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First Call National Training Center

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Parents First Call Prorgam

national training center

The MDSC’s nationally recognized Parents First Call program was established in 1985 by our founding Board of Directors.  Since that time, the Parents First Call program has served over 1,500 new and expectant families and through replication in others states, hundreds more.

The Parents First Call program is designed to support new and expectant parents after they first get the diagnosis of Down syndrome. The Program provides accurate, up-to-date information and resources, as well as the opportunity to be connected with a trained parent mentor.  Parents First Call is a statewide program in Massachusetts and there are currently over 50 trained parent volunteers across the Commonwealth who are available 24/7 to support families.

The MDSC National Training Center for Parents First Call was established in 2011 to offer support and training for local and state Down syndrome organizations to design and implement a Parents First Call program in their area.

The MDSC provides a comprehensive personalized training to organization leaders and volunteers throughout the United States. The training can include the following components:

  • Customized Parents First Call program model to best meet the needs of your group and members
  • A ½ day workshop on how to outreach to the medical community and how to develop positive, trusted relationships with your medical professionals
  • A full day formal training for First Call parent mentors on how to support new and expectant families
  • Access to all copyrighted MDSC Parents First Call training materials so that your group can conduct trainings for future parent mentors to ensure continuity of your Parents First Call program 
  • Evaluation surveys to measure the effectiveness of your program
  • Ongoing professional guidance and support


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To date, the MDSC National Training Center for Parents First Call has provided replication training at the following sites:

2011 – Families Exploring Down Syndrome (MI)

2011 – Designer Genes/Project Carson (ND)

2012 – Down Syndrome Association of Greater New Orleans (LA)

2012 - Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte (NC)

2012 – Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress (CT)

2012 – Champlain Valley Down Syndrome Group (VT)

2013 – Celebrate Down Syndrome (PA)

2013 – Northern New England Down Syndrome Congress (NH)

2013 – Club 21 (CA)

2014 – Down Syndrome Association of Hampton Roads (VA)

2014 – Down Syndrome Partnership of North Texas (TX)

2015 – Piedmont Down Syndrome Support Network (NC)

2015 – Triangle Down Syndrome Network (NC)

2015 – Designer Genes (ND)

2015 – Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin – Fox Cities (WI)

2015 - Down Syndrome Association of Delaware (DE)

2016 – Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin (WI)

2017 – Flower City Down Syndrome Network (NY)

2018 - Club 21 (CA)

2018 – Down Syndrome Parent Group of Western New York (NY)

2018 - Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Dallas (TX)

2018 - Down Syndrome Association of Connecticut (CT)

2019 – Triangle Down Syndrome Network (NC) 

2019 – Maine Down Syndrome Network (ME)

For more information regarding the MDSC National Training Center for Parents First Call please email FIRSTCALL@MDSC.ORG.