Town Hall Meeting Planned To Help Save Family Support

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The public is invited to attend a town hall meeting concerning the Family Support Program on Monday, Dec. 21 at 4 p.m. at the Cannon County Senior Citizens Center at 609 Lehman St. in Woodbury.

State Representative Stratton Bone is scheduled to attend. Speak up and let your voice by heard to help save the Family Support Program.

Family Support helps provide financial assistance to individuals with severe disabilities throughout the State of Tennessee. Last year 19 families were served in Cannon County.

If temporary economic stimulus funds aren't replaced, almost $4,000 Tennesseans will lose their Family Support Services. This may be your only chance to express your concerns regarding the possible end to one of the least expensive of all programs that provides home and community based services to people with disabilities.

For more information about the meeting or to find out how you can help, contact Jeannette Dillard, Family Support Local/District Council member for Cannon County, at 615-765-5871.

What is Family Support?

In 1992, at the urging of disability advocates and families, the Tennessee legislature established the Family Support Program. The program is funded by state dollars and designed to assist individuals with severe disabilities and their families to remain together in their homes and communities. Family Support is not a substitute for more comprehensive services provided under other programs, including the Medicaid HCBS Waiver, TennCare, Medicare, or private insurance.

Who Is Eligible?

The primary purpose of the program is to support:

• Families who have school-aged or younger children with severe disabilities

• Adults with severe disabilities who choose to live with their families

• Adults with severe disabilities not supported by other residential programs funded by state or federal funds

Services can include but are not limited to: Respite care, day care services, home modifications, equipment, supplies, personal assistance, transportation, homemaker services, housing costs, health-related needs, nursing and counseling.

Services are flexible and responsive to families and their needs. An essential element of the Family Support Program is family and consumer involvement. Local and District Councils have been established and meet on a regular basis to oversee and provide advice on the distribution of local services.
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