The Family Support Center provides services to people and their families from diverse cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds including those who are supporting an individual with autism.
The Family Support Center’s purpose is to support families when they need it most, to provide resources for people with autism and developmental disabilities and for their families to attain the highest level of support to positively impact their lives.
Click here to view the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services’ Northeast Region Autism Resource Guide.
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A member of the Family Support Center staff meets with each new family or person at home or at the Center to learn about their specific needs as well as the family’s strengths and interests. Services include but are not limited to information and referral, short term and extended service navigation (through a DDS referral) and assistance connecting with and accessing social services and support programs.
A variety of informational and educational opportunities are offered by the Center’s staff and other professionals to ensure that relevant topics and best practices are at the forefront of programming. Monthly Coffee & Conversation groups are held year-round.
Some topics include: basic rights & the IEP, supported decision making, guardianship and alternatives for both English and Spanish-speaking families, ABLE accounts and special needs trusts and estate planning, behavioral interventions, caring for the caregiver, grandparents raising grandchildren, person-centered planning and more.
In partnership with Children’s Friend and Family Services, the Bridges to Family Success initiative addresses the needs of families raising a child or young adult with autism or another intellectual or developmental disability.
Now in its second year, this program focuses its aid particularly on families in Lynn and surrounding communities who face additional barriers, such as cultural and linguistic diversity or complex behavioral health challenges, which hinder their access to appropriate services and community resources for their child.
Program staff help families develop an individualized family plan, which with support from trained care coordinators, to address a child’s behavioral health needs and establish long-term care goals.
Families receive quality training and support on how to navigate the behavioral health system and access necessary services, as well as how to foster stronger familial bonds. Additionally, “Bridges to Family Success” hosts numerous community social events for families to create a continued network of peer support.”
The Flutie Foundation is proud to sponsor Bridgewell’s virtual activity programming. “It is because of great partners, like Bridgewell, that we are able to address the increasing needs in the autism community during this time. Thank you for keeping people with autism active, involved in their community and participating in activities they love to do!”