Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility The Arc, Department of Developmental Services Host Annual Family Support Conference on Bridging Cultural and Linguistic Gaps in Service Delivery - The Arc of Massachusetts Skip to main content

On September 29, over 250 Family Support Center staff and Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Service Coordinators came together, in person for the first time since the pandemic, for the annual Statewide Family Support Conference.

Through a longstanding partnership, The Arc of Massachusetts convened a planning committee led by Statewide Family Support Director Ellen Kilicarslan, helping to organize this DDS-sponsored event.

This conference was a call to action for family support staff to commit to bridging the cultural and linguistic gap in the current service delivery system. This theme ran deep throughout the day.

The morning began with a family welcome by parent leader Jaya Pandey, who welcomed everyone in Hindi. Beth Bostic, Assistant Director of the Department of Children and Youth with Special Health Needs (DCYSHN), and Roxanne Hoke-Chandler, Statewide Family Engagement & Collaboration Coordinator and member of The Arc’s Steering Committee, both with the Department of Public Health (DPH), followed with a thought-provoking keynote presentation on supporting families and individuals from diverse cultures.

Breakout workshops included panels of parents and support center staff sharing stories and best practices, as well as many helpful tips to support the needs of diverse communities and essential information on immigration to best support families.

The day concluded with a call to action by Dr. Angela Crutchfield, Principal Consultant of the Crutchfield Group, LLC, and Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion at Riverside Community Care. Dr. Angela proposed that this work begins with self-assessment to ensure an end goal of sustainable cultural change.

Leave a Reply