Dorchester CARES Coalition for Families & Children, Inc.


(617) 474-1256



Hours of operation (or meeting times & dates): 

M-F: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


The mission of Dorchester CARES is to coordinate, develop and institutionalize comprehensive, community-based programs which will support families and prevent child abuse and neglect in target neighborhoods.


200 Bowdoin Street
Dorchester, MA 02122
United States
Key Partners: 

Department of Social Services, Department of Youth Services, as well as the 20+ Coalition member organizations serving families in Dorchester. Dorchester CARES and Family Nurturing Center of MA partner for the Dorchester CARES Family Resource Center, viewable on our guide here.

How to get involved/application guidelines and procedures: 

Contact our Family Support Advocate, Remetrious Pena-Rogers at 617-474-1256 x231 for volunteer opportunities. Contact Lyndsey Firneno, Executive Director, to get involved in program development and planning and membership opportunities on the Board of Directors.

Key Programs Offered: 

See for complete listing.

Dorchester Family Connections: Dorchester Family Connections seeks to enhance family functioning; promote positive parent-child interactions, healthy childhood growth and development, and healthy birth outcomes; prevent child abuse and neglect; encourage maximum parental educational attainment and economic self sufficiency; and reduce repeat teen pregnancies.

Family Nurturing Program: The Family Nurturing Programs use an interactive focus to help family members recognize and communicate the needs of self and others, handle stress and anger, enjoy warm interactions with other families and volunteers. These 15 sessions engage both children and families in mutual learning and understanding. The program meets once a week for 2,5 hours for 15 weeks. The program provides food and transportation and is free of charge.

Patch: In any given neighborhood, there are many people, groups, and agencies that have resources to help families in crisis. Patch works with a variety of families in a strength-based way to determine what the stresses in the family are and help the family decide how to address those stresses. The Patch Team works directly with families and is made up of the expertise and talent of: neighborhood residents and parents, Dorchester CARES staff and community agency partners, and Family Caseworkers and managers from the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Department of Youth Services (DYS).


Contact: Brenda Mottram, Patch Supervisor
Department of Children and Families
617-822-4739 (Park St area office)
617-740-8744 ex 242 (Patch)

Family Cooperative Program: The Family coop strengthens families by connecting them to their neighbors and to their community's resources. It is a place where families can get to know their neighbors and access needed resources. The program provides advocacy, information and referrals, Family Nurturing Program, drop in childcare, basic needs, food pantry, clothing exchange, support groups, Play groups and Welcome Baby. Contact person: Noemia Monteiro, Program Coordinator (e-mail:

Welcome Baby! Began in July of 1997 in Dorchester, Massachusetts, a community rich with cultural diversity and supportive of the economic challenges that families face every day, as a collaborative effort between Dorchester CARES, Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts, Inc. and Connecting the Dots for Boston Tots. When a baby is born, a basket filled with gifts is lovingly assembled and delivered to the family by a specially trained neighborhood visitor. This friendly one-time visit offers not only a beautiful gift from the community but information about community resources and services that families may need.

Parent Leadership Development: Dorchester CARES Parent Leader Internships are open to parents in the community who have been active in CARES programming and have demonstrated leadership potential. The program is designed to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment for parents to learn develop skills. These skills include the basics of reading, writing and computer skills. Interns also gain experience in human services by working as advocates for families. Interns participate on the Patch team, Welcome Baby visits and Prevention team trainings, team building and family support conferencing meetings; convene and facilitate monthly Parent Advisory Board meetings; complete a twelve-hour "Parent as Leaders" training; and recruit then go participants for the next course. Internships range in duration from six to eighteen months according to need. Upon completion of internship, efforts are made to link parents to potential jobs in human services. For more information: Contact Janet Connors, Training Coordinator at Dorchester CARES at 617-474-1256 X271.

Community Meeting Space Available: