The Mission & Mandate of the Butters Foundation

The Butters Foundation was created in 1976 to honor the life and legacy of Mrs. Lily Butters in her seminal work in welcoming and caring for intellectually disabled babies on her original farm site. Thus, the mission of the foundation is to further the legacy of Mrs. Butters by continuing her lifelong work of helping parents in need. In her time, she helped by sharing her home with disabled children whose parents had nowhere else to turn. In our time, we help by supporting parents raise a disabled child by promoting new best practices in the public rehab system and by subsidizing activities that target parent and siblings which lie beyond the mandate of the public network.


Mrs. Butters & a friend

Mrs. Butters & a friend

In the early years of the foundation, our resources went mainly to buying, renovating and building community-based housing for intellectually disabled people who were ready to leave Mrs. Butters’ institution in the village of Austin.  Once the “hospital” was closed in 1991, the need for housing shrank. At the same time, the public system began to encourage families to keep their disabled child at home and normal families to take disabled people into their home on a permanent basis when things couldn’t work out at home. Thus, the mandate of the foundation moved away from housing and toward helping parents meet the challenge of raising a disabled child in today’s modern world.

 Since 2005, our mandate is to promote practical research and service evaluation in the public system to upgrade service delivery to families and their intellectually disabled and autistic people. Secondly, it is to financially support projects and activities that help families carry out their onerous mandate. In this regard, respite is a top priority of the foundation.

The Butters Foundation is, therefore, committed to building social capacity to improve the quality of life of intellectually disabled and autistic persons through R &D, and to strengthen the ability of families to raise disabled children and their siblings in the 21st century.

 In order to carry out our mandate, the foundation launches a capital campaign every 6 years that targets various projects in order to support parents and improve the delivery of public services to intellectually disabled and autistic people and their families. In our view, keeping disabled people in their natural living environment is good for them and good for the state. Living at home is vastly superior to being uprooted and dropped into substitute living arrangements, no matter how benevolent the process.