Abstract

As a core unit of our society, the family provides support for all its members. Due to the nature of their disabilities, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) often receive emotional, physical, and material support from their families across the life course. During the National Goals 2015 Conference, three goals were identified that will lead to a better understanding of families and maximize their capacity, strengths, and unique abilities to support, nurture, and facilitate opportunities for family members who have a disability. The three goals are to (1) develop a better understanding of the complex family structures in the United States and the best practices for supporting them; (2) extend our knowledge on how families are or might be supported by their natural communities, outside the purview of IDD systems; and (3) synthesize support practices, implementation strategies, and outcomes for supporting families. This article describes these three goals related to supporting families across the life course and provides a rationale, areas of research to address the goals, and implications for policy and practice for each goal.

You do not currently have access to this content.