Family Leadership Series

West Region

The 2020 West Family Leadership Series will kick off in February!

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 three,  2-day sessions and one 1-day special session at the Statehouse. One of the main requirements to be considered for this series is a commitment to attend and participate in all seven training days. 

The 2020 West Family Leadership Series dates are:

  • February 7-8
  • March 13-14
  • April 10-11
  • May 8

Deadline EXTENDED!
Submit your application by January 17, 2020.

Applicants will be notified after submission of their application.

To attend the training, families are required to commit to the following:

  1. Attend all three of the 2 day-long sessions in Holyoke and the final session at the State Capitol.
  2. Participate in and share your experience during each session.
  3. Continue to work to create change for your family and others upon completion of
    the Family Leadership Series.

After the Series, we hope that you will consider joining the MFOFC statewide network, which provides opportunities to advocate for a policy-driven budget, improved policies and practices that maximize our loved ones’ supports, and their ability to live meaningful, enviable lives in the community.

For the past twenty-six years, Family Leadership Series graduates 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. While some have pursued legislative advocacy, others have been involved in community organizing efforts close to home or continued to focus solely on their loved ones living with and without disability.


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

Scholarships for respite or childcare costs are available.


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:

Sue Crosby,
West Coordinator
413-782-2500 ext. 321

“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

West 2020 Family Leadership Series Application

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