Caring in So Many Ways

By Director Barbara Palmer

Some very important stakeholders for the Agency for Person with Disabilities (APD) are members of the Family Care Councils (FCCs) around the state. We need more people to volunteer to serve on these advisory groups. For more than 20 years, the FCCs’ mission has been to advocate, educate, and empower individuals with developmental disabilities while serving as APD’s primary advisory group. There are 15 FCCs throughout our state, with each representing a geographical area. The volunteers are appointed by the governor to advocate for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

The FCC membership is comprised of individuals with developmental disabilities, parents, siblings, grandparents, and guardians of people with developmental disabilities who qualify for APD services.

Family Care Council Florida (FCCF) Chairperson Mary Smith said, “Family Care Council success depends on self-advocates and family members uniting as the real-life experts in the developmental disability community. By becoming an active FCC member, you will have many opportunities to acquire knowledge, use your voice and experiences, and help others in the community. Being a part of Family Care Council is a platform for success in giving back. I am using my voice and experiences to make a difference in the disability community. I am always learning and sharing information to help others.”

To learn more about the FCCs and how you can get involved, visit or call 1-800-470-8101. We need you!

An exciting new activity APD just started with our 15 Family Care Councils is a recruitment effort for foster families to serve children with developmental disabilities. APD is closely collaborating with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), who licenses foster homes. FCC members will be reaching out to their local communities to identify families that are willing to become foster families for special needs children. This is a very important effort, and we so appreciate the FCCs for taking on this initiative.