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State partners with Mass 2-1-1 to help families get services

Posted by Leslie Anderson  April 12, 2013 05:07 PM

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Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with Mass 2-1-1 to help families and children that need state services. HHS Secretary John Polanowicz announced the partnership Friday at Mass 2-1-1's Framingham facility.

“Mass 2-1-1 receives thousands of calls each year related to children and families in need of help," said Mass 2-1-1 Executive Director Paul Mina. "This partnership with HHS will greatly enhance our ability to serve the people of the Commonwealth.”

Mass 2-1-1 will begin referring and analyzing community-based services to families starting April 15, according to Polanowicz. Families will have greater access to community-based services to help children who are truants, runaways, or otherwise at risk of entering the criminal justice system.

A $75,000 grant, provided by Gov. Patrick's administration, will be used to support the partnership.

“This partnership with Mass 2-1-1 will give families 24-hour access to trained professionals that can connect them with services for children who are having serious problems at home or in school,” said Polanowicz.

The secretary was also joined by State Rep. Chris Walsh, who said residents will have a better chance at getting services more effectively and quickly, without going through a complicated referral system.

According to Mass211.org, there are thousands of phone number in Massachusetts for health and social service programs, government offices, community organizations, educational systems, and more. The 2-1-1 service is designed to make navigating those numbers and services easier.

By dialing 2-1-1, individuals and families can get connected to valuable resources at appropriate community-based organizations or government agencies. The service is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Mass 2-1-1 also provides information and referral services for other agencies, including the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. Visit www.mass211.org for more information.

John Swinconeck can be reached at johnswinc@gmail.com.

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