The LifeCourse framework was originally developed by families for families. The staff and stakeholders of Missouri Family to Family, developed the framework. Missouri Family to Family is housed within Missouri’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities(UCEDD) Education, Research and Services at the University of Missouri–Kansas City Institute for Human Development. This framework is based on the findings of the Wingspread Report, which was a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD), a diverse national planning committee of supporting the family stakeholders, and the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread.
In 2012, The National Association of Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) developed a National Community of Practice (CoP) around how we support families of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. (I /DD) NASDDDS has now expanded the CoP into 11 additional states. Ohio joins the 17 states of the National CoP in a multi-year effort to develop systems of support for families across the lifespan of their family member with I/DD.
Missouri has been the demonstration state for the Community of Practice (CoP) for Supporting Families of Individuals with I/DD. Currently, each state forms a team that is facilitated jointly by the state Agency on IDD and the state Council on Developmental Disabilities with additional membership from self-advocacy and family organizations, university, education, aging and other organizations with a vested interest in supporting families.
The Missouri CoP team formed the Missouri LifeCourse Tools & Practice Workgroup to develop new LifeCourse tools as needed. They also coach professionals who are using the tools, work to improve tools based on feedback, and provide guidance to organizations on implementation of the framework.