Individual and Family Flexible Support services focus on the needs of families with children who have a serious emotional disturbance. Individual and Family Flexible Support is a DMH-funded program that provides a wide range of support services to children and their families who are referred by the Department of Mental Health. These services include Family Systems Intervention, Individual Youth Support, Youth Support Groups, and case management. Because these services and resources are creatively and flexibly implemented to meet client and family needs, they may include, but are not limited to, resources such as camperships, scholarships, respite, short-term placement, and direct assistance.
Family Systems Intervention
Family Systems Intervention (FSI) assists families and youth to develop the skills and supports that promote family cohesion and successful family living. These services are delivered in the home or community by a team consisting of a Master’s level mental health clinician and a paraprofessional.
• A service authorized by the Department of Mental Health
• Individualized interventions based on the unique strengths and challenges of the family
• Child-centered treatment and coordinated support that links the family with schools, community resources, and service providers
FSI is designed to:
• Help the youth/family develop the skills to live successfully in the community
• Teach skills that help the family overcome the stress associated with the challenging behaviors of the youth
• Assist the youth and family with building natural supports in the community
Individual Youth Support
Individual Youth Support offers non-school hour mentoring to assist in developing the emotional self-management abilities, the social, communication and pre-vocational skills, and the self-confidence needed to participate in age-appropriate activities with peers, successfully negotiate daily living, and maximize quality of life.
Individual Youth Support is:
• A skill-based intervention
• A service driven by the youth’s needs
• A community-based service with a mentor that includes social, vocational, recreational, cultural, and educational activities
Individual Youth Support works to build and enhance:
• Personal skills related to self-care, making friends, and managing symptoms
• Educational and pre-vocational skill attainment
• Engagement in age-appropriate social and recreational activities
Youth Support Groups
Youth Support Groups provide psycho-educational and therapeutic recreational sessions for a period of six to eight weeks. Goals of the groups include social and emotional skill building, conflict resolution, community integration, and vocational preparation. Groups are offered to youth with serious emotional issues that have prevented them from developing age-appropriate competencies and life skills.
Family activity groups and parent education support groups are also available.
Individual and Family Flexible Support
Office hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Appointments available for evenings and weekends
To reach IFFSS after hours, call:
NORTH CENTRAL: 508-840-8384
For Mental Health Emergencies, Call
Worcester Mobile Crisis Team:
North Central Worcester County Team:
Individual and Family Flexible Support Services are provided through a contract with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.
Individual and Family Flexible Support services are available to you if you meet the Department of Mental Health criteria. If you are eligible, your DMH case manager will meet with you to talk about these services and the providers in your area.
In the Worcester service area:
Diane A. Coates M.S, LMHC
Program Director of IFFSS
CHL Youth & Family Services
In the North Central service area:
Diane Coates, M.S, LMHC
Program Director of IFFSS
CHL Lipton Youth & Family Services
Cities and Towns served:
Greater Worcester Area
North Central Area