Family Support

In 1992, at the urging of disability advocates and families, The Tennessee legislature established the Family Support Program. The program is funded by state dollars and designed to assist individuals with severe disabilities and their families to remain together in their homes and communities.

The primary purpose of the program is to support
• Families who have school-aged or younger children with severe disabilities
• Adults with severe disabilities who choose to live with their families
• Adults with severe disabilities not supported by other residential programs funded by state or federal funds

Services can include but are not limited to: Respite care, day care services, home modifications, equipment, supplies, personal assistance, transportation, homemaker services, housing costs, health-related needs, nursing and counseling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What counties does the UCP Family Support program cover?
A: Rutherford

Q: I don’t live in Rutherford County. How do I get information about Family Support for other Tennessee counties?
A: Go to: email us at

We are glad to send a list of Family Support agencies for each Tennessee county.

Q: Who may apply for Family Support Funding?
A: To be eligible for Family Support, the individual must have an intellectual, developmental or other severe disability as defined by Tennessee Family Support Program Guidelines that significantly impacts their ability to perform daily life functions. The person must be living in the community in a home, apartment or other setting that is characterized as an “unsupported setting,” meaning that no personal support or direct living assistance services are being supplied by state or federal funding.

Q: How can I apply?
A: You can download the application below or you can have the application mailed or faxed to you.

Download Family Support Application for Rutherford County – MS WORD

Download Family Support Application for Rutherford County – PDF

Download Appeals/Grievance Policy – PDF (this form must be signed and returned along with your application)

See the following list for items you must send with your application: Instructions for New and Returning Applicants

Rutherford County Family Support Program
P.O. Box 10996
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
Phone 615-796-3341
Fax 615-369-3085

Q: How much money is available?
A: The maximum amount of funding to be distributed per year per family is determined by the Local Family Support Council, a volunteer group consisting of representatives of family members and individuals familiar with the needs of persons with disabilities in Rutherford County. This is a small fund, so allocations are generally $1,000 or less. Families/individuals should apply on the basis of their most significant unmet needs.

Q: Who decides which requests are funded?
A: Funding determinations are made by the Rutherford County Family Support Council on the basis of priorities established at the beginning of each year. The Council reserves the right to fully fund, partially fund, or decline any request, based on established priorities and availability of funds.

Q: How long does funding last?
A: The State grant for UCP Rutherford County Family Support Funding is on a one-year basis beginning July 1 and ending June 30 of each year (the State of Tennessee fiscal year). Families may reapply each year, but no commitment may exceed the fiscal year end.

Q: How are funds allocated to families?
A: Once the Family Support Council approves an allocation, a service plan is developed and sent to the family. When the service plan and other required materials are signed and returned to UCP, the family may start drawing down funds.

Q: How are funds drawn down?
A: UCP must receive documentation of expense(s) that match the services described in the Family Support Plan. This can be in the form of a receipt for reimbursement, or in invoice from the organization providing the service to the individual on the program. These can be submitted at any time after the Service Plan is signed and delivered to UCP. Distributions are made at the end of the month for items received by the 20th of the month. In order to receive funding in May and/or June, families must submit invoices on or before the May 20 cut-off date. If you have a service need that is planned to take place between May 20 and June 30, you must contact the Family Support Coordinator prior to May 20 to make arrangements for distribution in May or June.

Q: What happens if I don’t submit invoices or make arrangements for my allocation by the May cut-off date?
A: Non-used allocations are reallocated to individuals on the waiting list.

Q: What happens when the money runs out?
A: When funds are depleted, requests are placed on a waiting list. It is important for families to make application when the need exists, even if the funding is depleted. The state makes many funding allocation decisions based on unmet needs. If families do not have a record of their needs on file, the state has no way of knowing how much funding is actually required/needed in any specific region or area of the state.

Q: What is the Family Support Service Plan?
A: All recipients of Family Support Funds have an annual Service Plan. This plan describes the types of activities that can be paid for in the program. For a list of Family Support Service Categories, see this list.

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