Strong, healthy and happy families are the foundation of our society. With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in May and June, we’d like to take this time to celebrate our Commonwealth’s families and highlight some of the new services available for families around the state.
Family Resource Centers
In August 2012, Governor Patrick signed “An Act Regarding Families and Children Engaged in Services.” The legislation reforms the Children in Need of Services (CHINS) program by establishing a network of Family Resource Centers and allowing families to be better connected with local programs and support around the Commonwealth.
Since their inception, Family Resource Centers have served almost 7,000 families across the Commonwealth. In 2013 alone, over 8,000 children were enrolled in playgroups and special events. But FRC’s services are not just for youth: nearly 11,550 parents enrolled in group-based parenting education and support programs and in last year alone as well.
In the words of Governor Patrick, “The community-based services provided at Family Resource Centers provide amazing opportunities for success for our families and for the next generation of young strivers. To help at-risk youth across the Commonwealth, we need to keep families and communities strong, and that’s exactly what our investments in these centers will do.”
Governor Patrick’s strengthened his commitment to the children and families in Massachusetts by investing $7.2 million in Family Resource Centers in his FY 2015 budget. These funds will help expand Family Resources Center services to all children through the age of 18 (up from 12) and will also help ensure that that there is a Family Resource Center presence in every county by FY 2016.
Massachusetts citizens can call 2-2-1 to receive information about a variety of health and human services, including child care, available in their communities. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary John Polanowicz announced a new partnership with Mass 2-1-1. The partnership provides families with greater access to community-based services to help children who are truants, runaways or otherwise at risk of entering the criminal justice system.
Mass 2-1-1 Child Care Specialists offer the follow services:
- Search Department of Early Education & Care extensive database to match families with providers.
- Give information to help families make the best decision for themselves
- Connect families with quality licensed child care in their community.
- Help determine if you are eligible for financial assistance to pay for child care
- Provide tips for selecting child care programs based on age and stage of development.
- Offer child care selections for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age children.
- Assist parents/guardians with making accurate & informed choices.
- Help families identify, secure, and maintain an appropriate child care placement.
- Serve callers with languages other than English, via interpreter services.
- Provide consumer education and eligibility screening for financial assistance.
- Promote the best interests of children.
If you are unable to reach 2-1-1 due to your telephone or cell phone carrier, a toll-free number is available: 1-877-211-MASS (6277); Hearing Impaired: 508-370-4890 TTY
Tags: National Family Month
Foster Parents are Lifelong Parents posted on May 28
Growing up, Eleanor and Norman Herzig were accustomed to the constant hum of a household with eight or more children living under one roof. It was the noise of their childhood – they came from families of eight and 11 children respectively – and it …Continue Reading Foster Parents are Lifelong Parents
Zakim Goes Green For Mental Health Month posted on May 22
Last year, when Josh Powers saw the Zakim Bridge lit up in blue for autism awareness, he immediately knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to see the bridge lit with green lights to raise awareness around mental health. “I want more people to …Continue Reading Zakim Goes Green For Mental Health Month
Guest Post From Carolyn Graves posted on May 19
Business owner Carolyn Graves, owner of Cakes & Islands, talks about overcoming her physical challenge to realize her sweet dream. I was born deaf. But with the use of hearing aids, I had some hearing. Without them I couldn’t hear anything at all. My parents …Continue Reading Guest Post From Carolyn Graves