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Family Support Program


Families of children with developmental disabilities face extraordinary challenges in day to day life. They often face special issues in raising and maintaining the family unit and struggle with financial hardship. These families are constantly confronted with heightened levels of stress based on the pronounced physical and emotional needs of their special needs dependents. 

The Arc of Butte County offers various Family Support Programs designed to strengthen and foster healthy families. Family Support is offered to parents, guardians, grandparents and care providers of children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, head trauma, seizure disorders and more. This caring environment offers a place for families to share their triumphs, frustrations and fears with others who have endured similar situations. Through the exchange of shared experiences, families can learn new childcare skills and coping mechanisms in a facilitated environment.


We are back! We meet on the first four Tuesday's of every month from 5:30-8:00pm at the Pavilion. We also meet the second Thursday of every month from 5:30-8:00pm.

Pre-Registration is required. Please call 530-399-7246 to RSVP.

The Pavilion: 2040 Park Ave, Chico CA 


  1. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

    This support group is designed specifically for families struggling with ASD. Families come together in a secure space to explore new skills and coping mechanisms for any difficulties they may be facing. Children are cared for by staff in a separate area, where they prioritize socialization, as it is one of the key areas children on the spectrum often struggle with. Some meetings include specifically identified trainings (such as self-determination, Individual Service Plans (ISP), etc.), while others merely provide a safe and supportive atmosphere.

  2. Families of Children Under Stress (FOCUS)

    FOCUS is a support-based program that encourages an exchange of shared experiences between parents. This program creates a safe space where individuals can speak freely about difficult issues, such as never-ending battles for services, medical attention and maintaining a sense of normalcy. Important bonds are created between parents as they struggle through similar circumstances. Families and caregivers learn new skills and coping mechanisms while their children are cared for by Arc instructors. Families can bring all their children – those with special needs, as well as their non-disabled siblings – to enjoy safe recreational entertainment while the families privately support each other.

  3. Rainbow of Kids Club / Saturday Respite Program

    The Rainbow of Kids Club is a Saturday Respite Program that allows families a much-needed break in their caregiving schedule. Temporary care and companionship is provided by our team of experienced staff. Arc employees work with the children 1:1 or in a group setting, depending on the individual needs of each child. Children participate in a variety of diverse, age-appropriate activities and can socialize with both special needs and non-disabled peers. Those in attendance enjoy activities such as arts and crafts, puzzles, games, music, movies and more. We also provide monthly field trips to parks, baseball games, picnics, etc. (when safety permits).

  4. Spanish Speaking Support Group

    This support group provides assistance for Spanish-speaking individuals in the Regional Center service area. As with all of our Family Support Programs, safe recreational childcare is provided, allowing the time and space necessary for their families to support each other out of earshot.

  5. T21: Down Syndrome Support Group

    Similar to the ASD Support Group, this program is designed specifically for families of children with Trisomy 21, or Down syndrome. Directly connected with the Chico Down Syndrome Connection, children are appropriately entertained with movies or other activities while parents can focus on areas of life that are directly affected by their child’s diagnosis. This group homes in on the needs of the parents or caregivers, providing support and solutions for issues they may be struggling with or would like to expand on.

If you are interested in beginning a relationship with The Arc, please call Far Northern Regional Center to begin the process of obtaining services for your developmentally disabled child.

For program specific questions or concerns, please contact:

Ruth Beibers
Associate Director of Family Support Programs
(530) 891-5865 x105

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