Also by the mid-1970s there are clear signs that family support is being recognized as a strategy with potential.

The first systematic family support program was developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare based on experiences at the Greater Omaha Arc. The Family Resources Services Program was developed to eliminate the need for institutionalization by giving family support and relief.

The Department hoped that families might consider bringing individuals, such as family members, out of a residential school and into their homes.

The services include Respite Care (a temporary residence), Family Aid (a person to care for the family member for a few hours at a time), Homemaker Services, Recreation programs, Transportation, In-Home Therapy, and Parent Training.

Child playing
Photo courtesy William Bronston, M.D.