Learn about Family Initiatives programs

Learn more and get support.

Our programs are designed and staffed by parents of children who have received Early Intervention services and/or have special health care needs, disabilities, or chronic illnesses. Staff works regionally across the state to provide a variety of supports to families including:

  • Education, training and leadership development
  • Information and referral services
  • Parent to Parent support
  • Networking and partnership opportunities

Promoting family-professional partnerships

We are committed to meaningful family participation in the development of policies and programs as a strategy to improve systems of care for children and youth with special health care needs and their families. For information and resources to assist families and health care organizations to take on a variety of partnership roles, contact the Office of Family Initiatives.

Family Initiatives Unit projects and activities

The Early Intervention Parent Leadership Project (EIPLP)

Staffed by a full time project director and three project coordinators, EIPLP works to ensure family participation across the EI service system, from the local program level to the statewide Interagency Coordinating Council and on to national leadership activities. The Project goal is to support families to grow lifelong leadership and advocacy skills that can be used within their families and communities. Training, mentoring, identification of opportunities and stipends for participation are offered. Information is available on the EIPLP website, or by calling (877) 353-4757.

Family TIES (Together in Enhancing Support) of Massachusetts

Statewide information, referral and parent-to-parent support network. Family TIES is staffed by a full time project director, a parent to parent coordinator and six regional parent coordinators. The Project provides a variety of supports and information to families whose children have special health needs and their providers including training, information about local and statewide resources and connection to parents with similar life circumstances. Family TIES serves as the Central Directory for Early Intervention Services. Information is available on the Family TIES website, or by calling (800) 905-8437.

Chapter 171 Family Support Plan

Development of legislatively mandated Chapter 171 Plan, M.G.L. Chapter 6A: Section 16F, based on substantial consultation with families. The Plan works to enhance flexible family supports and community inclusion for families whose children have special health care needs and disabilities. Information about the DPH Family Support plan is available by calling (617) 624-5979.

Emergency Preparedness for families whose children have complex health care needs

Development of and training for readiness in the event of emergencies. Facilitation of community based planning that includes families and incorporates information about additional and specific needs of children with complex special health needs.

We encourage all families whose children have care needs over and above those of most children to complete and return a Disability Indicator Form. The Form offers families a way to let local emergency services know that they may need additional assistance because of special circumstances. Download the Form at the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, complete and send it to the Disability Coordinator in your community.

Contact for Learn about Family Initiatives programs

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