Family Advocacy formally known as ‘The Institute for Family Advocacy and Leadership Development’ is an independent, impartial advocacy organisation that supports families across New South Wales to promote and defend the rights and interests of people with developmental disability*. The organisation is managed and staffed by parents and allies of people with disability, who recognise the issues that people with disability and families face and who can assist in strengthening the advocacy and capacity of families.
We were founded by families of people with disability, and differ from carer organisations in that our family members are advocating for people with disability to have a good, ordinary life. We do not advocate for parents or siblings themselves, and believe first and foremost in improving the lives of our family members with disability through natural, community supports rather than government funding or services.
All of the advocacy work we undertake, including our events, workshops and resources are underpinned by a theory that provides a comprehensive framework for how to help people with disability achieve a good life. The theory is called Social Role Valorisation (SRV) and can be powerful for families to use to improve the life of their family member with disability.
We are currently the only advocacy organisation of this kind in Australia. We receive funding for our work from the Federal government’s National Disability Advocacy Program. For more information on the model of advocacy undertaken by Family Advocacy please view this film developed by Department of Social Services, 6 models of advocacy. Family Advocacy undertakes a range of work with families:
- building their capacity to advocate for their family member with disability and be leaders on rights and inclusion for people with disability in their communities;
- making representations to governments regarding inclusive legislation, policy, funding, monitoring and practice;
- and providing advocacy and capacity building information, support and advice
Read our 2015|2016 Annual Report to find out more about the work we undertake.
Our vision is of families being agents of positive social change so the inherent value of people with developmental disability is recognised within a just and inclusive society.
Our mission is for people with a developmental disability to attain socially valued roles within the community. This is accomplished through strengthening the advocacy, knowledge and understanding of families. Our focus is to encourage and support families to speak up and seek opportunities with and on behalf of their family members so as to enjoy the same environments, lifestyles and living conditions that are afforded to most Australians.
Family Advocacy is governed by families who are genuinely invested in the rights of people with disabilities living fully inclusive lives. We currently have nine Management Committee members overseeing the work of the organisation who meet four times a year with the organisations Executive Officer. For more information on each Committee member please visit Family Advocacy Committee page.
Family Advocacy supports the philosophy and practice of meaningful inclusion.
Family Advocacy has members and allies in all parts of NSW and across Australia. Our members are like minded families who fully support the right to an inclusive life for their family member with disability.
If you think that you align with the organisations Vision and Mission and would like to find out more about Family Advocacy’s membership please contact us.
Family Advocacy receives annual funding grants from the Federal Department of Social Services (DSS) and from the NSW State, Family and Community Services (FACS), ADHC.
* What is developmental disability? This is a disability that occurs in the developmental period of a person’s life (in the period from conception to adulthood) and includes intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, autism and any combination of physical, intellectual or sensory disability.
If you would like to contribute to Family Advocacy’s work you can make a donation either via our online Family Advocacy Donations payment page OR send a cheque/money order to:
PO Box 502
Epping NSW 1710
To make a donation via a bank transfer please call on 9869 0866 or 1800 620 588