Family Support Resource Center The United Arc

Record last updated 2019/01/22 Comment on this info .Update this info

Contact Information

The United Arc
Contact: Martha Lewin, Family Support
Email Address: lesliekinney@unitedarc.org
Phone: 413-774-5558 xx 1006

294 Avenue A Turners Falls, MA 01376
Area Served: West

Map Location Family Support Resource Center

Narrative

The United Arc provides advocacy and support services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in western Massachusetts.The Arc provides an array of flexible support services for families, support for inclusion and transition planning for school aged children and teens, and residential services for adults.  Primary geographical areas of services include communities in Franklin and Hampshire Counties and the North Quabbin area of Worcester County.  (See Program Services).

Advocacy activity is important aspect of the Arc’s mission.  The United Arc sponsors two self-advocacy groups, offers educational advocacy for students and their families and brings family members together for collective advocacy endeavors.  The United Arc has an active membership of persons concerned about the well-being of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The United Arc is an affiliated chapter of The Arc of Massachusetts and The Arc of the United States.  The state and national organizations maintain ongoing communication with the larger Arc membership about legislative and budget concerns that impact individuals with disabilities.  

The United Arc has two Family Centers.  The Franklin County Family Support Center is located in Turners Falls, MA (serving families in central Franklin County) and the North Quabbin Family Support Center is located in Athol, MA (serving families in the North Quabbin area).  The Family Centers offer the following services and supports:

*Information & Referral - Available to families and others in the community about disability-related supports and services.  The United Arc also offers a monthly newsletter for families on agency events and disability topics.

*Service Navigation - Available to assist families to obtain the goods and services necessary to enhance or preserve family stability and well-being.

*Educational Consultation - Center staff can work with families to obtain optimal school programs in inclusive settings.

*Financial Assistance - Available to DDS prioritized individuals/families so purchase care, equipment or other resources needed to support a family member with a disability. 

*Intensive Flexible Family Support - Available to DDS prioritized individuals/families who need 

*Individualized Models of Support - Individualized home or community-based support services available through specific DDS contracts including family/participant directed services through DESE-DDS (for school age children) and Agency with Choice (for adults).  Individualized support can also be provided for persons referred by DDS for Adult Companion or Individual Home Suport with a specified weekly number of hours of support.

*Food Pantry - Food assistance is available to families served by the Centers as well as others in the community who need support to stretch limited food budgets. 

*Informational Workshops & Training - Workshops for families and interested others are offered on such topics as individual education plans, guardianship, estate planning, transition, personal futures planning, and more. 

*Social Support & Therapeutic Groups - Weekly social groups are offered for teens/young adults. Periodic therapeutic groups are offered including music therapy and creative movement.  Sibling Camps are offered during spring vacation for elementary age sibs.    Annual dinners, picnics and holiday events are offered for the entire family. Other programs are offered based on family interest and available resources.

*Supported Parenting - The United Arc's Positive Parenting Resource Center operates separately from the Family Support Centers although some families may access both services.  Positive Parenting focuses on the support needs of families headed by one or more parents with intellectual or learning disabilities.  Services are primarily funded by the Dept. of Children & Families and private grants.  These services include Parenting Skills and Education Groups, Home Visiting & Individualized Skills Training, Mentoring Support through community volunteers, Transitional Living for families going through a reunification or stabilization process, Supervised Visitation for parents and children in out-of-home placement and focused support for Grandparents as Primary Caregivers. 

Service Types

  • Family Rights And Guardianship
  • Family Support
  • Financial Assistance
  • Socialization Activities

Program Type

  • Recreation/Arts/Social and Leisure
  • Respite
  • Support Groups

Populations Served

  • Aphasia
  • Attention Deficit Disorder/Hyper Activity Disorder
  • Autism Spectrum
  • Behavior Disorder
  • Birth Defects
  • Brain/Head Injury
  • Developmental Delay Birth to 3
  • Developmental Disability
  • Dual Diagnosis - ID/MI
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Mental Illness
  • Multiple Disability
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Rare disorders/low incidence
  • Speech Impairment
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Tourette Syndrome

Ages Served

  • Birth to 3
  • 3 - 4
  • 5 - 8
  • 9 - 13
  • 14 - 18
  • 19 - 22
  • 23 – 59
  • 60 +

Accessibility Features

  • Accessible Parking
  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Near Public Transportation
  • Services at Home

Additional Information

  • Fees: Free Service, Personal Funds