Mass 2-1-1 is a 24/7 hotline that connects callers to information about critical health and human services available in their community. It serves as a resource for finding government benefits and services, nonprofit organizations, support groups, volunteer opportunities, donation programs, and other local resources.
Onetoughjob.org connects parents in Massachusetts with parenting information and on-the-ground resources. Parents can enter their zip code to find parenting support organizations and programs nearby.
Healthy Family Centers
Family Centers are where parents and children go to meet other families, tap into community resources, learn new parenting skills, and participate in activities and support programs. Programs are open to all families with young children within the community and may include parent-child activities, playgroups, social events, and drop-in hours.
Parenting Education and Support Groups
Parenting Education and Support Programs help parents with young children to develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to be the best parents they can be. Group-based series are led by trained professionals and provide opportunities for parents to learn new skills, connect with peers, and receive information and resources.
The Ombudsman’s Office is an option to raise concerns regarding DCF. The office can be contacted at any time of one’s involvement with the DCF; it provides the following services:
- responds to inquiries or issues of clients, foster and adoptive parents, advocates, legislators, and other concerned citizens regarding agency programs, policies or service delivery;
- mediates and resolves these as possible;
- monitors the content of contacts for patterns indicating systemic problems or weaknesses;
- compiles and utilizes this information along with suggested policy or programmatic changes to the Commissioner and other agency staff as appropriate.
Parents and caregivers with problems related to their children can call the Parental Stress Line for support. Trained volunteer counselors who are sympathetic and nonjudgmental are available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
SPED Child and Teen offers information about upcoming events and resources for families with children who have special needs.
The Division for Children & Youth with Special Health Needs at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health works with families, providers, and others to support children and youth with special health needs ages birth to 22 and their families.
The programs include:
- Community Support Line
- Care Coordination Program for Children with Special Health Care Needs
- Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund
- Family Initiatives
- Family TIES of Massachusetts
NAMI of Massachusetts provides support for families that include a person with mental illness. NAMI provides free mental health family-based education, family and peer support, and grassroots advocacy.
This handbook will help you understand what is likely to happen in court, who the people are that may be involved, and what your rights are as a parent, legal guardian, or custodian in a CRA case.
This book describes the basic steps that a youth typically follows within the DYS system, from the point of arrest until discharge. The book is focused particularly on the rights of a youth involved with DYS. The book explores two areas closely: 1) mental health/substance abuse services; and 2) education.
Unified Planning Teams (UPT)
UPTs provide guidance for a child who is involved with multiple state agencies and needs help with treatment planning.
Massachusetts Family Resource Centers (FRCs) are a statewide network of community-based providers offering multi-cultural parenting programs, support groups, early childhood services, information and referral resources and education for families whose children range in age from birth to 18 years of age.