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Our Mission 

Families Matter raises expectations for families and society that people with disabilities can be contributing members of their community.


Our Values

  • Family engagement leads to improved long-term outcomes.

  • Diversity enriches all of our lives including diverse disabilities, races, genders, sexuality and nationality.

  • Coordinated services and resource-sharing support families to reach their goals.

  • Community connections make people with disabilities safer and their lives richer.  

Image by Dave Hoefler

Our History

Wisconsin has a rich history of parent training that began in the early 1990s with trainings such as Parents as Leaders (PALs) for parents of children under the age of 6, Parents in Partnership (PIP) for parents of children between the ages of 6 and 14 and Parents in Partnership for Transition (PIP-T) for parents who have children between the ages of 14 and 21. All of these programs offered parents the opportunities to learn about programs and systems that affect their children’s lives, help them develop critical skills and prepare them to take more active leadership roles at both the local and state level.

The Youth in Partnership with Parents for Empowerment (YiPPE) program was developed in 2006 by Families Matter Co-Directors, Sherry Gundlach and Jenny Neugart and co-developers Martha DeYoung and Deb Wisniewski to include the youth in setting goals for their own future.  It is the first training of its kind that trains both the youth and parents together so the family can prepare for transition together. To date, YiPPE has trained close to 500 families.

The Families Matter Outreach Project was started in 2020 to expand the number of families reached who get connected to services and supports that lead to better outcomes for their children with disabilities.  

Our Organizational Overview

Families Matter Outreach Project, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation classified as an exempt organization under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code and is organized exclusively for charitable purposes.  As a 501(c)3 organization, Families Matter Outreach Project, Inc. is exempt from the payment of federal income on its exempt

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