Families play an important role in providing care to their family members with I/DD. Supports provided vary widely and include interventions to support people in areas of behavior, health and medical supports (such as therapies), transportation, assistive technologies, and assistance with daily living activities such as preparing meals, personal care, shopping, etc. The Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports (FINDS) survey was initially conducted by The Arc of the United States in 2010. It was updated in 2017 through a collaboration between the Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC/CL) at the University of Minnesota and The Arc. The purpose of FINDS is to understand the experiences of families who provide supports to a family member with IDD. An estimated 43.5 million people provide support to a family member who is aging or who has a disability (National Alliance for Caregiving, 2015).
Important questions exist about families who provide such support: 1. What are the challenges families face meeting the support needs of their family member? 2. What are the economic implications of caregiving? 3. How does caregiving affect caregivers and what supports do they need? Better understanding the experiences and needs of caregivers can help policy makers and other support caregivers in this important role.