Family support programs provide an array of formal and informal services to support and empower families with children and adolescents having serious emotional disturbances. The goal of family support is to reduce family stress and enhance each family's ability to care for their child. To do this, family support programs operate on the principles of individualized care and recognizing every child and family is unique in their strengths and needs. Connecting family members to other families with children with serious emotional problems helps families to feel less isolated and identify their own strengths
Family support programs ideally provide the following four core services: family/peer support, respite, advocacy, and skill building/educational opportunities.