Mission & Vision

Why do we do what we do?


We want to live in a world where everyone is:

  • valued and treated with respect, fairness and equality
  • included in their communities
  • given opportunities to dream, achieve success and change the world.

We believe that the F2F Network provides opportunities to:

  • share new and diverse ideas
  • inspire and strengthen our individual capacity
  • form a strong team to change the world together


What guides our work?


The following ideas and perspectives guide the work of Missouri Family to Family:


What is self-determination?

“Quite simply, being self-determined means making things happen in a person’s own life, instead of having others do things to, or for them. People who are self-determined know what they want and how to get it. They choose and set goals, then work to reach them. They advocate on their own behalf, and are involved in solving problems and making decisions about their lives. They don’t have to do everything for themselves, but instead, they make or cause things to happen in their lives that improve the quality of their lives” (National Gateway to Self-Determination)

Why is self-determination important?

Without self-determination, we are not able to make choices about where we live and how we spend our day, with whom we spend our time, and the direction in which our path is headed.

We believe fostering self-determination begins early and continues throughout the life course.

Social Capital

Social capital is “…the personal and collective power of people with disabilities and organizations to further their full inclusion within the community, to access social support networks, and to increase their quality of life” (National Gateway to Self-Determination).

Without relationships and strong personal networks, none of us would make it!  This is especially important for people with disabilities.

Supporting Families

Goal of supporting families

To maximize their capacity, strengths, and unique abilities so they can best support, nurture, love and facilitate opportunities for the achievement of self-determination, interdependence, productivity, integration, and inclusion in all facets of community life for their family members.

What does it mean to support families?

Supporting the family is defined as a set of strategies targeting the family unit but that ultimately benefit the individual with I/DD and include the following:

  • Discovery & Navigation – Information, education, and training on best practices within and outside of
    disability services, accessing and coordinating community supports, and advocacy and leadership skills.
  • Connecting & Networking – Relating with other families, including parents with disabilities, self-advocates and siblings, grandparents and other guardians for mutual support.
  • Goods & Services – Services and goods that are specific to the daily support and/or care-giving role for the person with I/DD, such as planning for current and future needs, respite, crisis prevention and intervention, systems navigation, home modifications, and health/wellness management.

To learn more about supporting families, visit the Community of Practice for Supporting Families of Individuals with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities at supportingfamilies.org.

LifeCourse Perspective

The LifeCourse Framework looks at areas across the life span. Our lives are not disconnected stages, each stage influences all the rest that follow. This perspective takes into account the complex interplay of biological, behavioral, psychological, social, and environmental factors. There are four major concepts of the life course perspective:

  • Trajectory:  Long-term pattern of stability and change, which usually involves multiple transitions.
  • Transition:  Change in roles and statuses that represent a distinct departure from prior roles and statuses.
  • Turning Point:  Life event that produces a lasting shift in the life course trajectory
  • Life event:  significant occurrence involving a relatively abrupt change that may produce serious and long-lasting effects

In the LifeCourse perspective, there are different life stages that we all go through. These stages are:

  • Prenatal/infancy: Early years, wondering if meeting developmental milestones
  • Early childhood: Preschool age, getting a diagnosis
  • School age: Everyday life during the school years
  • Transition: Transitioning from school to adult life
  • Adulthood: Living life as an adult
  • Aging: Aging and preparing for end of life (parent/family/individual)

Within the LifeCourse framework, there are life domains described. These domains represent parts of life that people may need services and supports in. These life domains are:

  • Daily life: What a person does as part of everyday life, school and employment, volunteering, communication, routines, and life skills
  • Community living: Where are how someone lives, housing and living options, community access, transportation, home adaptations, and modifications
  • Social and  spirituality: Building friendships and relationships, leisure activities, personal networks, and faith community
  • Healthy living: Managing and accessing health care and staying well, medical, mental health, behavior, developmental, wellness, and nutrition
  • Safety and security: staying safe and secure, emergencies, well-being, guardianship options, legal rights
  • Citizenship and advocacy: supports for individuals and families, peer support, self-advocacy

When discussing these life domains, it is important to note that they all must communicate, and build upon one another. Tradition service delivery systems silo services, and there is little communication. By building on one another’s work, practitioners are utilizing the life course perspective.

There are many pieces at play in the LifeCourse framework, and it is important to remember that none of them are in a vacuum, each piece of the framework effects other pieces, just as each part of a person’s life has effects though the other parts.

Graphic: MOF2F's Golden Circle

Do you share our vision for individuals with disabilities?