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To assist and advocate for people affected by mental illness, developmental disabilities
and related disorders in living meaningful lives.

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Family Support

Eligible children in FCESS are automatically entitled to receive Family Support Services. Family Support is a State mandated program that helps parents/guardians understand the various resources available to them as well as maneuver the often confusing systems of service delivery for family members with a disability. Download He-M519 State regulations governing this program. Family Support Coordinators work with families to provide valuable resource information and link families with services identified below.


Respite is funding for care in the home or in the community to provide a break for other family members. The family has full freedom and control in choosing their own provider(s) with the training and safeguards to assure appropriateness and quality of services and supports provided. Respite may be used as day, evening, or night care, either on special occasions, emergency situations, or whenever the family chooses.

Special Education Support

Family Support Coordinators may attend special education meetings with families (as requested by families) to help support the family and answer any questions the family may have regarding the special education process. The role of the Family Support Coordinator is not to be an advocate but to quietly support the parents/guardians, acting as a neutral liaison between ESS, the family and the school system.

High School Transition Supports

Supports to help with the planning process regarding transition from school programs to adult supports including identifying needs, exploring community options and help accessing adult benefits, services and other community resources.

Guardianship/Court/Financial Assistance

Information and direct support from Family Support Coordinators on specific resource information, application process, attendance at scheduled court related meetings, and other needs as requested by families.

Discretionary Funding

Family Support has a small amount of discretionary funding that families may apply for via their family support coordinator. Activities supported through this fund include but are not limited to: special equipment, nutrition, health and safety items, specialized training related to disability, household expenses, childcare costs, special therapies, campership and recreational opportunities, and more.
All requests for financial support are brought to the Family Support Council for approval.

Family Support Council

The Family Support Council is an advisory board to the Board of Directors of Northern Human Services. The Council’s mission is to improve programming and services for individuals with developmental disabilities via information, networking, resource/referral opportunities, and direct service activities. The Council meets one time per month and welcomes public participation. In addition, the Family Support Council welcomes new members. If interested please contact Carrie Duran

NH Family Ties Program:
This statewide program allows families dealing with a particular disability to connect with other families in the state. It matches parents “who have been there” with one another to offer support to one another as well as resource and network information. For more information, check out the parent-to-parent website or contact Shanon Smith at 837-9547 ext 1222 or

Respitality is the combination of “respite” to parents/guardians of individuals with special needs with the hospitality of the hotel industry who have donated free overnight stays. Respitality provides an opportunity for caregivers to relax and refresh their bodies and minds. Participating motels and hotels offer families free overnight and weekend stays. Contact Stacey Bilodeau at 636-6193 or for more information.

In-Home Supports:
In-Home Supports is an array of services provided to an individual, birth through 21, and their family whose needs are intensive. Services are identified by the family and may include but not be limited to: in-home care providers, respite, specialized therapies, equipment and training, specialized consultations, nursing and other medically related services. In order to be eligible, the individual with the developmental disability must live at home and be eligible for Area Agency services and Medicaid. Click on the following link He-M524for the state regulations governing this program. Please contact Letitia Genest at for more information.

For more information contact your local Family support Coordinator:

Stacey Bilodeau: 69 Willard Street, Berlin, NH 03570. 603-752-1005 ext. 3558. 603-636-2555 ext. 3556 
Shanon Smith: PO Box 299, Whitefiled, NH 03598. 603-837-9547 ext. 1222 
Karen Nelson: 626 Eastman Road, Ctr. Conway, NH 03813. 603-356-6921 ext. 1015

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