Helping Families: One Home at a Time
|Photo: courtesy of Family Centered Services of Connecticut
Family is the basic unit of society and every family should be able to meet the basic needs of its members. Whether traditional or non-traditional, rich or poor, suburban or urban – every family deserves a happy, healthy home. This is the foundational belief upon which Family Centered Services of CT (Family CT) operates.
“Most of the families we serve are very disadvantaged, impoverished families that have members who have experienced their own childhood abuse. They may not have the support or the mentors that a lot of people need when they have children and start parenting,” says executive director Cheryl Burack.
Family CT brings free parenting education, domestic violence counseling, and behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services to the home, removing obstacles such as cost, transportation, and childcare that might hinder parents from supporting their children’s development and learning.
“It is really important to us that we remain a grassroots, rooted-in-the-community organization,” Burack says. “Doing outreach and making home visits allows us to feel that we connect with families in a way we wouldn’t otherwise, and that is really important to us.”
In 2015, Family CT completed the final year of a three-year, $60,000 grant from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. The grant supported home visitation and outreach, parenting education, family strengthening services, counseling and advocacy for children and adults in Greater New Haven. Children and families received services mainly through three programs: Nurturing Families Network, Positive Parenting Program and the Integrated Family Violence Program (now the Intimate Partner Violence – Family Assessment Intervention Response). Family CT reported that nearly 1,600 families and 1,500 children were provided services in the last two years of the grant term. An additional 585 children and youth received direct services including care coordination for special health care needs, positive youth development or psychological education and counseling. The operating grant enabled Family CT to continue services in spite of state budget cuts. In the final grant year, Family CT reported a high success rate in parents becoming more involved with their children’s development overall.
“We are working with families who really care about what kind of parents they are and want their kids to be safe and want some help on how to create a nurturing family environment for them.”
Family Successes between 2014 - 2015
(thanks, in part, to Community Foundation funding)
To learn more about the Family Centered Services of CT and support its programs, visit its profile on giveGreater.org®.
Did you know?
Although men can be abused, domestic violence is primarily a crime against women, and women account for 85% of all victims. It affects people of all ages, races, cultures, countries and religions.
Source: Family Centered Services of CT website
This story is part of the Inspiration Monday story series produced by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.