Family Services

Our Mission

The Groden Center Family Services Department strives to provide parents with the latest information and state of the art strategies to assist in the care, and facilitate the development of their children. By fostering the consistency of teaching strategies and interventions across all environments, opportunities for learning are expanded and both parents and professionals benefit from the mutual sharing of knowledge and expertise.

The family members of those individuals involved in The Groden Center programs all receive services through the Family Services Department. The support and guidance provided by the Family Services Department assists families in need additional services, including medical services, housing, food, in-home support and more.  This assistance reduces family stress, and increases the family’s ability to cope with the many challenges they face. Individuals from other programs can also contract for services that can be provided at The Groden Center, in schools, homes, workplaces, and community settings.

Range of Family Services

The Center's Family Services Department provides a wide array of services by a team of professionals including Behavioral Specialists, Clinical Social Workers and Educators. The following services are offered:

  • Introductory behavioral development workshops
  • Informational workshops
  • Family support groups
  • Individual and family counseling
  • Sibling programs
  • Diagnostic and program planning meetings
  • Newsletters
  • Home visits and home program development
  • Center visits for observation and training
  • Parent education
  • Relaxation and stress management training
  • Respite services
  • Family library

Referral Process

A family may be referred to the Family Services Program by Groden Center staff or by inquiring on their own. Families are welcome to visit the Center to discuss needed services and meet with Family Services staff. For families not directly connected to The Groden Center, state and local agencies and families can make referrals directly to the Center's Community Support Services (CSS) or The Family Services departments.

When referral information that includes recent records is received, a meeting will be scheduled with the family and other interested agencies to determine the service needs of the family. Families are welcome to visit the Center to discuss needed services and meet with Family Services staff.

Network Parents & Friends Association

The Groden Network Parents & Friends Association, commonly known as the “PFA”, is an organization comprised of family members and friends of people we support at the Groden Network, as well as Groden Network staff. The group meets monthly, typically on the 3rd Monday of the month. The group focuses on providing support and information in a social atmosphere. Topics presented have included communication, stress management, transition and adult services, SSI, and many more. The PFA is also actively involved in fundraising efforts, with the proceeds directly allocated to enhancing the programs of the Groden Network.


Resource Manual

A resource manual has been compiled based upon input from families and professionals. The manual lists individuals, agencies and activities that may provide useful information for families.

The Resource Manual is comprised of the following PDFs:

Autism Society of America, Rhode Island Chapter



MDJunction is an online community of family members and friends dedicated to dealing with Autism, together -



Parent Support Network of Rhode Island

1395 Atwood Avenu - Suite 114
Johnston, RI 02919
Phone: 401-467-6855
FAX: 401-467-6903

If you are interested in working as a direct support professional (PersonalChoice, PASS or Respite) on a part-time or full-time basis, download the following PDF from the Rhode Island Department of Human Services about Rewarding Work (PDF). You can also visit to complete an application.

The Relaxation Station

The Children's Hospital of Michigan has developed a new innovative video to help children relax. The Relaxation Station combines spectacular scenes of wildlife, gentle music and simple exercises in relaxation to teach children the basic techniques of breathing, imagination and meditation.

Dr. June Groden reviewed the video and had the following to say: "What a lovely program. As you know, much of my work focuses on reducing stress and anxiety. I am using The Relaxation Station to supplement the work that I do in relaxation and self-control with children and adults. It can be used in classrooms, at home, and in treatment programs for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. It's so soothing and beautiful. Many, many thanks."

You can learn more about The Relaxation Station by visiting their web site.