Families Helping Families of Southwest Louisiana has been incorporated since January, 1992. We serve the area of Region V which includes the parishes of Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis Parishes. FHF SWLA’s core services include information and referral, education and training and peer support. We are a 501©3 organization that is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of 51% individuals with disabilities or family members and other interested community members.

Our mission is to enable and empower individuals with disabilities and their families by providing information, referral, education, training, peer support and advocacy skills.  Our vision is that all individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to attend school, live, work and play in their own community

FHF SWLA coordinates and collaborates with several agencies statewide. We are also part of a statewide network of ten Families Helping Families Centers. The program staff of FHF SWLA are all family members or individuals with disabilities. Our staff includes an executive director, 1 support staff, and 8 program staff who put a face on 9 programs at our agency. Programs of our agency provide over 50 training and support opportunities each year. We work with individuals with any kind of special need (mental, physical, emotional, or educational). We offer a resource lending library, quarterly email newsletter, research on disability related topics, information and referral, education and training and peer support and advocacy skills training.

Families Helping Families SWLA is the only family directed resource center in Southwest Louisiana. Families Helping Families SWLA is a unique agency that can answer specific questions about disabilities from our own personal experiences and lend a supportive and helping hand to families living with disability issues.

Only at FHF SWLA can one get information from another parent or individual with a disability that has accessed the SAME services and learned firsthand how to navigate the many different service systems.

We serve over 2000 families each year who are seeking information and referral about specific disabilities and services in the community, education advocacy assistance, systems change advocacy assistance, peer support and other specifics related to various disabilities.

Please help us by taking this short survey about education services.  
We are working to improve the services that we provide and to make sure we are providing support and information that is needed by the families in our region.  
Parents/Family Members of individuals with disabilities are the target audience but we always welcome educators and other service providers input!  
Click here to take this survey!
We appreciate your taking the time to share your input with us so that we can enhance and improve the services we provide for individuals with disabilities and their families.  
Susan Riehn

Why you may want to attend a Families Helping Families Workshop…..

What a participant had to say at the Advocating for Positive Supports Workshop on July 19, 2016 …..

I have learned lots of important skills, concepts, and lessons!  I would recommend this workshop to another parent!  Any workshop you guys have are excellent!  My needs were met by the information I received today.  Awesome presentation!  I always love the FHF workshops!  I have been coming to workshops and made phone calls in regards to my daughter who has Asperger’s since 2013.  It’s 2016.  Each workshop gets better and better.  I have done the IEP Boot Camp workshop for several years.  I just want to personally say thank you!  You have been such a blessing to me and my family.

Letter of Praise for Families Helping Families of SWLA –

As a mother, I offer you all my heartfelt gratitude. From the first moment I reached out to Families Helping Families almost a year ago, I was met with attentive ears, caring voices, and face to face support. This could not have arrived at a better time for me – as a full time single parent of 3, my burdens were increasing and resources (on both personal and community levels) were scarce. After many calls and unsuccessful attempts to find support, I was finally directed to FHF. This organization is truly based in the community and it is apparent how much everyone involved really cares about the service they provide and the community in which they take part.

From the perspective of the past PR professional, I commend your level of organization and follow through. I consistently receive email updates and personal phone calls to check in and extend invitations to upcoming gatherings. I can honestly say I’ve never come across an organization so committed and joyful in their work. I pray this community continues to thrive and prosper. I hope this testimony speaks to the indispensable resource that Families Helping Families is to the Lake Area. Sincerely,

Signed by a Parent from Southwest Louisiana

We are Families Helping Families….It’s Who We Are…It’s What We Do!

Many Thanks!!!
FHF SWLA Board of Directors and Staff send out a HUGE Thank YOU to Ronny Lovett – R&R Construction for his continued support!!!  Not only does R&R support us with funds they also send their employees to work our Annual Community Christmas Party each year!!  We could NEVER have a party this size without their help!!  These are some of the folks that help each year!  R&R Employees are pictured with our Christmas Party Chair-Mona Timpa, Elaine Harmon, Susan Riehn and Julius Courville. Julius organizes the employees from picking up supplies, cooking, setting up the room, serving the food to cleaning up the hall!!  Thank you Thank you R&R Construction!
Susan Riehn, Executive Director

The 1st Annual FHFSWLA Dash for disAbilities Superhero 5K Fun Run Walk Roll was a Smashing Success!
Thank You!  Thank you to all the many sponsors, volunteers, and participants!  We are looking forward to next year's event!

Families Helping Families of SWLA in collaboration with Louisiana Parent Training & Information Center is co-hosting a FREE online Webinar!
Join us online for Anatomy of an IEP! Wednesday, March 28, 2018 from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
Click here to download the online webinar event flyer
To access or participate in the online webinar you need to have the "GoToWebinar" app on your smartphone, ipad, tablet, or just use your desktop/laptop computer!
"GoToWebinar" app can be downloaded for FREE from google play store or itunes app store.
If you are in the Lake Charles area you are welcome join the online webinar with FHFSWLA staff in our conference room at Families Helping Families of SWLA, 2927 Hodges Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601.
If you have questions on how to access or how you can participate in this online webinar contact Wallace at (337) 436-2570 or 1-800-894-6558.
Click here to register for Online Webinar-Anatomy of an IEP

If you are on the Request for Services Registry, known as "the waiting list" you're Invited to an OCDD Statewide Community Meeting -
The Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) is holding community meetings to share information regarding our move to a Tiered Waiver System, a change from the current first-come, first-served basis.  Individuals or family members who are currently on the New Opportunity Waiver Request for Services Registry, known as "the waiting list" are invited to join us.  Regional meetings will be held from either 10:00 a.m to 11:30 a.m. or 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the location below. RSVP is not required for attendance. For more information, call 1-866-517-7687 or email ocdd-hcbs@la.gov.

“Working Together As One!” Lake Charles Mayor's Commission on Disability Conference

Click here for Save the Date Event Flyer

Click here for Event PSA

Click here for Event Sponsorship Information


Lake Charles Civic Center - Contraband Room, 900 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event is free to the public, but registration is encouraged.

To register or for more information please Contact Dena Jourdan at (337) 491-1465.