Children’s Services

Multicultural Community Services (MCS) provides a variety of programs for children age three to eighteen with developmental disabilities and their families. Participants must be found eligible for services through the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDS) and then referred to MCS by the appropriate DDS Area Office.

Children’s Services offers families the opportunity to receive support from an MCS Service Navigator. The Navigator will assist families as needed in accessing generic services such as SSI, MassHealth, fuel assistance, PCA services, etc. In addition to information & referral and assistance with educational issues, this program may also provide limited funding for families to access supports such as individualized respite, assistance with medical expenses not covered by insurance, the purchase of adaptive equipment, access to transportation services or short term emergency needs. Prioritization for this funding is determined by the DDS area office through an assessment of needs and availability of funding.

In addition to the services provided to children and their families through the Family Support Centers, MCS is also a provider of the following specialized services and programs for children:

Group Respite

MCS provides a variety of respite options for children through the year, particularly during school vacations. Activities have included attending local concerts, spectator sporting events, and various outdoor activities. The program offerings are based on the input of the participants, their families, and staff.

Overnight Respite

Planned overnight respite for children age three to eighteen is offered at the West Street Inn, a three bedroom house located at 197 West Street in Ludlow. This regional program provides respite for families whose children have complex developmental, behavioral, and/or medical needs that exceed typical respite options. The staff at the West Street Inn are well trained and experienced individuals dedicated to providing quality services.

Intensive Flexible Family Support (IFFS)

The IFFS Program supports families who have a child with a disability who may be at risk for out-of-home placement. The majority of IFFS families require support in one or more of the following areas: intensive case management, referral to other programs, help in coordinating medical and health care services, support with educational services, respite, and financial assistance.

DESE/DDS Program

The DESE/DDS program is an interagency agreement between the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Developmental Services. This program provides an array of services to families who have children who are at risk of being placed out of home into a residential facility or who are returning home from a residential school setting. This is a closed referral program for children/young adults from ages 6 though 21 who meet specific program eligibility criteria.

Autism Waiver

The Autism Waiver is a statewide program providing home and community based services to children from birth through the age of eight who have a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder. MCS is a qualified provider for this waiver program and is equipped to provide the range of supports offered through the Autism Waiver for individuals who meet the eligibility requirements and are selected for waiver participation.