March 29, 2017
 
Bridgewell Gets $189K Grant, Largest to Date, to Add Services

March 9, 2017 — Bridgewell, a Lynnfield nonprofit that supports individuals with developmental and psychiatric disabilities, announced that it recently received a $189,728 grant to expand services, the largest private grant it has ever received.

The three-year grant, from The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, will fund a new program, called Bridges to Family Success, in partnership with JRI’s Children’s Friend and Family Services to address the needs of families raising a child or young adult with autism or another intellectual or developmental disability.

“We are so grateful to The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation for its generous support of the Bridges to Family Success program,” said Kelly J. Martin, chief operations officer of Bridgewell. “Raising a child with autism can be highly stressful on its own, and more daunting when combined with life circumstances such as linguistic or cultural diversity, poverty and behavioral health challenges. This new partnership will help meet the unique needs of these families in need of support.”

The new program will focus its aid on families in Lynn and surrounding communities who face additional barriers, such as cultural and linguistic diversity or complex behavioral health challenges, which hinder their access to appropriate services and community resources for their child.

Specifically, it will help families develop an individualized family plan which, with support from trained care coordinators, will address their child’s behavioral health needs and establish long-term care goals. Families will receive quality training and support on how to navigate the behavioral health system and access necessary services, as well as how to foster stronger familial bonds.

Bridgewell Bridges to Family Success, which will host numerous community social events for families to establish a continued network of peer support, aims to support parents of children with intellectual or developmental disabilities who are at increased risk of developing behavioral problems.

“Children’s Friend is excited to partner with Bridgewell on Bridges to Family Success,” said Stephanie Sladen, executive director of Children’s Friend and Family Services, based in Salem. “Too often services for families are locked into silos, which create barriers to access. This project breaks down those silos and opens up opportunities for families. It also lays the foundation for new partnerships and knowledge to better support those families who have a child with complex needs.”

“The Tower Foundation is incredibly honored to support this program,” said Tracy A. Sawicki, executive director of The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation. “The extensive experiences that Bridgewell and Children’s Friend and Family bring to this new program will help numerous local families receive the care and support their children need, and we are so proud to contribute to their success.”

Established in 1958, Bridgewell today serves more than 6,250 individuals and their families annually through 100 programs offered in 23 communities in eastern Massachusetts. With more than 1,300 employees, Bridgewell’s provides residential services, day habilitation, behavioral health services, employment training, transitional homeless services, affordable housing, and substance abuse and addiction services.

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