The Federation currently oversees over 15 projects related to supporting families whose children have special educational needs and special healthcare needs, as well as families of culturally and economically underserved populations by promoting family engagement within general education. The projects are organized into five “Centers” by the primary type of service offered to families and are described below.
- Special Education Parent Center: Focuses on providing support, information, training and workshops related to special education to families of children with special needs (includes their outreach programming to culturally and linguistically underserved families). Through a variety of activities, parents can learn about the special education process (including IEP, Basic Rights, Transition Planning, MCAS, etc.) so that they can best support their child
- Family Support Center: Focuses on providing parent to parent support for families who have children with special health care needs or disabilities; women, children, adolescents and young adults infected/affected by HIV/AIDS; families of young children with early childhood mental health issues; and families who have a serious mental health challenges and complex DCF cases with child custody concerns
- Health Advocacy Center: Focuses on providing healthcare information and support to families of children with special needs, and programming that helps build capacity for family partnerships and supports partnership activities between managed care organizations and parents around improved access to services and supports
- Family and Community Engagement Center: Offers education improvement services to districts and schools in Massachusetts, partnering with districts and schools to improve student achievement and school performance through strengthening family and community engagement policies. The Center also trains community volunteers to act as “surrogate parents” for educational decision-making for students whose parents are not available.
- Parent-Professional Leadership Center: Focuses on activities that help build collaborative relationships among key education stakeholders (parents, educators, other professionals, and community partners) ensuring systemic efforts at improving educational outcomes for all students.