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Our Affiliation

In July of 2021, Advocates and HMEA began a strategic partnership to better serve children, adults, and families with intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism, and behavioral health needs. Together, we serve more than 35,000 children, adults, and families in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and employ more than 2,200 staff, the majority of whom are essential direct support professionals.

Partnership History

Advocates and HMEA have an established track record of successful collaboration that spans more than a decade, most recently in the areas of IT, Trauma Care, and COVID-19-related needs. Many individuals and families receive services through both organizations, and many staff are employed by both organizations.

Beginning in July 2021, Advocates and HMEA became affiliates and initiated a joint three-year strategic planning process. Our goal was to identify and adopt best practices across both organizations and to assess ways to be more efficient and effective by making the most of our combined strengths, talent, and technology.

Affiliation Goals

The human services industry is changing such that organizations like ours must affiliate in order to successfully meet the needs of the individuals, families, and communities we serve. This affiliation provides exciting possibilities for advancing our collective mission by expanding existing services and adding new services.

Together, Advocates and HMEA employ 2,200 talented professionals. Our affiliation provides increased opportunities for employees across both organizations that will attract and retain talent, drive innovation, and enhance the services we provide. We will also have more influence in advocating for the staff who make up our workforces.

Our Programs and Services

Advocates and HMEA provide similar services in the areas of adult family care, shared living, family supports, day habilitation and employment, and residential programs for people with autism (ASD) and intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), acquired and traumatic brain injuries (ABI and TBI), and individuals who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Advocates also provides behavioral health services including outpatient counseling and residential supports, psychiatric emergency services, community justice and jail diversion programs, and integrated care management.

HMEA provides a wide range of supports for individuals of all ages and operates Autism Resource Central, an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Clinic, The Darnell School, Tech Access of RI and Cloud4Causes—an IT consulting service for nonprofit organizations.

To learn more about which programs and services may be the right fit for your family, contact or No matter which organization you email, we look forward to receiving your inquiry and will work together to respond promptly!


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