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Cole-Harrington Childrens Center

Consultation Services for Children

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Family Child Care System

First Steps

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A therapeutic program to assist families referred by the Department of Children and Families in providing a stable and healthy environment for children from birth to age eighteen.


FIRST STEPS was established in 1993 with new funding from the Family Preservation Services Initiative, Department of Children and Families (DCF), formerly known as Department of Social Services.

Program Description

The goals of the FIRST STEPS program are to protect children and their families from abuse and neglect, to strengthen positive individual and family functioning and to preserve the integrity and dignity of the family while addressing the developmental needs of the individual members.

FIRST STEPS services families with children from birth to age eighteen utilizing the principles and practices of social work, early childhood education and rehabilitation. FIRST STEPS offers parenting and developmental assessments; individual and family counseling; parent skills training and parent support. Concrete assistance is also provided to help families in negotiating, advocating and collaborating with other systems and resources. Psychosocial rehabilitation services are also provided.

FIRST STEPS provides services through the Department of Children and Families Family Networks Program in the Arlington, Attleboro, Brockton, Cape Cod, Fall River, Plymouth and Taunton areas.


FIRST STEPS staff consists of a clinical team that includes Masters and Bachelors level social workers with specialties in childhood behavior and development; adolescent issues; substance abuse and mental health concerns.


FIRST STEPS referrals are made through the DCF Lead Agencies for families with children/adolescents at risk of neglect, abuse and/or out of home placement, are in need of parent education to prevent further family instability; or are in need of counseling and case management to foster positive family functioning.


The FIRST STEPS program is funded by the Department of Children and Families.

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Aspiring to provide individuals and families with the means, opportunity, and power to develop their full potential in the community. 100 Myles Standish BLVD. 2nd Floor, Taunton, MA 02780Tel: 508-223-3331 Fax 508-223-3282