Family Support Services

Merrit Family Building/PACT Building • 7000 Tudsbury Rd. • Baltimore, MD 21244


Chelsea Tighe, MEd

About Our Program:

The Department for Family Support Services (FSS) is a family-centered, home and community-based program that provides ongoing support, resources, and coordination services to children and adults with developmental disabilities who reside in the Central Region of Maryland (primarily in Baltimore City and Baltimore County). Ongoing services are provided to children and adults who have been found eligible for Family or Individual Support Services (F/ISS) through the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA).

Committed to a family-centered, comprehensive service model, the department enlists voluntary participation from families when help is needed with skill development, decision making, problem solving, service arrangements and medical treatment. The department provides support services on an individual basis in a timely, flexible and creative manner. Each family or individual works directly with a planning coordinator who assists them in identifying and securing a variety of services. The coordinator and family develop an annual individual/family plan which is reviewed regularly. Plans are person-driven and outline what the individual, family, and coordinator will work on in the coming year, and may include coordination, resource assistance/referral, advocacy, and support and assistance to meet the family or individual's desired outcomes.

In addition, FSS provides specialized community services which include one-time-only referral and resource assistance, and may include limited financial assistance, when available. These services are available to families that have children who meet the following criteria:

  • Aged birth to 22
  • Diagnosed developmental disability
  • Residing in Baltimore City or Baltimore County

Other Services:

Growing Together is Maryland's only program that supports parents with an intellectual disability who have a child younger than three years of age. Growing Together offers center-based parent-child activities, along with home-based services that focus on parenting skills, health and safety, and case management. Growing Together offers assistance to help individuals meet their responsibilities as parents so they can create safe, nurturing, and stimulating environments for their children.

Early Intervention Service (EIS) Coordination is provided to children from birth to age three and their families who live in Baltimore City and are eligible for early intervention services through the Baltimore City Infants and Toddlers Program. EIS coordinators work with families to develop an individual family support plan that meets the unique strengths and needs of the child and the family.

Kodem Kol provides early intervention service coordination for infants and toddlers and their families who live in Baltimore City's Orthodox Jewish Community and are eligible for early intervention services.

Primeros Pasos provides early intervention service coordination for Hispanic families who live in Baltimore City and who have a child eligible for early intervention services.

Primary Program Goals:

To work together with families in planning the most appropriate services for their child and family by:

  • Identifying service and resource needs
  • Establishing a community team for planning family support services
  • Assuring that the family receives appropriately delivered services
  • Disseminating information that will facilitate public awareness
  • Identifying funding sources or assisting with funding when emergency services are required
  • Assisting the family and child to plan for future self-advocacy and coordination


To make a referral:
Contact the FSS Referral Coordinator
Phone: (410) 298-9286

For follow-up:
Chelsea Tighe
Phone: (410) 298-2640

Kathy Roche
Phone: (410) 298-9286

Bernadette Irwin
Phone: (410) 298-2645

Kathy Roche
Phone: (410) 298-9286

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