Chapter 9: Resources To Help You And Your Family

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Chapter 9: Resources To Help You And Your Family

Everyone needs help sometimes. There are lots of services for parents in Massachusetts. Do not be afraid to call.

Services are listed in the following categories:

  • Food, Clothing, and Housing

  • Financial Aid

  • Health

  • Safety

  • Legal Aid

  • Parenting and Family Support

  • Child Care and Early Education

  • Services for Children with Special Needs

  • Jobs and Training

  • Advocacy and Action

Under each listing you will find:

  1. A short description of the service and the phone number

  1. Hours the service is open — Most are open 9 AM - 5 PM, unless noted. Some are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are marked: “ALWAYS OPEN.”

  1. Languages spoken at the service— Some services are available in languages other than English. These are marked. Some services offer the AT&T Language Line. This service has interpreters in 140 languages. To get an interpreter, tell the person who answers the phone what language you need. It may take a few minutes for the interpreter to be connected. Do not hang up. Be prepared to say in English that you need to speak to someone in your language.

To be eligible for a service means to meet certain requirements. These requirements are different from service to service. You and your family can be eligible for one and not another. Call the service. The staff there will tell you if you are eligible.

Growing Up Healthy has been developed by the Division for Perinatal, Early Childhood, and Special Health Needs. Call 1-800-882-1435 or visit for more information about health insurance, primary care, family planning, home visiting and health education. The Division is part of the Bureau of Family and Community Health at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.


American Red Cross

Disaster relief — clothing, food pantry, housing and household goods; classes on health topics including First Aid and CPR.

Your local American Red Cross Chapter 1-800-564-1234

Disaster Information and Resource Center 1-866-438-4636

Languages: Some Spanish available
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program 1-800-622-3637

Nutrition education for eligible families with children

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 1-800-480-2520, 1-800-621-3362 (TTY),

Information on disaster and emergency planning

First Call for Help

Help with housing, food, utilities, legal support, substance abuse, parenting issues, and other basic needs

United Way of Massachusetts Bay 1-800-231-4377

United Way of Cape Cod 1-800-462-8002

United Way of Central Mass. 508-755-1233 (voice/TDD)

Western Mass. 1-800-339-7779

Languages: Some Spanish available


Fuel Assistance Program 1-800-632-8175

Financial aid for heat

Hunger and Food Stamp Hotline 1-800-645-8333

Coupons for groceries and referrals to local food banks

Languages: Spanish
Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance 617-822-9100,

Counseling for first-time home buyers and advocacy on housing issues

Languages: Spanish
Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless 781-595-7570,

Donations Assistance Center provides furniture and household goods

Languages: Spanish
Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s MassSupport line 866-237-8274 (voice/TTY),

Help preparing for and dealing with disasters and crisis at the national, state or local level

Languages: Translation services available

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) 508-820-2000,

Information on disaster and emergency planning for the state of Massachusetts

Massachusetts Tenant Organization and Resource Center 617-367-6260

Information on tenants’ rights

Medicaid Transportation Program 1-800-682-1062, 1-800-841-2900,

1-800-497-4648 (TTY),

Consumers of MassHealth may receive funds for transportation services for health care services

Languages: Spanish, Chinese, Khmer, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Russian

Project Bread Food Source Hotline 1-800-645-8333, 1-800-377-1292 (TTY),

Information on getting food, food resources and food stamps

Salvation Army Good Neighbor Energy Fund 1-800-262-1320,

Fuel assistance available to eligible families during the heating season

UMass Extension

Planning and preparing low-cost, healthy meals; offered on an individual basis or in small, home-based groups

Greater Boston 1-800-622-3637

Central Mass 508-831-1225

Western Mass 413-737-0236

Languages: Some Spanish available

WIC 1-800-942-1007,

Food for eligible pregnant women and children under 5. Information on nutrition, breastfeeding, child health and development, and parenting

Languages: Spanish, Haitian Creole, French, Portuguese


Children’s Medical Security Plan 1-800-841-2900, 1-800-497-4648 (TTY),

Health insurance to eligible children 18 and under for primary care, limited emergency care and prescription drugs

Languages: 140 through Language Line

CommonHealth 1-800-841-2900, 1-888-665-9993, 1-888-665-9997 (TTY),

Health insurance for working disabled adults and children under 18

Languages: Some languages available at certain times

Department of Transitional Assistance (formerly Welfare)

1-800-445-6604, 1-800-249-2007 (new applicants),

Food stamps, Transitional Aid for Needy families (TANF), and other assistance

Languages: Spanish

Healthy Start 1-800-841-2900, 1-800-497-4648 (TTY),

Insurance for eligible pregnant women and referrals to health care and other services

Languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Khmer, French
Medicaid/MassHealth 1-800-841-2900, 1-888-665-9997 (TTY),

Health insurance for eligible families

Languages: Spanish, Chinese, Khmer, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Russian
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 1-800-772-1213,

Financial assistance for eligible children and adults with disabilities


AIDS Hotline 1-800-235-2331; 617-437-1672 (TTY)

Information, referrals and support for HIV and AIDS-related issues

HOURS: Mon-Fri, 9 AM - 9 PM; Sat, 10 AM - 2 PM

Languages: Spanish

Al-Anon 508-366-0556,

Support for family members affected by alcoholism or other substance abuse

HOURS: Mon-Fri, 10 AM - 3 PM
American Academy of Pediatrics, Mass Chapter 781-895-9852,

Information about child health issues

American Cancer Society 1-800-ACS-2345,

Information on screening, free examinations, diagnostic services, treatment and transportation

Languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Khmer
Anonymous HIV Testing 1-800-750-2016, 617-437-1672 (TTY)

Information and referrals for HIV testing and needle exchange programs

Languages: 140 through the Language Line

HOURS: Mon, Wed, Thurs, 9 AM - 9 PM; Tues, Fri, 9 AM - 5 PM; Sat, 10 AM - 2 PM

Ask-a-Nurse 1-800-544-2424

Information and referrals

Depression After Delivery

Information for new parents and referrals to local providers and support groups

Good Grief Program 617-414-4005

Training for providers and teachers about children and grief; books, videos and other resources

Health Care for All Helpline 1-800-272-4232,

Advocacy and help with getting health care

Languages: Spanish, Haitian Creole

La Leche League 1-800-LA-LECHE,

Telephone counseling on breastfeeding, new mothers’ groups, and information on breast pump rentals and sales

Lead Paint Hotline 1-800-532-9571,

Information about lead laws and consumer rights; referrals for lead screening, inspection, and deleading

Languages: Spanish

Massachusetts Center for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Hotline


Information and counseling about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling 1-800-426-1234, 617-426-1855 (TTY),

Counseling and referrals for gamblers and their families

Massachusetts Dental Society 1-800-342-8747,

Referrals to dentists and special needs dentistry

Massachusetts Department of Mental Health 1-800-221-0053, 617-727-9842 (TTY),

Emergency evaluations and community-based services for persons with a mental health diagnoses

Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation 1-888-DMR-4435, 617-624-7783 (TTY),

Services for children with mental retardation and their families

Massachusetts Family Planning Program 617-624-6060,

Referrals to family planning clinics, and information about birth control and reproductive health services

Massachusetts Immunization Program 1-888-658-2850,

Information about immunizations and where to get them

Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers 1-800-475-8455,

Referrals to local health centers and information about free or reduced-cost health care

Languages: Spanish, Vietnamese
Massachusetts Psychiatric Society 781-237-8100,

Referrals to mental health providers

National Center for Death Education 617-928-4649

Referrals for grief counseling and recommendations on books and videos

National Mental Health Association 1-800-969-6642, 1-800-433-5959 (TTY),

Referrals to mental health providers and information on mental health

National Women’s Health Information Center 1-800-994-WOMAN, 1-888-220-5446 (TDD),

Resources and information on women’s health issues

Languages: Spanish
Nursing Mothers’ Council 617-244-5102,

Breastfeeding counseling and rental of breastfeeding pumps and other aids

Languages: Spanish (by referral)
Physician Referral Service 1-800-322-2303 ext. 6094

Referrals to physicians based on language, location, and specialty

Languages: Spanish
Planned Parenthood 1-800-682-9218,

Referrals to confidential pregnancy testing; reproductive health services and information

Languages: Spanish, Haitian Creole
Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222, 1-888-244-5313 (TTY),

Emergency advice about poisoning, and information on poisons

Languages: 140 through the Language Line


Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Control Program 617-983-6940

Locations and hours of clinics that screen and treat sexually transmitted diseases;

information on STDs

Languages: Spanish

Smokers Quitline 1-800-TRY-TO-STOP (English), 1-800-8-DEJALO (Spanish),

1-800-TDD-1477 (TDD)

Counseling and referrals to local smoking cessation programs

Languages: 140 through the Language Line



Auto Safety Hotline 1-800-424-9393

Information about car safety seats, air bags, and passenger safety

Languages: Spanish
Child-At-Risk Hotline 1-800-792-5200

To report child abuse, follow-up services include crisis intervention and emergency services, counseling, protective child care, parent aide services, substitute care and case management

Child Witness to Violence Project 617-414-4244,

Counseling for children who have witnessed violence, especially family violence

Languages: Spanish
Consumer Product Safety Commission 1-800-638-2772, 1-800-638-8270 (TTY),

Information on toy safety, product recalls and safety alerts

Disabled Abuse Hotline 1-800-426-9009

To report abuse of people with disabilities

Domestic Violence Hotline 1-877-785-2020

Referrals, peer support, and information on location and availability of shelters

Languages: Spanish and 140 through the Language Line


Elder Abuse Hotline 1-800-922-2275

To report neglect or financial, psychological or physical abuse of people 60 years of age or older; counseling and referral services

Languages: 140 through the Language Line


Llamanos 1-800-223-5001, 1-800-688-4889 (TTY),

Statewide Spanish language sexual abuse hotline

(Spanish Translation: Linea directa para sobrevivientes de abuso sexual)
Massachusetts Car Safety Hotline 1-800-CAR-SAFE

Locations of car seat loan programs, information about passenger safety, child safety seat installation and recalls

Rape Crisis Center 1-800-841-8371, 617-492-7273 (TTY),

Crisis counseling and referrals for rape victims

Languages: 140 through the Language Line



Boston Area 617-534-5197

Western MA 413-794-5434

Information on child safety issues

Samaritans 617-247-0220, 1-800-SUICIDE,

Suicide prevention crisis line



Disability Law Center 1-800-872-9992,

Free legal assistance and information to people with disabilities in MA

Harvard Legal Aid Bureau 617-495-4408,

Free legal services about housing, benefits and family law

Languages: Some languages available at certain times
Harvard University Small Claims Advisory Service 1-866-627-7577, 617-497-5690,

Free advice on consumer law disputes about sums less than $2000

Health Law Advocates 617-338-5241,

Legal services for problems with health care and health insurance

La Alianza Hispana 617-427-7175

Information and referral to a wide range of Spanish-language services

Languages: Spanish, English
Legal Advocacy and Resource Center 1-800-342-LAWS,

Free and reduced-fee legal services

Legal Services Center 617-522-3003

Legal services for housing, family, benefits and AIDS-related discrimination

Languages: Spanish
Massachusetts Bar Association 617-654-0400, 617-338-0585 (TDD),

Referrals to legal aid programs and services

Languages: Spanish
Massachusetts Child Support Customer Service Bureau 1-800-332-2733, 1-800-255-5587 (TTY)

Information on child support laws, filing claims and help with a specific case

Languages: Spanish, Portuguese, French, Greek
Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination 617-994-6000, 413-739-2145,

To report complaints about housing, maternity, and employment discrimination

Languages: Spanish


Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation 617-367-8544,

Legal services for income-eligible people

Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General 617-727-2200,

Help for victims of violent crime and advice on consumer complaints

Languages: Spanish
Volunteer Lawyers Project 617-423-0648, 617-338-6790 (TDD)

Help with Supplemental Security Income (SSI) appeals and other cases

Languages: Spanish
Western Massachusetts Legal Services 1-800-639-1309,

Legal service on housing, Medicaid, SSI and benefits

Languages: Spanish


Alternative Family Matters 617-576-6788,

Information for gay and lesbian parents and those considering parenting

Children’s Trust Fund 1-888-775-4KIDS,

Referrals to local parent education groups, parent support groups, and home visiting programs; free materials on preventing child abuse and neglect

Early Intervention 1-800-905-8437, 617-624-5992 (TTY),

Developmental assessment, intervention and family support services to eligible children

birth - 3 years old
Early Intervention Partnerships Program 1-800-311-2229, 617-624-5992 (TTY),

Home visiting program for pregnant women and new mothers

FOR Families Program 1-800-311-2229, 617-624-5992 (TTY),

A home visiting program to help homeless families. Services are free and participation is voluntary.

Family Nurturing Center 617-474-1143,

Information about nurturing programs, parent education and community-based family support

Fenway Community Health Center 1-888-242-0900,

Information, resources, activities and support for gay and lesbian parents and their children, alternative insemination program, programs for gays and lesbians considering parenting

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren 617-727-7750

Referrals to support groups for grandparents raising their grandchildren; free resource directory

Languages: Spanish
Jewish Family and Childen’s Service 781-647-JFCS,

Support for new parents through home visiting, support groups, referrals, and consultation.

Massachusetts Adult Literacy Hotline 1-800-447-8844 (voice/TTY)

Information about basic skills for parents, early childhood programs for children birth - 12 years old, and home visits. Programs are located in certain communities; some programs offer other languages.

Massachusetts Committee for Children and Youth 1-800-CHILDREN

Information about child abuse prevention

Massachusetts Family Network 1-800-447-8844 (voice/TTY)

Parent education, home visits, health and developmental screening, play groups, child care and transportation for families with children birth - 3 years old. Some programs offer other languages.

Massachusetts Mothers of Twins Association 781-646-TWIN,

Referrals to support groups and programs for parents with multiple births

Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children 1-800-442-3035,

Information and referrals to child abuse prevention and home visiting services

Open Door Society Adoption Community of New England 1-800-932-3678,

Support for adoptive families and for people who want to learn about adoption

PAL, Parent/Professional Advocacy League 1-866-815-8122,

Supprt for parents of children with mental, emotional and behavioral needs

Parental Stress Line 1-800-632-8188

Confidential counseling, support and information for parents

Languages: Spanish


Parents Anonymous 1-800-882-1250

Telephone counseling and referrals to confidential support groups for parents

Tough Love International 1-800-333-1069,

Support and parenting skills for parents of teenagers


Child Care Resource and Referral Network 1-800-345-0131,

Information on child care including how to choose a provider, lists of licensed child care providers in your area, and programs that help pay for child care

Languages: Some Spanish available
Head Start Information & Publication Center 1-866-763-6481, 617-565-1128,

Information on Head Start programs for children 3 - 5 years old in your local area

Languages: Spanish
Massachusetts Department of Education 781-388-3300 ext. 357,

Information on early childhood programs

Languages: English
Office of Child Care Services 617-988-6600,

State agency that monitors and licenses child care programs; receives complaints and sends reports of proven complaints against a provider

Parents United for Childcare/BOSTnet 617-720-1290, 617-720-1292 (TTY),

Advocacy and referrals for child care

Languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Tagalog


Arc of Massachusetts 781-891-6270, 781-891-6271 (TTY),

Community-based supports and services for individuals with cognitive and developmental disabilities and their families.

CAST: Center for Applied Special Technology 781-245-2212, 781-245-9320 (TTY),

Technology for individuals with disabilities, including clinical evaluation, advocacy for inclusion in schools, and use of adaptive devices

Easter Seals Massachusetts 1-800-922-8290, 1-800-564-9700 (TTY),

Referrals for disability services and information on loans for car safety devices, assistive technology and equipment for children with temporary or chronic disabilities

Family TIES 1-800-905-TIES, 617-624-5992 (TTY),

Information, resources and support for families of children with special health care needs

Languages: Spanish
Family Voices 1-800-331-0688 x 210, 617-624-5992 (TTY),

Advocacy, support, education, and information for families of children with special health care needs

Federation for Children with Special Needs 1-800-331-0688, 617-482-2915 (TTY),

Advocacy and service referrals for children with special needs and their parents or guardians

Languages: Spanish
Hearing Evaluation and Hearing Aid Programs 1-800-882-1435, 617-624-5992 (TTY),

Information and referrals for infants and toddlers for complete hearing evaluations; evaluations and hearing aids for uninsured children from birth through 21

March of Dimes 508-366-9066,

Materials in English and Spanish on genetic services, birth defects, and children with special needs

Massachusetts Advocates for Children 617-357-8431,

Advocacy for children needing special education services

Massachusetts Assistive Technology Partnership 1-800-848-8867 (voice/TDD),

Information on assistive technology products, services, and funding sources for people with disabilities

Languages: 140 through the Language Line
Massachusetts Department of Public Health Care Coordination Program 1-800-882-1435, 617-624-5992 (TTY),

Health care coordinator, support and referral to public and community-based resources for families of children with special health care needs

Languages: Spanish and Portuguese
Massachusetts Department of Public Health Community Support Program 1-800-882-1435, 617-624-5992 (TTY),

Information, resources, technical assistance, and referrals for families of children with special health care needs

Massachusetts Office on Disability 1-800-322-2020 (voice/TTY),

Information, referrals and advocacy for people with disabilities

MASSTART (Massachusetts Technology Assistance Resource Team) 508-792-7880, 617-624-5992 (TTY),

Information, resources, training and technical assistance for parents, school staff and health care providers about medical technology and the health needs of children assisted by medical technology while in school

MBTA Transportation Access 617-222-5123,

Information on accessible transportation services for disabled persons in the Greater Boston area

Newborn Hearing Screening Program 1-800-882-1435, 617-624-5992 (TTY),

Information for families on hearing and hearing loss, hearing testing and hearing aids

Languages: Spanish
New England INDEX 781-642-0248 (voice/TDD)

Referrals to physicians, consultants, multilingual consultants, and technical assistance

Languages: Spanish, other languages available at certain times
PKU Special Dietary Food and Formula Program 1-800-882-1435, 617-624-5992 (TTY),

Special food and formula for uninsured children with PKU and other related metabolic conditions


Division of Employment and Training 617-626-6600, 617-727-6156 (TTY)

Job listings and employment training programs

Languages: Some languages available at certain times
Higher Education Information Center 617-536-0200

Information and advice on educational and career opportunities and sources of financial aid

Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Health and Safety (MassCOSH)


Information and training on workplace health and safety issues and workers’ rights to safe workplaces

Languages: Spanish

Mass Adult Literacy Hotline 1-800-447-8844

Information and referrals for adult learners for English as a Second Language (ESL), General Education Development (GED) Certificate, family literacy and support programs, and citizenship classes

Languages: Spanish
Mass Jobs 617-348-5930

Employment and training for consumers of the Department of Transitional Assistance

Languages: Spanish


Citizen Information Line 1-800-392-6090

Information about state agencies and programs

Federal Information Center 1-800-688-9889

Information about federal agencies and programs

Languages: Spanish
Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition 617-350-5480,

Information about immigration laws and support for people looking to become citizens

Office for Refugees and Immigrants 617-727-7888,

Information and referrals for refugees and immigrants

Languages: Some languages available at certain times
State Representatives and Senators 617-722-2000; 617-722-2539 (TDD)

Call to contact your local representatives about issues that concern you

United Way of Massachusetts Bay Voluntary Action Center 617-624-8186,

Local and state volunteer opportunities

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