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 professionals 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.
Special thanks to the National Parents First Call Center Advisory Council for their expertise and guidance.
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
The First Call National Training Center, established in 2011, offers support and training for local and state Down syndrome organizations to design and implement a Parents First Call program in their area. Using MDSC’s longstanding expertise, the center helps train other Down syndrome organizations interested in launching or enhancing a Parents First Call program in their local community by providing a comprehensive personalized training to organization leaders and volunteers throughout the United States.
The National Parents First Call Center Advisory Council ensures that expectant parents anywhere in the United States have access to accurate, up-to-date, culturally appropriate information and support at the time of diagnosis. The Advisory Council also provides resources and information to medical professionals around the country. Acting in an advisory capacity, members ensure that the National Parents First Call Program adheres to best practices.