Fall River/New Bedford Area

Ana Colon


Outreach Coordinator-Plymouth/ Cape Area

Ebony McGlynn



Outreach Coordinator-Brockton/Taunton Attleboro/South Shore

Karen Claudio


“The Leadership Series not only educated me, it made me think differently. It was great to leave with our visions – I am convinced that there will be a better future!”

FLS Graduate

Southeast Family Leadership Series 28 Application

The application period for the 28th Southeast Family Leadership Series has closed.

Please contact us if you have questions regarding your application.

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