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Developmental Disabilities

Family Support Center

Our Family Support Center offers services to adults and children with developmental disabilities living with their families. These supports include respite care, recreational activities, provision of adaptive equipment, skill training, and specialized staff support.

Learn more at:

Family Leadership Program

Riverside’s Family Leadership Program offers education, leadership training, and mentoring for families with children and adults with disabilities living in the community.  Training and mentoring programs are developed by families who have a member with a disability and aim to inspire and empower other families and their loved ones as they engage in their community life.

The Family Leadership Program serves two regions – Metro and Northeast – with activities and opportunities tailored to local needs as described below. Both areas offer an annual Family Leadership Series, which is designed to:

  • Offer information about “best practices” for people with disabilities
  • Help families create a vision for their loved one and a process to achieve their goals
  • Develop family leaders who can advocate at the local and state level to improve the lives of people with disabilities

We encourage people with family members of any age and disability eligible for services from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to participate in our programs – free of charge!

Family Leadership Program – DDS Regions and Activities

Metro: Supports families in the Greater Boston, Charles River West, Middlesex West, and Newton/South Norfolk DDS areas. We work in partnership with MassFamilies (, a statewide, grassroots coalition dedicated to individual and family support.

In addition to the Family Leadership Series, the Metro region provides trainings in Spanish, Portuguese, and English, including our regularly scheduled Advocacy Bootcamp for primary caregivers of young children (birth – age 10) with developmental disabilities, chronic illnesses, and/or complex medical needs. Advocacy Bootcamp focuses on building foundational advocacy skills so participants can empower their children to lead rich and meaningful lives.

For news, updates, and more information, fill out this contact form, or contact:

Lauri Medeiros, Metro Program Director
Riverside Community Care Family Leadership Program

Lauri Medeiros, Metro Regional Coordinator
Mass Families

Northeast: Supports families in the Merrimack Valley, North Shore, Lowell, Central Middlesex, and Metro North DDS areas.  The Northeast region offers the annual Family Leadership Series and provides trainings including Charting the Life Course – a framework created to help individuals and families of all ages and abilities develop a vision for a good life, find or develop supports, and discover what it takes to live the lives they want to live; along with Advanced Family Leadership, Advocacy Roundtables, and more.

To stay up-to-date with programs and events, sign up for the monthly Northeast Family Leadership newsletter at Each edition includes a list of upcoming Northeast and statewide Family Leadership events, along with articles and resources on family advocacy.

For more information contact:

Maryann Welch, Northeast Program Director
Riverside Community Care Family Leadership Program

Not sure which regional program serves your community? Check out this DDS interactive map tool.