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Father and child

By 1998, over $735 million was being spent nationwide on family support programs. This still only represented 3% of the total spending on developmental disabilities programs, but was a massive increase over the past.

Approximately $100 million was spent on family support in 1986 (using 1998 constant dollars). In the five years between 1993 and 1998, there was a 93% (inflation adjusted) increase. This was twice the increase in overall spending for other community services.

The level of commitment to family support programs varied greatly among states. For instance, average per capita spending on family support was $2.74 but the range was wide – the two states with the highest average family support spending per capita invested $12.44 and $9.58 per capita, while the two states with the lowest spent $0.15 and $0.20 per capita.


The average spending per family involved in the programs was $2,245 but the range was over $11,000.

The average annual spending per family ranged from $11,855 and $8,916 in the two highest spending states to $232 and $335 in the two lowest spending states.

In 1998, the source of family support dollars was primarily from state funds. Of the states that broke out their spending by federal and state sources in a 1998 survey, only 23% of their total funds were from federal (HCBS Waiver and other sources).

Starting in 1998, the Administration of Developmental Disabilities has provided grant funding to states in order to stimulate the development of innovative family support services.