Family Navigator Application

The Center for Family Involvement is recruiting culturally and linguistically diverse parents and/or primary caregivers to volunteer as Family Navigators. Family Navigators are parents and/or primary caregivers who are currently supporting (or have supported) a family member with a developmental disability or special health care need. If you meet that primary qualification and are interested in serving as a Family Navigator, please complete the following fields. If you do not have your 2 reference letters at the time of application submission, please email or fax them to Nickie Brandenburger at or (804) 827-0107.

* = required field

Are you a:

ParentGrandparentSiblingPerson with a disabilityOther Family Member Type

If other

First Name *

Last Name *

Phone Number

Home Address




Your Email*

How long have you lived in the area?

Formal education (highest year of school completed)?

Are you or your spouse in the military?YesNo

If yes, which branch?

Do you speak a foreign language?YesNo

If yes, which languages?

Do you use American Sign Language?YesNo

Do you have reliable transportation?YesNo

Do you have regular access to the Internet?YesNo

Are you currently employed?YesNo

Employed by (if employed)


Brief description of your work (paid or volunteer experience)

Please indicate trainings/workshops/certifications/conferences that have had an impact on terms of your knowledge in the disability field and how they might relate to the Family Navigator role

Age of family member with a disability

Disability(ies) of family members, including yourself

All of us have busy lives. When a family calls for help, the CFI strives to match then with a Family Navigator who makes initial contact with the family within 48 hours. The Family Navigator is expected to make contact with the family a few more times over a 4 week period. Please describe your flexibility during the day, evening and weekends. Add anything that might make it difficult to be completely flexible

What do you consider to be your area(s) of expertise in terms of supporting people with disabilities? For example, SSI, IEPs, Behavior supports

What strengths and abilities do you have that would make you a good Family Navigator?

What information was helpful to you in making decisions about your own family member, and how did you find that information?

Please briefly summarize your experiences in supporting people with disabilities and their family members.

There is an initial face-to-face, 8-10 hour skill building training required for Family Navigators. This often takes place on a Friday night and Saturday. There is also additional training required throughout the year. Are you prepared to attend the initial face to face training?YesNo

Are you able to participate in on-going training throughout the year that could be in person or via the internet?YesNo

Below are topics related to the values of the Center for Family Involvement. Which of them would you like to learn more about?
~ Cultural sensitivity (knowing your own cultural identity and being sensitive to the cultural differences and similarities of other people) YesNo
~ Diversity (understanding that each individual has multiple identities, is unique, and recognizing our individual differences) YesNo
~ Person-Centered (a way of thinking and doing things that sees the people with disabilities as equal partners in planning, developing and monitoring care to make sure it meets their needs) YesNo
~ Supported Decision-Making (supporting people with disabilities to make decisions and exercise their legal rights) YesNo
~ Self-Determination (people with disabilities have the right and freedom to direct and control their own life) YesNo

Are you willing to commit to one year of volunteer service for at least five hours a month?

Do you consent to a routine criminal records check to be paid for by VCU?YesNo

Please attach letters of reference from two people who know you, other than relatives, who could speak to your ability to be a Family Navigator.