Family Resource Liaison | Family
Informal Resources |
Who is the Family Resource Liaison?
The Family Resource Liaison
works in collaboration with La Crosse County Human Services. The FRL is an individual who contacts
families after a Children with Special Needs referral has been made.
Any family who has a child with a special needs may make a Children with
Special Needs referral. There is no fee for FRL support.
The Family Resource Liaison works to engage
children with special needs and their families to community support
based on the strengths and needs identified by the family. The goal is
to strengthen the family by working with families/children to build a
community support network. This is accomplished by enhancing their
ability to identify and access community resources to meet their
All families who have made a Children with
Special Needs referral have access to the Family Resource Liaison to
provide them with the assistance necessary to meet their needs.
How to Make a
A Family Advocate is
available in the community free of charge through Wisconsin Family Ties
(WFT). WFT is a statewide not-for-profit organization run
by families for families. Their mission is to provide greater
understanding, acceptance, and support in the community for families
who have children with special needs.
Wisconsin Family Ties
has a number of highly trained Family Advocates located throughout the
state and all are parents
of children with special needs.
Advocates team up with individual families and the professionals working
with them to help guide them through the steps they may need to take –
without judgment because they’ve been there too. Whether it’s working
with schools, child welfare, mental health services, developmental or
physical disabilities or the juvenile justice system, the family
advocate can help families clarify their options and access supports for their children.
expanded in the La Crosse area by employing a new Family Advocate, Vicky
Shanley, to specifically work with families in La Crosse County,
regardless of their child’s abilities. Vicky is extremely skilled at
researching resources for families pertaining to most any difference and
form of support. She will be working with families who have children with
special needs. She will also be working to expand family networking
opportunities and to increase family involvement in decision making
processes at the County level. Vicky brings with her the unique parent
perspective, being the proud mother of 3 sons, two with Autism. She also
brings with her excellent communication skills and empathy for families.
Family Advocate Referral
Family Ties, Inc
Carroll Street, Suite 640
To get more information on WFT and Family Advocates go to
the following website:
Have You Considered Utilizing Informal Resources?
Do you have friends or
family in the area?
Does your family have
spiritual connections and/or attend church or desire to?
Do you live in a
neighborhood with supportive people?
Does your child attend
school? (teachers, aides, principals, liaison officers, and social workers are
Do you feel comfortable
accessing these individuals for ideas and/or ongoing resources?
Parenting | Treatment
| Support and
Parent Groups |
WAFER: 403 Causeway Blvd, La Crosse. (608)782-6003.
Hours of operation Monday – Friday 10 am – 12:45 pm and Tuesdays and
Thursdays 4:00 pm – 7:45 pm
- Onalaska/Holmen Food Basket:
For residents of Onalaska, Holmen, French Island, Brice Prairie, and
Mindoro. 735 Sand Lake Rd., Onalaska. (608)783-7722.
- West Salem Area Community Care &
Share Pantry: For residents of West Salem, Bangor, Mindoro,
Melrose, Barre Mills, and Rockland. 359 N. Leonard St., West Salem.
Self Help and
Resource Exchange of Wisconsin (SHARE): Anyone
qualifies for service. Participants receive opportunity to
purchase high quality food in return for volunteer service in the
community. Pay $17.10 for approximately $30-40 of groceries.
1932 Ward Avenue, La Crosse.(608)788-1924.
- Salvation Army:
Food distributed on a scheduled point system once per month or
more per family or individual. Must be 150% poverty.
Must be a La Crosse resident. Also
serves free meals daily at 12:00pm and 4:30pm; Tuesday evenings
for shelter residents only. 223 North 8th St., La Crosse.
- La Crosse Christian Church:
Provides emergency food at no cost. 535 S. 16th St.,
La Crosse. (608)782-3888.
- First Evangelical Free
Church Food Pantry: Provides non-perishable emergency
food at no cost. Call to make an appointment. 1950
State Road 35, Onalaska. (608)536-2347.
- Place of Grace:
Meals served Thursday evenings 4:30-7:00pm and Sunday
2:00-4:00pm. 919 Hood St., La Crosse. (608)782-6224.
- Come for Supper:
Meals every Tuesday at 5:00pm. Everyone is welcome. Our
Savior's Lutheran Church. 612 Division St., La Crosse.
- Monday's Meals:
Free meal program every Monday at 5:00pm. Everyone is
welcome. St. Luke's Methodist Church. 1022 Caledonia
St., La Crosse. (608)782-6421.
- Kane Street Community
Garden: Every Monday and Thursday during the harvest
season (June-September), volunteers can come between 3:00 and
5:00 and help in the garden. Produce is distributed from
5:15-6:00pm on these days. Corner of King and Hagar (North
- La Crosse Area Hmong Mutual
Assistance Association, Inc.: Provides emergency food
vouchers and information about other community resources at no
cost. Targeted toward the Southeast Asian Community.
2613 George St., La Crosse. (608)781-5744.
Coulee Region Food
Distribution Program: Donation of $12, but no one
turned away due to lack of funds. Distributes mostly fresh
produce and breads, muffins, bagels, and more. Cathedral
of Praise Church. 2240 S. Kinney Coulee Rd., Onalaska.
Crosse Area Farmers Markets 2009 Schedule
- MA transportation: Call Joanne
Dierkop at (608)785-5707.
- CTS Taxi: Provides wheelchair accessible
- Caring Hearts Homecare and
Transportation: Safe, punctual transportation service for
all transportation needs including medical appointments and social
- 2009 Summer Camps and
on Mental Illness
of the Heart: A group of
parents and families of children with Down Syndrome meet quarterly for a
Spring Birthday Party, Summer Picnic, Fall Festival and a Christmas
Celebration. Parents meet additional times throughout the year on an
informal basis. Children of the Heart sponsors the annual Buddy Walk in
October, periodic trainings, and distributes a quarterly newsletter. If
you are interested in joining or getting additional information contact
Carrie Herrmann at (608)781-6778.
D.A.D.s: Dads Assisting Dads of special needs children is a group
of fathers who periodically get together for support. For information
on upcoming meetings contact Mike Hager at (608)784-4657 or Dan Vogelsberg at (608)788-2139.
Mom’s Group: Support group for parents of children with special needs
gets together for monthly social and support meetings. Contact Vicki
Fruit at (608)781-9750 for additional information.
Crosse Association for Responsible Citizens is a long standing group of
parents of children with developmental disabilities. Contact Jane
Barnas at (608)782-4799 for additional information.
Caregiver Group: A group for
parents and caregivers of children with physical impairments, mobility
challenges, gross motor delays and diagnosed disabilities. Contact Jeff
and Mindy Reinardy at (507)454-7501 for additional information.
Area Asperger Support Group: The purpose
is to provide direct instruction in social interaction and pragmatic
skills, provide planned and organized social activities, provide an
accommodating environment for individuals with AS to experience
successful social interactions and to facilitate possible friendships.
Meets 2 Thursdays a month at Catholic Charities in La Crosse from 5:00-7:00pm
for children ages 10-15. There is a fee of $28/hr plus occasional fees
for planned activities. Facilitators are Diane Hietpas, MSE and Keith
Braunreiter, BS. Call (608)782-0710.
Support Group for Friends and Family of People with Down
Syndrome: Offers a time to provide support and
fellowship, share experiences and discuss topics of interest.
Serves those in La Crosse County and surrounding areas.
Contact Richard/Teresa Hulse at
(608)783-7777 daytime or evening hours or Jason/Carrie Herrmann
at (608)781-6778 before 9pm.
Suicide: Informal meetings for people who have lost
someone to suicide. Meets at 7-9pm every 3rd Wednesday of
the month at Holy Trinity Church (1315 South Park St., La
Crosse). No religious affiliation, fees, or attendance
requirements. For more information call Nancy at 769-5007
or email Mary at