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Family Support

Family Support is creating a non-judgmental place where families can find information, guidance, understanding and connections.

Family Support

The Family Support Institute of BC (FSI) supports families who have a family member with a disability by connecting them to trained volunteers referred to as “Resource Parents/Peers” (RPs) .

This provincial network supports families by sharing experiences, expertise, and guidance.

All RPs have a family member with a disability.

Get in Touch

Call 1-800-441-5403

Send Us a Message

Email Us

Our Family Support Model

What can families expect when they call FSI?

  • A warm welcome- FSI is not a closed door.
  • A listening, supportive and understanding ear
  • Non judgemental and confidential support
  • Shared lived experience
  • Ongoing support and guidance
  • Empathy, compassion and understanding

What can FSI volunteer Resource Parents/Peers do?

  • Connect by phone, email or in person
  • Guide families to community resources
  • Attend meetings; take notes; debrief
  • Mentor and coach
  • Listen and learn
  • Share successes and celebrate families

When to refer a family to FSI

  • A family wants to connect with other families
  • A family needs support and encouragement from other parents
  • A family is struggling and feeling overwhelmed
  • A family is in need of advocacy support and guidance
  • A family is going through transitions
  • A family is looking for support moving through systems

Our Family Support Process

FSI receives a family support request.

Anyone can call for support. Professionals often call FSI to brainstorm ways to best support families in BC.

FSI staff will speak with the family and learn about their needs. 

FSI staff and the family will decide the best way to match with a Resource Parent/Peer (RP) based on age, region, diagnosis, experience and others.

FSI staff will make a referral to resources right away.
FSI staff will make a referral to a Resource Parent/Peer (RP).

FSI staff and RP’s can seek guidance from FSI’s Indigenous Practice Advisor at any time for additional support.

A Resource Parent/Peer (RP) calls a family.

Family will get a call within 48-72 hours. Resource Parents/Peer (RP) can share their experiences, guide to resources, mentor advocacy and much more.

Impact of Family Support


The peer-to-peer family support is powerful! Read about what our families have to say about FSI family support!

“Talking to another family member makes a huge difference in feeling less alone, feeling accepted and understood.”

“I will still email the FSI RPwho helped me through those transition years, particularly during high school years.”

“When I first contacted FSI many years ago, I was in crisis and it was so wonderful to talk to another parent who could give me real life advice.”

FSI and Advocacy

FSI mentors families to advocate for themselves. FSI WILL:

The Family Support Institute is a rights-based organization that supports the voices of families and people with lived experience of disability. We will highlight issues of significance and concern through surveys, reports and presentations in order to elevate the voices of families and people with disabilities. We do this with 3 main priorities in mind:

  1. to affect policy change
  2. to improve services and supports for those who need it
  3. to raise awareness in community

Top Issues that FSI hears from families: