About Family Support Research and Training Center

The FSRTC team at UIC Institute for Disability and Human DevelopmentFamily members provide the majority of support to people with disabilities across the life course and contribute a considerable amount of their own resources to provide this care. Family caregiving, and notably the lack of available family support services, can have significant economic and health impacts on caregivers and the family unit as a whole. The Family Support Research and Training Center (FSRTC) aims to engage families and stakeholders in investigating the needs of families who support their family members with disabilities, and in exploring the kinds of supports and promising practices that are needed for families to fulfill this important societal role.The FSRTC is a collaboration of researchers and organizations who are focused on synthesizing and generating knowledge about the needs and experiences of families who provide support to children and adults with disabilities across the life course. Because family support is similar across different types of disability and across different age groups, we aim to bridge different resources and information across these groups to inform more cohesive policies and practices related to family support.The FSRTC has three main objectives: (1) Define the state of science in family support; (2) Generate new knowledge in the critical policy areas of self-direction and managed care and in culturally competent peer-to-peer family interventions; and (3) Generate and implement a vision for policy and practice in family support through a national resource center. Please visit our research page for updates.

The FSRTC is housed at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute on Disability and Human Development. The Institute on Disability and Human Development (IDHD) is the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD) for the State of Illinois. IDHD is part of a national network of 67 UCEDDs – at least one in every US state and territory. Read more.


AUCD_logoAssociation of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) is a membership organization that supports and promotes a national network of university-based interdisciplinary programs. Network members consist of 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), 43 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Programs and 15 Developmental Disability Research Centers (IDDRC). Read more.
easter-seals-logoEaster Seals provides services to help children and adults with disabilities and/or special needs as well as support to their families. Easter Seals assists more than one million individuals and their families annually at more than 550 Easter Seals service sites across the country. Each center provides top-quality, innovative services tailored to meet the specific needs of the people they serve. Read more.
SALTO_logoGrupo Salto is a non-profit organization that provides parent support to more than 400 Latino families of children with ASD through monthly parent educational meetings, art programs for children, social skills group for adolescent children, youth and adults with ASD, and sibling support groups, among other things. Read more.
NAC_logoNational Alliance for Caregiving* is a non-profit coalition of national organizations focused on improving the lives of family caregivers. Alliance members include grassroots organizations, professional associations, service organizations, disease-specific organizations, government agencies, and corporations. Read more.
sln_logo_color_600dpiSibling Leadership Network (SLN) promotes a broad network of siblings who share the experience of disability and people concerned with sibling issues by connecting them to social, emotional, governmental, and provisional supports across the lifespan enabling them to be effective advocates with their brother and sister, and to serve as change agents for themselves and their families. Read more.
uiuc_logoSpecial Education Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has long been a leader in research that promotes effective, inclusive outcomes for individuals with disabilities across the life span. Faculty and students pursue research, teaching, and service activities that improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities and their families. Read more.
The-Arc-homepage-logoThe Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. They encompass all ages and more than 100 different diagnoses including autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and various other developmental disabilities. The Arc has nearly 700 state and local chapters nationwide. Read more.
UMThe University of Michigan School of Social Work seeks to develop a more equitable, caring, and socially just society. Such a society meets basic human needs, eliminates social and economic inequities, and empowers individuals, their communities, and institutions to reach their aspirations and potential. Drawing on an interdisciplinary faculty within a public university seated in a region of enormous need and promise, the School is dedicated to education, research, and service that fosters progressive change at local, national, and global levels. Read more.
USC_smallThe mission of the University of Southern California, School of Social Work is to improve the well-being of vulnerable individuals and communities, advance social and economic justice, and eradicate pressing societal problems in complex and culturally diverse urban environments throughout Southern California, the nation and the world. Our mission is achieved through value-driven, scholarly and creative social work education, research, and professional leadership. Read more.