The family is both the fundamental unit of society as well as the root of culture. It is a perpetual source of encouragement, advocacy, assurance and emotional refueling that empowers a child to venture with confidence into the greater world and to become all that he [or she] can be.


-Marianne E. Neifert



The Durham Family Network is one of sixteen regional networks of families across Ontario dedicated to the fostering of the strength, stability, confidence and knowledge that families can offer each other.

The Network has as its vision that families can grow in their capacity to plan for a desirable future for their family member with a disability.

At the present time, the Durham Family Network is connecting families to families for the following:
• Parent to Parent Connection
• Conversations and Discussions: Thinking about the Future, Planning and Healthy Living
• Family Funding and Support Information
• Shared learning opportunities
• To address shared concerns and issues


The Durham Family Network follows the accord of Family Alliance Ontario. We offer knowledge, tools and networking opportunities to individuals with disabilities and their families to assist them to realize a vision that includes having valued relationships, choice and control in their lives, and enables inclusion through meaningful contribution and participation in their communities.
The Durham Family Network is working on establishing ongoing relationships with multicultural organizations in the Durham Region where we can reach the growing demographic of culturally diverse communities.


The Durham Family Network (DFN) is a non-profit, family-based organization established in the early 1990s by a committed group of families. Durham United Way contributed to the Durham Family Network for many years. Our history and mandate has been to connect families to each other in order to share and learn from one another. Families engage with each other in their homes and at events where they hear each other’s stories of the joys and rewards as well as the struggles of everyday life supporting their family member who lives with a disability.

The Durham Family Network appreciates the financial and in-kind support from Durham Association for Family Resources and Supports (D.A.F.R.S). Financial support for this year has also been made possible by grants from the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nations and from the Ministry of Community and Social Services. The Durham Family Network actively pursues and gratefully accepts donations from funding programs, charitable organizations, independent groups, families and from the general public.

Durham Family Network Advisory Committee

The purpose of the DFNAC is to shape, inform, and oversee the work and direction of the DFN.

Click here for Terms of Reference

Contact Information:

If you are intersested in knowing more, please contact Sumaira or Helen at:

  • (905)-436-2500 ext. 2300 cell: 416-841-2190 Fax (to the attention of DFN): 905-436-3587
  • Durham Family Network
    20-850 King St. West
    Oshawa, Ontario L1J 8N5

Sumaira has been the coordinator for the Durham Family Network since January 2018 where she works closely with the Advisory Committee of the Durham Family Network.  She establishes and strengthens connections everyday with families and with various organizations in the Durham community. Sumaira has always had a genuine interest to connect families to resources pertaining to their specific needs. She has gathered pertinent knowledge and information over the years and has then passed it onto her brother, so he may have the very best in life. Her family continues to go through life experiences that other families may experience too and that is why she has a genuine passion to be there each step of the way with families while they make achievements, face obstacles, and reach their dreams.