Newsline Volume 31, Number 1

News From Family TIES of Massachusetts

By Mary Castro Summers, Director, Family TIES of Massachusetts

Family TIES (Together In Enhancing Support) of Massachusetts is a statewide information and support network for families of children with special needs. It is a project at the Federation for Children with Special Needs, with funding from, and in collaboration with, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Division for Perinatal Health, Early Childhood and Special Health Needs.

Within the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, there is a Children & Youth with Special Health Needs (CYSHN) Program. Families with children and youth with special health care needs can learn about this program by calling the Community Support Line at 1-800-882-1435. Staff can explain the eligibility criteria for various programs, as well as provide assessment, short-term intervention and care coordination. Care Coordination staff help parents by modeling how to access services and navigate systems, so parents can learn to effectively advocate for services on behalf of their children. This comprehensive assessment process can identify a wide array of support services about health insurance, financial concerns, medical and in-home nursing services, educational supports, and coordination with other state agencies. They can also help a family identify recreational opportunities and childcare supports.

To learn about community-based programs near where you live, or arrange for a parent-to-parent match so you can speak with a family whose child has a similar diagnosis or that shares a similar life experience, please call Family TIES of Massachusetts at 1-800-905-TIES (8437). Our Regional Parent Coordinators and Parent-to-Parent Coordinator look forward to speaking with you. You can also visit us on-line at