About Family Connection

Our Mission
Changing lives by making connections, raising awareness, and promoting inclusion for those with disabilities and special healthcare needs.

Our Vision
Everyone in South Carolina will have the support, education, and opportunities to achieve their full potential.

Family Connection is a statewide nonprofit that was founded in 1989 by a group of South Carolina parents who have children with disabilities and special needs. These families realized their source of hope and strength for the future of their children came from other parents who had already successfully navigated life’s similar challenges.

In April, 1990 we began operation as an independent, community-based support network founded by families for families that had children of all ages with special needs. In a little more than a year, that vision matured into an active, family-centered organization through the generous support, dedication and cooperation of parents, staff, professionals, volunteers and contributors from across the community.

Now we have made more than 50,000 parent-to-parent matches and continue to provide support to our families statewide. We provide support to parents with a child with any special healthcare need, such as an upcoming surgery, developmental delays, premature birth, physical limitations, and all diagnoses including, but not limited to autism, asthma, ADHD, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. Our support for families includes a vast family-to-family network and a host of programs that educate, inspire and empower families and their children to live rich, fulfilling lives.

We are also the parent center for special education services throughout the state, so we remain the point of contact as children transition through the education system, post secondary education and to adulthood.

Family Connection is proud to be:

  1. A member of Parent-to-Parent USA (P2P USA), ensuring best practices in parent-to-parent support.
  2. The Parent Training Information Center (PTI). Funded by the US Department of Education, PTIs serve families of children and young adults from birth to age 26 with all disabilities.
  3. The SC Family Voices Affiliate Organization.  Family Voices aims to achieve family-centered care for all children and youth with special health care needs or disabilities. Through this national network, Family Voices provides families tools to make informed decisions, advocates for improved public and private policies, builds partnerships among professionals and families and serves as a trusted resource on health care.
  4. The South Carolina Family-to-Family Health Information Center (F2F HIC) funded through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB). F2F HICs are uniquely able to help families because they are run by a network of parents and family members of Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs (CYSHCN) who have first-hand experience navigating the maze of services and programs for CYSHCN.

Key Partners

  • Able South Carolina
  • Baby Net
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina
  • SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
  • SC Department of Education
  • SC Department of Health and Human Services
  • SC Department of Health and Environmental Control
  • SC Developmental Disabilities Council