The Family Network on Disabilities of Manatee/Sarasota, Inc. (FND), is a local non-profit organization started as a support group in 1986. Originally called Parent-To-Parent, the organization was formed by a group of concerned parents of children with disabilities, who wanted to help and support other parents dealing with the same everyday concerns, worries, and issues of raising and caring for their disabled children. In the beginning, our main focus was advocacy, which continues to be one of the organization’s primary goals today through the HOPE (Helping Out Parents in Education) Advocacy Services program.
In 1992 our name changed to Family Network on Disabilities, and we established a renewed commitment to providing more direct services to families of children with disabilities and special needs and to the communities of Manatee and Sarasota counties. In the time since then, we have begun holding Annual Disability Conferences for parents and professionals, provide in-home respite care services, continue to work with school age children through the More Alike Than Different Program, created a Parent Mentoring and Support Program, and are working collaboratively with partnering agencies to provide services through Chosen Families Adoption Preservation Program.