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MA Resources to Support Specific Experiences

Each of these Massachusetts organizations has a primary focus that may be part of your family’s experience. In most cases, these organizations offer resources likely to help most families working with Judge Baker Children’s Center.


Children’s Mental Health Resources


NAMI Massachusetts: 

What they do: NAMI Mass is the state branch of The National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI Mass is a nonprofit delivering grassroots education, support, and advocacy. NAMI Mass has 18 local affiliates across Massachusetts comprised of individuals living with mental illness, family members, friends, mental health professionals, and others in the mental health community.

How this organization may help your child/family: NAMI Mass offers education and support for families. Families can call NAMI Mass Compass, a staffed call line, for help answering questions on mental health topics and finding resources.

NAMI Mass Compass: Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, at (617) 704-NAMI (6264) or (800) 370-9085 or


Parent/Professional Advocacy League (PPAL): 

What they do: PPAL’s sole focus is helping families whose children have mental health needs. PPAL is a family-based and statewide organization using education, advocacy, and partnerships while working towards improved mental health and wellbeing for children, youth, and their families.

How this organization may help your child/family: PPAL provides many supports and resources for families and youth. Families can call the PPAL offices for guidance and support and for resource suggestions. The website includes several tip sheets and resource lists. The PPAL blog consistently highlights experiences shared by many youth and families.
Families: PPAL runs trainings and support groups throughout the state.
Youth: PPAL offers youth groups, programming, and supports.


William James College INTERFACE Referral Service: 

What they do: INTERFACE manages a website with mental health and wellness resources for children, adults, families, educators, and mental health professionals.

INTERFACE staffs a free, confidential mental health and wellness referral Helpline Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, at 888-244-6843. See website for participating communities.

How this organization may help your child/family: Families in any community can utilize the INTERFACE website. Families living in participating communities can speak with Hotline staff and receive confidential referral services that help match the location, insurance and specific needs of the caller.


Autism Spectrum Resources


Asperger/Autism Network (AANE): 

What they do: AANE works to build learning, support, and community for individuals with Asperger Syndrome and similar autism spectrum profiles as well as their families, friends and professionals.

How this organization may help your child/family: AANE’s website is focused on ideas for how to help more than directing to resources. AANE has developed information to help families navigate topics such as “Diagnosis and Disclosure” and “Social Skills and Friendships.” AANE runs in-person and online support groups and trainings throughout the year.


Autism Insurance Resource Center (ARICA): 

What they do: ARICA is a program of The Shriver Center, a division of The University of Massachusetts Medical School. ARICA’s primary focus is medical insurance for autism treatment. ARICA offers resources for consumers, providers, clinicians, employers, educators, and more.

How this organization may help your child/family: ARICA helps families with the question: What’s covered by insurance? Families can request assistance, use on-line insurance screening tools, attend trainings, find resources, and see a list of ABA providers.


Autism Speaks: 

What they do: Autism Speaks is a national non-profit organization focusing on solutions for helping individuals with autism and their families across the life span.

How this organization may help your child/family: Readers are directed to information on a range of topics that include advocacy, research, understanding and acceptance, and more. Autism Speaks New England is the chapter for Massachusetts families. 


Boston Medical Center (BMC) - Autism Program Resource Page: 

What they do: BMC’s Autism Program has developed detailed resources in a variety of areas supporting individuals with autism and their families as well as the special needs community. Several resources are in multiple languages.

Resources developed by BMC:

  • Autism information in multiple languages 
  • BMC resource guides, workbooks, and handouts (Example: Summer Guide -- info to ask when considering a camp, suggestions for preparing child for camp, etc.)
  • Information on Services (Example: Parent’s Guide to Special Education in Boston)
  • Transition to Adulthood Resources (Examples include narratives, checklists, etc.)
  • Topic Specific Resources (Example: Talking to Your Child About Autism)

How this organization may help your child/family: Regardless of a child’s diagnosis, many families will find these resources helpful. BMC also has links to external resources, including a section about Application for Services.


Additional Family Resources


Adoption Community of New England (ACONE): 

What they do: ACONE’s mission is to educate, support, and advocate with a commitment to anyone touched by adoption (birth parents, adoptive parents, adoptees, and adoption professionals). ACONE is a program of Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps.

How this organization may help your child/family: ACONE offers support groups, workshops, and more across all stages of a member’s adoption-related experience.


Greater Boston PFLAG: 

What they do: PFLAG is the nation’s largest family and ally organization uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies.

How this organization may help your child/family: Loving families is a priority. In support of LGBTQ individuals, Greater Boston PFLAG offers support groups, education, advocacy, and more. Greater Boston PFLAG staff can answer parent questions and connect families with supports for children. There are several regional programs for LGBTQ youth.


Massachusetts Alliance for Families (MAFF): 

What they do: MAFF is an advocacy organization working on behalf of youth who cannot live with their biological families and the kinship, foster, guardianship, and adoptive families who support them.

How this organization may help your child/family: MAFF is free and open to all interested and involved in the foster care system. Families can receive information to advocate on behalf of children.


Massachusetts Foster Care Alumni Network (MassNCFA): 

What they do: MassNCFA creates a community for current and former foster youth throughout their lives.

How this organization may help your child/family: MassNCFA offers community and opportunity through education, employment, service, and leadership. MassNCFA Connect is a program for foster care alumni to connect and share resources.


Massachusetts Sibling Support Network (MSSN): 

What they do: MSSN’s focus is the adult siblings, parents of young siblings, and professionals who care for individuals with disabilities. MSSN states: “Growing up with a brother or sister with a disability, whether the disability is mental or physical, seen or unseen, is a unique, challenging, and potentially rewarding experience.”

How this organization may help your child/family: MSSN provides information on sibling issues across the decades; referrals to sibling services (such as sibling programs and therapists); and social connections for siblings of all ages.


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