MARCH 2020 UPDATE
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Federation is moving to an online format.  We are open, but please send your questions to esandberg@fcsn.org.  For information and guidance during school closures, visit our Resources Page.

Pathways For Parents

Who We Are…

The Pathways for Parents Program at the Federation for Children with Special Needs provides support to many community organizations, as well as directly to parents and families who receive services from the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF).  Our mission is to support effective parent and guardian participation in their child’s education, enable access to emotional and behavioral support services, and strengthen supportive parenting skills.

How We Can Help…

The Pathways for Parents Coordinator can provide:

The Pathways for Parents Coordinator, Eileen Sandberg, can provide:

  • Direct support for families via email or telephone about special education concerns

Contact Eileen Sandberg at esandberg@fcsn.org or (617) 399-8312.

  • Support on special education to the Family Resource Centers (FRCs). 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. 

The Pathways for Parents program supports FRCs with information and trainings on special education, including professional development for FRC staff and workshops and webinars for families.

  • Member of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families Family Advisory Committee (FAC). The Family Advisory Committee (FAC) is a diverse group of foster and adoptive parents, mothers, fathers, and kin who have formerly had open protective cases with DCF, and/or people who were involved with DCF as a youth. Their viewpoint is necessary as DCF strives to assist children and youth in achieving permanency/forever homes.
  • Support the Massachusetts Community Connections Coalition
  • Support the Massachusetts Coalition for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Photo of Diverse Family- parents with two childrenInformation and Support are Free to Parents

Parents have said…

“My son is not just a typical teenager; everything is extreme.”
Pathways for Parents (PFP) can make referrals to organizations that educate, encourage and support parents through challenging times.

“Parents don’t know what they don’t know.”
PFP informs and guides parents to access information, supports, services and resources from community organizations, groups and providers, state agencies and federal programs.

“I didn’t know why my daughter acted the way she did; no one ever said anything about mental health.”
PFP can provide information and guidance about youth emotional and behavioral health disorders, treatments, medications and support services.

“Even though he tried really hard, my son’s learning disability caused him to fail in school.”
PFP refers parents to free workshops about special education guidelines, services and a child’s rights.

“Sometimes life is really difficult, but it gets better when you work at solving the problems.”
PFP provides information and ideas for parents to combine with their own knowledge and expertise in order to manage real-life issues and dilemmas.

“You can’t change anyone but yourself, and the choice to change is yours.”

Pathways for Parents:

  • informs, educates and supports parents
  • respects culture, values and abilities
  • supports active parent involvement
  • encourages positive change

“You never know what activity, suggestion or story will inspire a child’s future.”

  • activities and games strengthen relationships and build skills
  • Conversations and shared experiences teach life lessons and instill values.
  • Stories of family history and traditions helps build identity and family bonds
  • Being respectful and responsible promotes respect and responsibility in others.

How To Get Help…

Eileen Sandberg
Phone: 617-399-8312
Fax: (617) 241-0330
E-mail: esandberg@fcsn.org