As a member of the clergy or leader of a faith community, your congregation may include adults or children with I/DD and their families. For many faith leaders, inclusion of people with I/DD is a high priority. If there are families in your congregation who are concerned about what will happen to the member of their family who has I/DD in the future, you can play a number of support roles, including:
- Helping families identify the values that are important to them in the planning process and encouraging them to express wishes for the future.
- Offering to connect families to resources that can help them plan.
- Helping families cope with the issues of grief and loss.
- Supporting people with I/DD establish and build community connections. Relationships and friendships can help against possible loneliness and loss.
- If there is an urgent need, such as the death of a parent or caregiver, you can connect the family to appropriate resources and provide spiritual support during that time of transition.