The Family SOUP mission is to empower families of children with special needs through support and education to reach their full potential as members of the community.
Our Core Values
- All Children have the right to a nurturing and balanced family life.
- Families benefit from the strength and experiences of other families.
- Inclusive opportunities help maximize the quality of life for all.
- Information is empowering.
- Children deserve advocacy.
We're here for you
Family SOUP is a warm and friendly starting point that provides support and empowerment by connecting parents of children who have special needs with information, resources and emotional support. Family SOUP is involved in educating the community on the needs of our children with special needs and their families. Hospitals, doctors, community groups, educators and other agencies and individuals serving children are all part of Family SOUP. We are here to help local children grow and develop, enjoy success at school, be active in the community and lead fulfilling lives. Most of our services are offered at no cost to our families and there are no eligibility requirements.
Help with your questions
Our Resource Library provides up-to-date information. We have books, DVDs, magazines, and articles that help you better understand your child’s special needs. Caring staff and volunteers will assist you in finding the answers you are looking for and help you discover what services and information are out there.
Parent to Parent
We have a large network of parent to parent support parents who will listen with their hearts because they, too, have been there. Parents and families have opportunities to socialize, relax and have fun together at our family activities and casual outings. We can help with finding answers, IEP support, providing support and offering solutions. Just come on by or give us a call and you will find someone who can help you with:
- Education and Regional Center questions
- Transportation assistance for out-of-town specialized medical appointments and hospitalizations
- Referrals to services
- Meeting other parents
- and many other services
Classes and Workshops Family SOUP offers various classes and workshops throughout the year, including:
- Informational trainings that provide an opportunity for parents and professionals to learn together
- Facilitated and informal support groups and activities for parents
Therapeutic Horseback Riding Able Riders is a 4-H Community Club sponsored by Family SOUP. This therapeutic horseback riding program has been serving children with disabilities in the local area since 1990. Therapeutic horseback riding is a fun and motivational way to provide therapy for individuals with physical, mental or emotional disabilities. Our riders benefit from weekly lessons geared to their ability.
We are non-profit
We are a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit organization. Your donations help make our programs possible.
Why We're Needed
Most parents are familiar with the stresses of child rearing, but there is a special set of tribulations known only to parents of children with disabilities. From the very beginning parents are reeling as their child is diagnosed with a developmental disability, medical, psychological, learning or other issue. They wonder what’s next and where can they turn for honest answers.
A child’s diagnosis can bring a wide range of emotional responses and these parents can trust Family SOUP to listen with their hearts because they’ve been there too. A 2009 study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison found that the physiological and psychological toll on mothers raising autistic children is significantly greater than that on mothers of children who with no disabilities, and that the chronic stress experienced by mothers of autistic children is similar to that of combat soldiers.
We can provide emotional support, tips and shortcuts and how to qualify for services through education, regional center, In-Home Support Services, respite care and more. Family SOUP offers workshops to learn more about disabilities and strategies and resources to help their child succeed. We also sponsor activities for children including Able Riders Therapeutic Horseback Riding, Sibling Support Group and Mornings in the Garden.
Parents of children with disabilities, for example, face a host of questions that most parents never have to address: Should I set up a special needs trust? How can I help my son or daughter navigate the confusing world of dating? Will my daughter ever be able to live on her own? How can the school help and what’s my role in finding all the services that may be available?
Our parents also learn that one of their most important roles is as Parent Advocate. Just as parents are their child’s first teacher, parents must be their child’s best advocate. Family SOUP offers workshops to learn parent rights and who to contact when they need help securing supports and services.
Empowerment through Family SOUP supports
- Learn about your Rights and Responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act
- Make informed decisions about your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), Section 504 Plan, Individualized Person Plan (IPP), or Student Study Team (SST)
- Obtain appropriate services for your child
- Communicate more effectively with school professionals and agency staff
- Come together with other parents who share your concerns and desires to make a difference
- Learn more about Early Intervention and transition services
- Initiate positive change in your child’s school.
- Learn about what he or she needs to lead a productive, fulfilling and independent adult life
Family SOUP, a parent driven 501(c)3 organization since 1992, serves the Sutter, Yuba and Colusa region.