Cambridge Family & Children's Service
 
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Parenting Workshops

We currently offer two models of parenting courses: Parenting Journey and Parenting in America. Both follow a 12-week, 2-hour curriculum, with dinner and childcare provided at every session.

Parenting Journey

Parenting Journey offers an opportunity for parents to develop themselves as nurtured and nurturing people, capable of making responsible and informed choices in rearing their children. Parenting Journey focuses on promoting attitudes that enhance good parenting: respect, helping each other, listening with empathy and being curious.

Parenting in America

Parenting in America is a class in which immigrant parents share their immigration experiences, honor their cultural strengths, and use new strategies to confront the challenges of adapting to living in the US and raising their children in two cultures. The Parenting in America curriculum address such topics as the balance of power in the family; learning to navigate systems and connect with resources that are important to, or can improve their lives; and staying healthy in a stressful environment.

If you’re interested in signing up for Parenting Journey or Parenting in America classes, please complete the inquiry form below.


 
 
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Young Parents Support Program

The Young Parents Support Program (YPS) is a strength-based program aimed at supporting pregnant and parenting mothers and fathers under 23 years old who currently live in the City of Boston. YPS participants will have access to home visiting services, case management, referrals, and individual and group services aimed at reaching their individualized goals. Services are free and confidential. Service goals and length vary based on the need of the family, but last on average 9 months. Case managers work closely with young parents in developing his or her own vision and goals of service.

To sign up for this program, please complete an Inquiry Form:

To refer someone for this program, please complete a Referral Form: 

Services areas can include:

  • Parenting Skills

  • Opportunities to meet other young parents

  • Housing assistance

  • Domestic Violence resources

  • Access to food, clothing, school supplies, furniture and other basic needs

  • Support in accessing government support (WIC, DTA, Day Care vouchers etc.)

  • GED/High School/College

  • Vocational Skills

  • Independent Living Skills

The FSS team helped me a lot both physically and emotionally. Without their support my life would have been a lot more difficult to manage.
— Former FSS Client
 

DCF Contracted Services

Referrals for these services can only be made through the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) Family Networks.

 

FSS Teams

FSS Teams work closely with families and DCF to prevent out of home placement or support families’ reunification. FSS teams complete twice weekly home visits with a focus on:

  • Strengthening family relationships

  • Providing support for parents/caretakers around improving safety

  • Preparing for reunification

  • Support for youth around improving relationships

  • Parent training assistance

  • Assistance in navigating other systems such as the courts, schools, immigration and mental health services

  • Support around self-advocacy

  • Connections and referrals to long-term services or building natural supports


Youth Support Services

Case workers meet with youth weekly to work on increasing their levels of independence and prepare them for adulthood. Areas of focus include:

  • Daily living skills

  • Academic performance

  • Social skills

  • Family relationship-building

  • Independent living skills

  • Vocational skills

Visitation Services

Our supervised visitation service is part of the Massachusetts Coalition of Supervised Visitation and the Supervised Visitation Network. 
Staff provide supervised visitation through DCF Family Network Referral for children in foster care. 

Visitation hours are Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM.

DCF visitation includes:

  • Child transportation

  • Consistent, timely, monitored family contact

  • Visitation in a comfortable, home-like visitation room

  • Assistance in transitions towards reunification

 
Before we started doing CFCS Supervised Visits, my daughter had not seen her father for 1 1/2 years. There was obviously a great deal of anxiety around them seeing each other again, especially for my daughter and myself. But the FSS staff was absolutely amazing, providing a sense of safety and compassion to my daughter. Because of this, she felt more at ease during the visits with her dad. She knew she had the support she needed.
— Former FSS Client
 
 
 
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Independent Living

CFCS residential services provide a wealth of support, independent living skill knowledge, and the tools young people need to advocate for themselves in preparation for living independently in the community. The cost of living in an apartment, especially in the Boston area, can be prohibitive to living successfully on your own. CFCS offers the Independent Living (IL) program to provide both financial and emotional support during the critical transition period before young people “age out” of state care upon their 22nd birthday. IL provides one-bedroom apartments to CFCS youth who graduate from the group homes and are able to care for themselves. Apartments are conveniently located near major MBTA, train and bus stations, grocery stores, and local community colleges in order to provide access to community resources.

While living in a community-based apartment, residents receive weekly case management to support their efforts for continuing education and to assist with financial resources. They are connected with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance benefits, United Way funding and financial assistance for half of their utility costs, to support long-term financial stability. They receive assistance while actively working on goals such as earning a driver’s license, saving to purchase a car, completing college or post-secondary education and saving for their own apartment. As an incentive for compliance, a weekly stipend is awarded and dispensed after completion of the program. This money can be used to assist with the various costs of living without State support and leads to continued stability.

Youth who have entered the IL program are looked up to by current group home residents and often return to offer mentoring and advice. All are invited to participate in summer trips to maintain connections to the staff and their peers.