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California Parent Organizations

List of California agencies providing resources for families of children with disabilities.

Parent Organizations and the California Department of Education

The California Department of Education, Special Education Division, works closely with the federal and state funded parent organizations to increase parent participation and collaboration between parents and educators to improve the educational system.

Parent Training and Information Center

California Community Parent Resource Centers

SB 511, Family Empowerment Centers

Parent Training and Information Center


Each PTI is a parent-directed, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization funded by the U.S. Department of Education, authorized under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and often enhanced by private sources. Every state in the United States has a funded PTI.

IDEA states that PTIs will:

  • provide parents of children, ages birth through 26 with disabilities, including low-income parents, parents of limited English proficient children, and parents with disabilities, with the training and information they need to enable them to participate effectively in helping their children with disabilities to
  • meet developmental and functional goals, and challenging academic achievement goals that have been established for all children
  • be prepared to lead productive, independent adult lives, to the maximum extent possible.
  • provide training and information on parent rights, responsibilities, and protections under IDEA in order to develop the skills necessary to cooperatively and effectively participate in planning and decision making relating to early intervention, educational, and transitional services. Core Programs

These core programs and services are offered by each one of the California PTIs:

  • Workshops which cover:
    • Disability Awareness programs
    • Individualized Educational Program (IEP)
    • Parent and student rights and responsibilities under IDEA
    • Parent mentor training
    • Transition to public school
    • Transition from school to adult life
    • Surrogate Parent Appointment and Responsibilities
  • Parent-to-Parent Support
  • Assistance and Advocacy for educational issues and other services (e.g., SSI, Respite)
  • Support Groups
  • Information and Referral
  • Resource Library and Information Packets on a variety of topics including different types of disabilities
  • Collectively the PTI's newsletters reach 55,000 readers in California and over 60,000 parents and professionals contact the PTIs annually
PTI Contact Information

California Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRC)


The CPRC, as described in 20 United States Code 1472, will help ensure that underserved parents of children, ages birth through 26 with disabilities, including low income parents, parents of limited English proficient children, and parents with disabilities, have the training and information the parents need to enable the parents to participate effectively in helping their children with disabilities.

Each CPRC shall

  • provide training and information that meets the training and information needs of parents of children with disabilities
  • carry out the activities required of PTIs
  • be designed to meet the specific needs of families who experience significant isolation from available sources of information and support.
CPRC Contact Information
  • Loving Your Disabled Child
    Sherilyn Miles-Rosette
    2083 Santa Ana Blvd. North; Los Angeles, CA 90059
    323-373-1213 Fax
    Serving most of Los Angeles County
  • Parents of Watts
    Alice Harris
    10828 Lou Dillon Ave.; Los Angeles, CA 90059
    323-569-3982 Fax
    Serving most of Los Angeles County with Loving Your Disabled Child
  • Chinese Parents Association for the Disabled External link opens in new window or tab.
    Rachel Chen
    PO Box 2884; San Gabriel, CA 91778
  • Fiesta Educativa External link opens in new window or tab.
    Irene Martinez
    163 S. Avenue 24, Suite 201; Los Angeles, CA 90031
    323-221-6699 Fax
  • Vietnamese Parents of Disabled Children Assoc., Inc.
    7526 Syracuse Ave.; Stanton, CA 90680
    949-724-2914 Fax
    Hung Gia Nguyen
    Serving Los Angeles and Orange Counties

SB 511, Family Empowerment Centers (FEC)


Senate Bill 511, enacted as Education Code 56400-56414 , established the FECs funded by IDEA state set aside. The FECs provide services to families with children with disabilities who are from the ages of 3 to 22. The intent of the legislature is to ensure that parents, guardians, and families of children and young adults with disabilities have access to accurate information, specialized training, and peer-to-peer support. Each FEC is a non-profit 501 (c)(3). Funding for the FECs is based upon a specific formula. A rate of $150,000.00 allocated annually to each center to provide the basic services. Additional funding for each FEC is determined according to school enrollment of the region served.

As a condition of funding each FEC shall do all of the following:

  • provide training and information that meets the needs of the parents and guardians of children and young adults with disabilities
  • work with community based organizations
  • provide training and support to parents and guardians of children and young adults with disabilities
  • participate in decision-making processes and the development of individualized education programs.
    promote positive parent and professional collaboration with local education agencies, special education local plan areas, and other community agencies
  • participate and support surrogate parent training
Funded FEC Service Areas
Counties Served Organization
Butte, Glenn, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity Rowell Family Empowerment Center
Sutter, Yuba, Colusa Family Soup
Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Sierra Plumas Rural Services, Inc.
Napa, Solano, Sonoma Matrix Parent Network & Resource Center
San Francisco Support for Families of Children with Disabilities
Santa Clara Parents Helping Parents, Inc.
San Benito, Santa Cruz Special Parents Information Network
Fresno, Kings Exceptional Parents Unlimited
Kern H.E.A.R.T.S. Connection FRC
Los Angeles Westside Family Resource Center
Los Angeles Family Focus Empowerment Center
Los Angeles Parents' Place
Orange Team of Advocates for Special Kids, Inc.
Imperial, San Diego Exceptional Family Resource Center

Direct questions to Matt Traverso, California Department of Education, Family Empowerment Centers Grant Monitor at or 916-323-3308.

FEC Contact and Service Information

Family Empowerment and Disability Council Technical Assistant Project
WestEd Center for Prevention and Early Intervention
1000 G Street, 5th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
E-mail Fax 916-492-4002

The purpose of the Family Empowerment and Disability Council is to provide information, resources, and technical assistance to a statewide network of local FECs who provide family education, empowerment, systems change, advocacy, and parent-professional collaborative activities.

Rowell Family Empowerment Center External link opens in new window or tab.
Kat Lowrance
2701 Old Eureka Way, Suite 2I, Redding CA 96001
530-226-5141 Fax
Redding 877-227-3471
Paradise 888-263-1311
Serving Far Northern California

  • Information and training for parents of children with disabilities on how the disability affects the child's learning and progress in the general curriculum.
  • Parents/families will become knowledgeable in the systems and services and be full partners in their child's education.
  • Support systems for parents as primary caregivers.
  • Parents will be supported in leadership roles both locally and at the state and federal level. 
  • Parents will become aware of all the systems in their community that support people with disabilities.

Family SOUP External link opens in new window or tab.
Cindy Chandler
1650 Sierra Ave., Suite 106; Yuba City, CA 95993

Plumas Rural Services, Inc External link opens in new window or tab.
Michele Piller
586 Jackson St.; Quincy, CA 95971
530-283-3611, ext. 24
530-283-3647 Fax

Plumas Rural Services, Inc. (PRS) is dedicated to "improving the quality of life by promoting the health, education, and well-being of local residents and families." PRS is a multi-program agency. Services include: child care resource and referral, subsidized child care, child care food program, family child care network, domestic violence family focus network; women infant and children, in-home respite, child abuse treatment, senior connections, family center on disabilities and ALIVE, a training and support for adults with special needs.

Matrix Parent Network & Resource Center External link opens in new window or tab.
Nora Thompson
94 Galli Drive, Suite C; Novato, CA 94949
415-884-3555 Fax
Serving Northern California with Parents Helping Parents of Santa Clara

Matrix was founded in 1983 to provide support to families who have children with special needs. Matrix serves Marin, Napa, Sonoma, and Solano counties. There are no fees for services to families. The Matrix Mission Statement is "Empowering families of children with special needs to successfully understand and access the systems that serve them." Matrix will direct services toward Latino families in the North Bay, providing a full time community outreach and training coordinator, along with a half time support person. We will identify community partners and provide trainings on the IEP process in these seven communities. Matrix will provide follow-up individual technical assistance to professional collaborators and provide mentor training for parent leaders in the communities. Additionally, training materials will be made available in Spanish. 

Support for Families of Children with Disabilities External link opens in new window or tab.
Juno Duenas, Executive Director
2601 Mission St. #606; San Francisco, CA 94110-3111
415-282-1226 Fax
Serving San Francisco

Since 1982, Support for Families of Children with Disabilities has offered information, education, and parent-to-parent support free of charge to families of children with any kind of disability or special health care needs in San Francisco.

Parents Helping Parents, Inc. External link opens in new window or tab.
Mary Ellen Peterson
1400 Parkmoor Avenue, Suite 100; San Jose, CA 95126
408-286-1116 Fax
Serving Northern California with Matrix and DREDF

Parents Helping Parents, Inc. (PHP) is a 32-year old parent-directed family resource center offering information, training and support services for children with special needs, their families and the professionals who serve them. Their services benefit children of all ages and backgrounds who have a need for special services due to illness, accidents, birth defects, allergies, learning disorders, family stress, or any other reason.

The goal of the PHP Family Empowerment Center (FEC) is to ensure that Santa Clara County families who have children with special needs between the ages of 3 through 22, especially underserved families, have access to the information, training and support they need to be positively and effectively involved in their children's education. Examples of PHP services include Individual Transition Plan and Student Study Team trainings, bilingual/cultural outreach, information packets, a resource library, a web site, peer counseling, and telephone support.

Special Parents Information Network External link opens in new window or tab.
Cece Pinheiro
P.O. Box 2367; Santa Cruz, CA 95063
Watsonville 831-722-2800;
Santa Cruz 831-423-7713;
Hollister 831-638-1967
831-722-2580 Fax

SPIN Family Empowerment Center (FEC) serves Santa Cruz and San Benito counties (location TBA) and will be staffed by a PT Director, a PT Parent support coordinator and a PT training coordinator. FEC will provide a walk-in serve at their office with parent meeting spaces and a resource library with Internet access. FEC focus is to provide parent support and training regarding education and the IEP process for parents of children ages 3-22, and offer a parent mentor program, informational events, support groups and networking events.

Exceptional Parents Unlimited External link opens in new window or tab.
Marion M. Karian
4440 N. First St.; Fresno, CA 93726
559-229-2956 Fax
Serving Central California

The EPU FEC, serving Fresno and Kings counties, is created under the leadership of Exceptional Parents Unlimited in partnership with the Family Resource Center in Hanford, which is affiliated with United Cerebral Palsy. FEC will serve families who have children with disabilities ages 3-22 through parent-to-parent support, advocacy training and information.

H.E.A.R.T.S. Connection Family Resource Center and Empowerment Center External link opens in new window or tab.
Susan Graham
3101 N. Sillect Ave., Suite 115; Bakersfield, CA 93308
661-328-9940 Fax

H.E.A.R.T.S Connection FRC originated in 1990 utilizing grant funding from the Department of Developmental Services to serve families of children with special needs who reside in Kern County. Their mission statement is "To enhance the quality of life for people with special needs through a family directed resource center that symbolizes professionalism, dignity, compassion and respect."

Services include: countywide support groups, a comprehensive library, quarterly newsletter in English and Spanish, monthly calendars in English and Spanish, the Kids on the Block educational Puppet Troupe, a Sibling Program, parent informational trainings, a Toy Lending Library, information dissemination to the community and social activities for special families.

Expansion services will include: part-time Parent Resource Specialists in satellite library/offices in Delano, Lake Isabella, Mojave, Tehachapi and Ridgecrest, adding resources to the libraries including educational kits, a Translation Program with equipment, a Dispute Conflict Resolution Program and an expansion of our sibling program.

Westside Family Resource Center External link opens in new window or tab.
Erieda Galda
5901 Green Valley Circle #320; Culver City, CA 90230-6953
310-338-9664 Fax

The Westside Family Resource Center provides support, information and access to services for families, professionals and teachers who have or work with children and/or young adults with a disability, chronic illness or other special health care or learning needs. Their intent is to reach out to the community to provide support and information to families whose children do NOT qualify for Regional Center services, but do have IEPs. They will create opportunities for positive parent/professional collaboration and assist families to understand Special education services and how to access them in the least restrictive environment, and will develop culturally sensitive and language-specific support groups throughout the community to connect and inform families. One of their main priorities will be to support non-English speaking families in under-served areas.

Family Focus Empowerment Center
Ann R. Bisno
CA State University, Northridge; College of Education, Room E109-I
18111 Nordhoff St.; Northridge, CA 91330-8265
818-677-5574 Fax

The FFEC will provide

  • Comprehensive information about disabilities, laws, and public and private services.
  • Educational programs and support groups to parents.
  • Greater understanding of education and development needs.
  • Collaboration with community agencies and programs.
  • Advocacy for positive dispute resolution.
  • Assistance in teacher preparation and training.
  • Respect for families' cultural, linguistic & socio-economic diversity.

The Parents’ Place External link opens in new window or tab.
Karen Nutt (interim)
1550 South Hyacinth Ave., Suite B; West Covina, CA 91791

Team of Advocates for Special Kids, Inc. External link opens in new window or tab.
Marta Anchondo
100 W. Cerritos Ave.; Anaheim, CA 92805-6546
714-533-2533 Fax
Serving Southern California

  • To secure a free appropriate public education for every child with a disability/disabilities.
  • To advance professional competence of those who provide special education, medical and legal services for disabled children.
  • To provide educational programs, workshops, and presentations and maintain a resource center for the parent(s) of child(ren) with disability/disabilities.

Exceptional Family Resource Center External link opens in new window or tab.
Sherry Torok
9245 Sky Park Court, Suite 130; San Diego, CA 92123
858-268-4275 Fax

The Exceptional Family Resource Center (EFRC) will assist families to better understand their child's disability, educational and developmental needs, to access appropriate levels of service delivery and to build positive relationships between parents and professionals for the success of their child.

EFRC will extend outreach and expand training, support, and information components in San Diego and Imperial Counties. The EFRC will focus on the provision of support to families of children and youth with disabilities via parent-to-parent support, accurate information, and specialized training and resources by parents of children with disabilities in San Diego and Imperial Counties. Culturally and linguistically competent services, supports, individualized assistance and training opportunities will be offered to help in the availability and understanding of and how to effectively access and utilize the educational, local, and regional service delivery systems created by PL 105-17 (IDEA) and Title 34 CFR 301, Preschool Grants for Children with Disabilities (including understanding of educational and developmental needs, decision-making processes, IEP development, procedural safeguards, transition assistance, alternative forms of dispute resolution, et. al.).

Regardless of cultural, linguistic, geographical or socioeconomic barriers, EFRC will provide a family-friendly system designed to provide emotional support, information, resources, referrals, and training to underserved parents who have children with disabilities, including guardians and families of children and young adults with disabilities. EFRC will assist parents to better understand the availability of, participation in, and access to the services and supports under the educational system in accordance with applicable federal and state law and regulations. Families, special education and related services, agencies, parent organizations, consumers and professionals will be provided opportunities to build individual and system-wide capacity to communicate more effectively, participate more equitably, and improve relationships between and among themselves.

Other Resources
Questions: Matt Traverso | | 916-323-3308 
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Recently Posted in Special Education