The Family Support Network of Eastern North Carolina, Inc. is a private nonprofit corporation designed to provide emotional support and resource information for families of children with developmental, physical, behavioral or medical needs and families who have experienced the death of a child.
The seeds of what has come to be known as the Family Support Network of Eastern North Carolina (FSN-ENC), took root in December of 1986. Dan and Diane Pickett, parents who had accessed Developmental Evaluation Clinic (DEC) services in the past, requested an audience with Dewane Frutiger, DEC Director. The Picketts were strong advocates for parent’s rights and had heard about “parent-to-parent” programs starting in Burlington and Fayetteville. With encouragement from the Picketts, the DEC studied the possibility of funding such a program.
The Community Pediatric Program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill was awarding model demonstration grants to establish support programs for parents of children with developmental disabilities and parent having experienced the death of a child. Through these efforts a Pitt County Parent-to-Parent Committee was formed.
In 1993 the name was officially changed to the Family Support Network of Eastern North Carolina. Over the past 30 years the FSN-ENC has supported families through hospital based programs, as well as community and outreach programming. In 1997 The Beach Center on Families and Disabilities, at the University of Kansas, published a book on the parent-to-parent movement and featured FSN-ENC as one of the model programs exemplifying a successful parent-to-parent program. The organization has grown and evolved over the years but the goal of providing support to parents and families remains at the heart of the organization.
Board of Directors
The board of directors serves as the governing body for FSN-ENC. The board of directors is comprised of community members that represent both families and professionals. A majority percentage of the board represents families. 100% of board members contributed both financially and through volunteer participation in 2019.