The National Parents First Call Center is a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive full-service professional center that serves expectant parents and medical providers as well as Down syndrome organization leaders and parent volunteers. The center includes two branches — the National Prenatal First Call Center and the First Call National Training Center. The first branch, the National Prenatal First Call Center, caters to the “First Call” needs of expectant parents and medical providers when they first learn of a suspected or confirmed Down syndrome diagnosis. The second, the First Call National Training Center, offers a replication model, providing our own expertise to help train other Down syndrome organizations interested in launching or enhancing a Parents First Call program in their local community.

Both the National Prenatal First Call Center and the First Call National Training Center were built on groundbreaking models developed by MDSC’s signature Parents First Call Program, which has been serving families in Massachusetts and beyond for more than 30 years. We are grateful to Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network (DSDN) for their financial contribution and collaboration with the National Prenatal First Call Center.

National Prenatal First Call Center

Our National Prenatal First Call Center was created to support expectant parents at a particularly critical time: when they are first learning that their expected child may, or will, be born with Down syndrome. After learning positive screening results, or the diagnosis, the Prenatal First Call center can provide the most up-to-date resources for both expectant parents and medical professionals.
This support includes:

  • Timely access to professionally-trained peer support parents
  • Confidential non-directive parent-to-parent support
  • Free resources and information for expectant parents
  • Program oversight by a Certified Genetic Counselor

So, whether you are an expectant parent or a medical provider, read on for how our National Prenatal First Call Center can help.

First Call National Training Center

National First Call Training

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 2,000 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 receiving screening or diagnostic test results indicating the diagnosis (or likelihood) of Down syndrome. The Program provides accurate, up-to-date information and resources, as well as the opportunity to connect with a trained parent mentor. All resources and support are free and all conversations are confidential.

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

MDSC provides a comprehensive personalized training to organization leaders and parent volunteers throughout the United States. The interactive presentation is a train-the-trainer model so that your group can then offer future trainings for volunteers. By implementing or enhancing your support of new and expectant parents, and offering opportunities for engagement, your organization will experience vibrant growth.

The benefits of the Parents First Call Replication Training modules include:

  • Strengthens credibility with your local medical community
  • Ensures consistent professional standards for volunteers
  • Allows different opportunities for volunteer parents where they will be the best fit
  • Provides specialized prenatal parent support training
  • Helpful in accessing grants for sustainability
  • Access to all training slides and materials so that local group can provide future trainings for their volunteers

We provide assistance to Down syndrome organizations through email, phone support, virtual interactive presentations and live presentations. Please contact us to discuss what would be most helpful to your group at firstcall@mdsc.org.

Our virtual and live Parents First Call training presentations offer key components to ensure successful implementation of a professional Parents First Call program incorporating best practices for supporting new and expectant families. Our trainings incorporate presentation of best practice guidelines for the program(s), sharing of stories, reflective learning, role playing/practice scenarios and more.

We currently offer four training modules but are also open to tailor a module to best meet the needs of your group.