Destination Impact

Remembering those who helped us reach our destination!

At FRCA’s Destination Impact Gala 2019, our Board President, John Orr asked guests to write about the Destination Impact in their lives of a person, event, or circumstance that made it possible for them and/or their family to change their Destination and succeed. Here’s some of the responses we received:

For the last 16 years, my home visitor from Starpoint, Patty Webb, has helped me believe I could be anything, including a great parent!

My father and mother gave me insight into the value of education and the necessity to give back to others.

My track coach, Coach Burke. He told me I could do better… so I did.

My oldest brother and school teachers influenced me most.

My influence was a family that took me in as their foster child when I was on the wrong path at age 13.

My parents provided opportunities to me and supported my desire to go to college. My mom was a banker and she knew all about financial aid so that I could go to a small private school. They have always supported what I have wanted to do within financial boundaries.

My father encouraged me to chase my dreams with integrity, honesty, and hard work. My mother was a role model and a strong, committed, and self-reliant individual who taught me not to be discouraged by my gender or race.

I am here because of my amazing grandparents who guided me, encouraged me to be my best, work hard, and appreciate.

The women in my husband’s family show that education is power, balance is possible between work and family and that being a strong woman is a beautiful thing.

When choosing a college, my dad encouraged me to not be afraid to make the best decision for myself and not be held back by fears of things like leaving home.

I had patient parents who were there for me even after my many poor choices.

My father was the first to graduate from college, I was the second. He spent countless hours of time with me.

University of Colorado gave me the opportunity to go to college as an underserved child of a single father making $26k per year.

My life and schooling would not have been the same if my parents hadn’t sent me to a great school.

When I was young, I wrecked my car. A friend from church offered me his truck until I could figure things out. This generous offer allowed me to keep my job, earning a paycheck that gave me the ability to save up so I could recover faster. I always look to imitate his example.

My father always said, “My daughter will stand on her own two feet, be a professional, and not have to depend on any man, ever, not even me.”

I’m inspired by Suzanne Crawford, who is fearless and speaks with power and by Dayna Scott who is adventurous.

I was blessed as a child to have two strong and dependable parents who showed love and support.

A.J. talked to me as a peer and a professional even though she was 50+ years my senior. She is experienced, wealthy, educated, and humble. Because of her partnership I am who I am today.

My mom, my math teacher, Mr. Prall, my coworkers.

I received unconditional love from my parents and had a teacher who instilled pride in doing great work.

The person that has impacted my life the most is my husband. From an early age he experienced both nurturing opportunities as well as quite a bit of trauma. Over the course of 25 years knowing him, he has always strived to overcome. This became most challenging after serving in the military and deploying to Afghanistan. The trauma, injuries, and addiction that resulted almost killed him. Through it all he persevered. He now advocates for veterans and civilians with PTSD, fights to change legislation, and inspires everyone he meets. He is my hero.

My parents were loving and supportive. They taught me to seek positivity in life and in others. The individuals with special needs that I work with inspire me daily. They remind me of the pureness of joy and how to be brave.

Hard work; yearning; family; persistence

My elementary school English & Grammar teacher, Mrs. Dillon, introduced me to the value and power of communications, literature, and learning.

My father, who said I could do anything I wanted to do.

My grandparents were strong people who grew up very poor, but strived hard to live a good life and loved their family. They taught me to love and to be tolerant of others.

My friend, Melissa Kennedy, showed me that I have more strength than I realize.

My wife, Denise; and tonight’s speaker, Missy Kennedy.

Coach Tighe told me to give 150{5174c02ae8af42f0163c0bde243aeca1ac9f4d91a19005bb7e698c1ed57806ea} in whatever you do in life!

My mom and dad raised me to believe I could do anything I set my mind to.

During my life I’ve been influenced by the great teachers I’ve had.

I’m inspired by Edwina Salazar who is always calm under pressure and Dayna Scott who finds the humor in everything.

My dad and mom and my husband, Bill.

I succeeded thanks to encouragement in my education and personal development from my college professor, Donna Souder. When I was doing terrible in school, she told me, “There is nothing you can do to meet your classmates, you’re too far behind.” I was so upset, but it motivated me to get in gear and say, “That’s not true, I can do this.” I went from a 2.0 GPA to a 3.4 within three semesters. I made the Dean’s List every year until I graduated and even went with Professor Souder on my first trip abroad. Two years later, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in China and now I do marketing and event coordination for Cripple Creek. She’s been as influential as my parents.

My grandfather, who stepped in when my father left- and helped me to think big.

Myself, my family, my friends, my teachers.

We applaud the attendees who participated and helped shine a light on how Family Support and Strengthening can help all families succeed.  We are proud to be part of this mission to support our Member Centers and the families they serve throughout the state.

Here’s a Word Cloud of some of the most used words in this Destination Impact activity!
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Honoring their history and culture, Denver Indian Family Resource Center

Colorado is home to more than 111,000 American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people, with many (approximately 45{5174c02ae8af42f0163c0bde243aeca1ac9f4d91a19005bb7e698c1ed57806ea}, or 50,000) living in the Denver metro area. Denver Indian Family Resource Center (DIFRC) works to impact those families involved with the child welfare system, a historic and ongoing challenge within the AI/AN population.

As the Denver metro area continues to shift and grow, it is more important than ever that we make sure there are services available to American Indian and Alaska Native families seeking to prevent and address child abuse and neglect. Located in the Denver metro area, DIFRC has programming focused on a number of services that include impact areas of youth development, parent counseling, family development, and urban community cultural engagement.

DIFRCs mission is to strengthen vulnerable American Indian and Alaska Native children and families through collaborative and culturally responsive services. In this work, DIFRC’s definition of family includes relatives and close friends in order to recognize the re­ality for most Indian family units.

DIFRC has established a revered reputation in the community and demonstrated success in serving as a single point of entry for comprehensive, intensive, and collaborative family-based services for vulnerable AI/AN children and their caregivers with in the Denver metro area Indian community.

To learn more about Denver Indian Family Resource Center, visit their website at www.difrc.org.

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Moving On. One family’s success!

The Missy writing this story is very different than the Missy that first walked into the Family Resource Center years ago. Today, I am a proud military wife, strong mother to four beautiful children, and a recent college graduate with honors. If you would have told me 15 years ago that this is where my life would have led me, I wouldn’t have believe you, but I’m so glad I was wrong.

At the young age of 15, I became a mother to a beautiful baby boy. During this time in my life, I was making seriously bad choices and ended up becoming addicted to drugs. Everything around me was crumbling because of my addiction, and my son and I ended up in foster care. This experience led me to getting my life back on track and sober. After I regained my footing, I became involved with a man who was violently abusive throughout our relationship. I found myself once again turning to drugs to escape, but I knew that wasn’t the answer or any way to live my life for my child.  I made the decision to go through a rehab program and move back in with my mother.  She was now clean and sober too.

Living back with my mom and having that stable home environment, I was able to continue working with the Family Resource Center. I remember telling my home visitor everything that I had been through over the past few years, and all she said to me was “What can we help with?” It was so nice to not feel judged so I could move past my own past. My home visitor was able to help guide me and she provided resources like helping me find my own safe housing and parenting classes.  She told me I could be successful.  I didn’t believe her then, but I’ve come so far.

The Family Resource Center has been the most consistent support system for the past 15 years of my life. During these years, I’ve participated in Partners In Parenting Education Class, the toy van, play groups, and the safety and health program to name a few. I’ve also had home visits and participated in trainings so I can better understand my children and ways to give them the best of me as their mom.

Without the support of the Family Resource Center, I am not sure where I would be or if I would still have my son.  I had hit rock bottom and they still helped me. Then, I was able to make goals for my family and they helped me reach my goals.

Today my husband and I own our home and have reliable vehicles. This year alone has been a huge year. I turned 30 and it’s humbling to think that I have been a mom for half my life! My husband and I are celebrating 10 years together! The best part is I did something that I never thought that I could be able to do as a teen mother; I graduated college with honors!

I am who I am today because of the support and encouragement of the Family Resource Center program! They have always seen what I could do, even when I couldn’t see it at first myself. Sometimes it’s hard to believe in yourself, but they believed in me.  They have helped me learn about my children’s health and development which has helped me advocate for their needs as well.

I would love to just say thank you to everyone at the Family Resource Center! I don’t know where me and my family would be without them.

By Melissa K.

To find the Family Resource Center nearest you, go to our Member Center page for a complete map.

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Family Support in Rural Colorado

Rural areas face the same challenges as other communities, but some of the answers can be hard to find.  Challenges for families can include: housing, health coverage, available work, high rent vs. low pay, health provider availability, and direct services for individualized resources.

Family Resource Centers (FRCs) are at the heart of the solutions to challenges within the rural community. By offering programs to families that educate them with a two generation approach, FRCs are approaching their work to strengthen both parents and children, where they both can participate and learn together.

Rural communities struggle with a lack of public transportation and a population that can be very spread out.  This makes it hard for families to access the resources and supports they need to thrive.  There is also the stigma of needing services.

At the Morgan County Family Center (MCFC)  in Fort Morgan, we offer an array of programs across the community geared towards meeting the needs of the whole family. We offer several programs that use the two-generation approach within family leadership, child development, health education, youth enrichment and parent education. Each program covers a different age range, benefiting all youth in one way or another, while also benefiting parents.

Families do not fit a “typical” mold. Families come from all levels of economic stability. Some families who are going through a challenging time may not have the knowledge of what resources are available. We ensure that our website is up to date with information about our offered programs, partner with 211, a national mobile app and phone number that can be used to find local resources, and by keeping a constant presence on Social Media. We also partner with local landlords and utility providers so that they can provide our information to families who they feel are experiencing a need.

Family development work is vital in reaching the families and individuals within each community. Advocates meet families on their level, discuss their personal goals and use wrap around services to strengthen the family as a whole by connecting them to local resources and providing support in their journey. Our advocates have also been trained in the Financial Health Institute curriculum to better serve families that need coaching in financial health.

Families who get connected to MCFC, meet with an advocate and through conversations and communication during these visits, it is determined what resources and supports advocates can provide. Advocates set goals with each family, then discuss each action step to reach those goals.

Along with family development work, FRCs collaborate with other community partners to provide additional services, funds through mini-grants, programs, classes and community events to raise awareness. These collaborations within the rural environment are critical to reaching a diverse population and to recruiting families into the programs available.

One partnership we work with is Fort Morgan Cultures United for Progress (FMCUP) to promote reaching our very diverse population through translating services. This helps us offer our programs in more than one language to effectively include as many cultures as we can.

Using evaluation, data, outcomes, and trends the FRCs are able to determine which programs are successful, which programs need more funding and what programs may be needed in the future. FRCs collect and analyze this data to deduce whether the provided resources are moving families in a positive direction on the Economic Self Reliance Scale*. In September one of our programs showed a 70{5174c02ae8af42f0163c0bde243aeca1ac9f4d91a19005bb7e698c1ed57806ea} successful movement for families on the ESR scale.

We are proud of the work we are doing in our community.  If you think that MCFC could be a positive resource for you, then don’t hesitate to contact them:

411 Main Street, Suite 100
Fort Morgan, CO 80701
Phone: 970.867.9606
Fax: 970.867.9693
[email protected]

*Economic Self Reliance Scale: This report reviews data related to the domains related to economic self-sufficiency of the Colorado Family Support Assessment 2.0.

By Mary Gross and Jennifer Jaramillo – Morgan County Family Center

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Learning to Read and Write at Aurora Community Connection

AUGUST 13, 2018–Every so often, we like to post an uplifting story from one of our 29 Member Centers to bring hope and support to family development workers and caregivers in Colorado. This week, we’re in Aurora, a dense suburb east of downtown Denver. In the late 1970s and 80s, Aurora was the fastest growing municipality in the United States and today is the 54th most populous city in the US. The racial makeup of the city is 61.1{5174c02ae8af42f0163c0bde243aeca1ac9f4d91a19005bb7e698c1ed57806ea} White, 15.7{5174c02ae8af42f0163c0bde243aeca1ac9f4d91a19005bb7e698c1ed57806ea} African American, 4.9{5174c02ae8af42f0163c0bde243aeca1ac9f4d91a19005bb7e698c1ed57806ea} Asian and 28.7{5174c02ae8af42f0163c0bde243aeca1ac9f4d91a19005bb7e698c1ed57806ea} Hispanic or Latino. Aurora also houses a sizeable refugee population, with about 30,000 Ethiopians and Eritreans living in the Denver-Aurora area. Because of this large and diverse population, there are a lot of needs within families and communities that the local government does not have the capacity to address. That’s where FRCA Member Aurora Community Connection (ACC) Family Resource Center comes in.

ACC was founded in 2007 in order to address a gap in services for families in north Aurora. ACC is open to all families, but emphasizes support for low-income families who are marginalized by language and culture. A core value that distinguishes ACC from other non-profits is a commitment to strategically leverage community resources through partnerships and engaging the talents of community residents. ACC staff have cultivated a strong degree of trust with local residents, which contributes to a particularly successful approach to community outreach. As a result, groups such as Aurora Public Schools, Aurora Mental Health, Cooking Matters and the City of Aurora turn to ACC to connect program resources to families in Aurora. A recent story of success within these programs center around two girls who were struggling with reading and writing at their age levels.

Illeana*, age five, began in the ACC tutoring program last summer without a firm grasp of letter recognition in either Spanish or English. Quiet and determined, Illeana worked closely with one of the center’s bilingual youth tutors and slowly mastered the letters of the alphabet through repeated and varied practice. She is now ready to start kindergarten at the expected level of learning for children her age.

Beatrice, age ten, began the tutoring program totally apathetic about reading and writing. She was clear about her reluctance to show any enthusiasm for program activities, and was easily distracted and off task. However, slowly and surely, thanks to her repeated pairing with a particularly engaging youth tutor, Beatrice began to take pleasure in the act of reading for its own sake. She realized there is a whole world of books in ACC’s program library she could connect with on a personal level. These connections were the spark that helped Beatrice to move from short picture books to increasingly complex chapter books. Beatrice comes from a difficult family situation, and told center staff that she felt very welcome and comfortable in the program. Towards the end, she even started coming for tutoring every single day!

Thanks to the wonderful family development workers at Aurora Community Connection, these two young girls are now thriving in their education and will feel the positive impacts of the family resource center for years to come. FRCA hopes that you will find inspiration in these positive stories and continue to work hard to change the trajectory for families around Colorado.

To learn more about Aurora Community Connection, visit their website at www.auroracommunityconnection.com.

If you would like to submit your own success story, please contact Erin Osovets at [email protected].

*names have been changed

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Life takes unexpected turns, but Family Resource Centers provide help and support

JULY 16, 2018 – In my twenties, I was blessed to marry my high-school best friend and longtime sweetheart, Ryan. We were an average couple, like many of you, both working on careers while building our life together.  Life had its ups and downs, but it was good, we were a team. It was the little things in life that we both enjoyed, dinner with our families and attending church on Sundays.

But all of that changed in the summer of 2012 when unexpectedly, Ryan passed away in a motorcycle accident. My life changed instantly. Without him, I felt I had nothing. Within weeks with the loss of a second income, coupled with despair, I found myself homeless. Although loved ones tried to reach out to me, depression, addiction, grief and worst of all hopelessness had me in its grip. For three years I struggled. But then things got worse, I lost my only brother to suicide and then my grandad passed away shortly after.

It was around this time that I found out that I was 27 weeks pregnant. Which absolutely terrified me. There was no way I could bring a child into my mess.  I was terrified for the life of my unborn child as well as the uncertainty of how I would provide for this little baby.  But I made the decision that my child’s life would be a blessing and not a burden, regardless of what I needed to do to change.

I moved in with my mother until I got on my feet. I started eating well, stopped smoking, and maintained my sobriety. I also began going to the library and reading up on all things parenting.  With support and encouragement from family and friends around me, on August 25th 2015, Robert Aurik came into the world at 8 lb. 15 oz. He was a perfectly healthy and beautiful son named after my father in law.

I found out about WIC from a friend.  WIC was the first step in my transition to healthy parenting. I learned about breastfeeding and made a goal to nurse for the first year which helped me stay on track with my sobriety. I was also given the referral to Catholic Charities of Pueblo.

In the spring of 2016 I begin participating in their home visitation program, Parents As Teachers. I quickly found out there were many other programs that I could participate in.  I also started working with a Family Development Worker in the Family Resource Center Program. Alex was able to help me assess my family’s needs, make goals and start focusing on what I could do immediately to change the future of my family. He also informed me of a job opening within Catholic Charities with the HIPPY team. Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters otherwise known as HIPPY.  I applied and a few weeks later I got the exciting news that I was hired!  This meant I could start to provide for Aurik on my own and continue to work on my goals.

The work I do with HIPPY has helped me develop my professional skills as well as encourage me personally. With firsthand knowledge of many of the Catholic Charities programs, I am able to inform the families I see about the great programs we have to offer. I truly love the work I do: networking, assisting families and serving the community.

In the spring of 2018, I am completing my second year as a HIPPY home visitor.  I am now able to pay off the remaining balance of my student loans and I will have money to start my journey towards an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. I have also worked hard and will then be debt-free. This has allowed me to start saving for a down payment on a home!  I’m building a life again for myself and my son.

Most recently I enrolled in the Family Leadership Training Institute program. Each FLTI participant gets the opportunity to work on a community project of their choosing. My project is HOPE, Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement. The project goal is to empower and employ homeless individuals, connect them with community resources and services that are already in place, and beautify our city in the process.

My life has been very different after participating in programs and goal setting at the Family Resource Center and the other programs of Catholic Charities.  Life is full of possibility once again. I have the skills necessary to take care of my son and myself. Additionally, I know where to turn if I need help. I am providing an environment that Aurik is thriving in. I have the respect of my family, coworkers, and people in my community and myself. My life now is filled with hope and happiness.  My experiences have shaped me, but do not define me.

The work at Family Resource Centers is important!  Connecting with families in their time of need is powerful and is life-changing.  It is the little acts of kindness, the encouraging words, the information and resources you share with families that add up and leave our world a little better at the end of each day.  Frederick Douglass said, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults.”

– Tamra F.

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Collaboration – Doing Life Together

by Mark Kling, Executive Director, FRCA

JULY 3, 2018 – As we celebrate Independence Day, it reminds me that none of us do life alone. We live in communities and we work in community. Every day, each one of us collaborates with others in some way. The definition of Collaboration is the action of working with someone to produce or create something.

FRCA staff supporting Pinwheels for Prevention, a program from Illuminate Colorado

Collaboration is at the heart of everything FRCA does. From the work with families; as family development workers partner with individuals to set and meet goals; to technical assistance and training with our centers to raise the quality of work accomplished in communities; to helping to facilitate conversations with diverse stakeholders around the state in addressing solutions for our communities; we are constantly working on collaboration. We also work with policymakers to help inform policies and raise awareness for funding these important initiatives in our state. And we are continually working with our partners in the philanthropic community and donors to make sure this important work is sustainable. FRCA is focused on collaborating to make a difference in all that we do.   And collaboration over time leads to Collective Impact.

Collective Impact is another buzzword in our work that references a simple concept that is very difficult to execute. Collective Impact is a framework to tackle deeply entrenched and complex social problems. It is an innovative and structured approach to making collaboration work across government, business, philanthropy, non-profit organizations and citizens to achieve significant and lasting social change. (www.collaborationforimpact.com/collective-impact)

Right now we have begun a partnership with Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child, Frontiers of Innovation (FOI) to test, refine and test again our tools, practices, and resources to improve family support. Currently, we are in the second phase of work. The aim of this second pilot is twofold: first, to learn more about the way in which families at three different family resource centers do or do not enter in the Family Development Pathway, and; secondly, to garner some evidence about the efficacy of Motivational Interviewing training for those staff engaging with families. Specifically, the FDP refers to a cluster of services including use of a common screening tool, motivational interviewing-based coordinated case management, and administration of the Colorado Family Support Assessment 2.0. FRCA believes that through use of these strategies, caregivers involved in the Family Development Pathway will experience increased readiness to change, and increased self-confidence, altogether leading to positive movement within goal setting domains and improved self-reliance.

At the end of the day, when families find their strength, confidence and work towards positive movement, lives are changed for generations to come.

And there you have it. Our vision, our ultimate goal, is to be a catalyst for lasting change in the lives of families. We believe that if we can create solutions that lay the foundation for healthy and self-reliant children and families, we can affect a long-term difference in our communities and our state. And as always, we will tackle each challenge that comes our way, collaborating with our members, stakeholders, funders, and communities.

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Why is Family Support Important?

by Virginia Howey

JUNE 26, 2018 – Parents and caregivers of families of all sizes, make-up, and cultures want what’s best for their children! I’ve been lucky to see this first-hand over the last several decades as I worked directly with families as a childcare provider, preschool teacher, Parents As Teachers Home Visitor and Supervisor, Executive Director of a local Family Resource Center and, the Family Resource Center Association’s Program and Member Services Director and now a contractor serving organizations all over our state. I’d like to share some of my personal observations and experiences of how family support has made a difference in a family’s ability to support their child’s early cognitive development and healthy social-emotional development. I will pose a question at the end of this blog. We want to hear from you. I hope you’ll join this important dialogue!

Family Support Twenty-Five Years Ago

I remember in 1990, a family with three young children that attended the preschool I ran. They had recently experienced an employment lay-off for the breadwinner in the family. Several months prior, the young family moved to our community when a large construction project began. They had been in town a short while and had not yet formed a strong local support system. They didn’t know what resources were available or whom to call first. When they did figure out whom to call, they were told to talk to someone else over and over again. Each resource (i.e., unemployment, Food Stamps, Child Health Plan, Head Start, WIC, housing assistance, utility assistance, etc.) had a different contact person, in a separate office, in a different location, and included different eligibility criteria. There was no one place to go for family-friendly comprehensive planning.

Several years after this occurred, I heard about a Family Resource Center (FRC) that had just opened in a neighboring town. As I learned about the mission of FRC’s, to provide family-friendly coordinated, case management services, I thought about all of the families I had worked with for nearly 20 years that could have benefitted greatly from such a resource. The concept behind the creation of FRCs in Colorado was to address the very issue experienced by the family described above.

Family Support Today

Family Support agencies and organizations have changed in the last 25 years, but families in crises can still find it very difficult to navigate the world of supports and services. The FRCs in Colorado continue to assist families in finding their way through services while setting goals to increase family and children’s well-being.

We have all seen a significant increase in research that supports the role of a nurturing, thriving family to support optimal early childhood outcomes. Just to quote one source:

We know that the way adult caregivers—parents in particular— interact with children during the early years can shape their brain architecture for life, for better and for worse. Children who have experienced nurturing and positive connections have more secure, healthy relationships and are more likely to do well academically and socially into adulthood than children who suffer insensitive or harsh caregiving.   www.zerotothree.org

  • What tools does a family need to provide a “nurturing and positive” environment?
  • How does a family experiencing unemployment, an eviction notice, a utility cut-off notice or any number of other challenges provide such as environment?

For those of us working in the Family Support field, we are regularly tasked with helping families find daily opportunities to do their best for their children, even when they are under stress. The diagram below gives us just a hint of all the different demands a parent/ caregiver must balance so that their family can thrive.

FRCA Member Family Resource Centers across Colorado. 29 organizations serve 46 counties and provide a family-friendly environment for families and access and referrals and direct services such as home visitation programs, parenting classes, early childhood programs, basic needs assistance, and more. An added service provided by these organizations is Family Development Services, which is a strength-based case management that helps families set and meet their own goals to increase their family and children’s well-being. FRC staff actively links families to other resources in the community and provides support during times of need to assure that families successfully access those resources. After short-term goals are met, families can set longer-term goals to achieve sustainable family stability and well-being.   Thriving families contribute to thriving communities!

Family Support in Action

I have seen so many great examples of family support, one family, in particular, comes to mind when I think about successfully integrating timely, comprehensive family support services: Marion*, was attending a parenting class at a local Family Resource Center. She shared during group networking time that she had just received a utility cut-off notice, did not have the money to pay her upcoming rent and had just been notified that her hours had been cut back at work so she didn’t know how she would afford groceries that week. Like most of us in a similar situation, she was panicking and didn’t know where to even begin addressing her multiple challenges. The instructor offered to meet with Marion and the Family Development Worker at this Center the next morning. Together, Marion and the Worker identified and prioritized her goals and the family’s most basic needs. Once the utility and rent bills were taken care of and she visited a food bank, Marion focused on longer-term goals such as gaining education and sustainable employment. She and her Worker developed a strong, trusted relationship and through committed and regular coordination of next steps over a two-year period, including coordination with several other support agencies, she achieved over twenty goals in different self-sufficiency domains (housing, education, childcare, transportation, parenting, and employment). Marion has since received her Certified Nurses Associate certification, which improved her income and, today her children are doing well in school. Marion is providing “nurturing and positive” environment for her children. The family even has a small, but growing, savings account so they are better prepared for unexpected situations.

  • How many similar families during those two years fell through the cracks?
  • Will those parents be able to provide a ‘nurturing and positive” environment for their children during a stressful period?

Local Family Support Efforts

Local communities across Colorado are working together more and more efficiently every year. Many communities are implementing an “any door is the right door” strategy for vulnerable families and children. For instance, in several communities across the state, service providers from multiple family support organizations come together regularly to coordinate their services and, in some cases, to pool their resources to meet emergency family needs such as food, utility or rental assistance, and share other long-term resources. These communities are not only maximizing their resources; they are assuring that fewer families are falling through the cracks by using easy, coordinated access to resources that match their needs without duplicating services.

What’s occurring in your community?

Question: What is your community doing to provide integrated Family Support Services so that fewer families fall through the cracks?  Please share your both your successes and challenges.

*Note:  All names, locations, and other identifying information has been changed/removed

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Welcome to FRCA’s Blog!

By Mark Kling, Executive Director, FRCA

JUNE 19, 2018 – Welcome to the new Family Resource Center Association (FRCA) Blog, a virtual connection to all things Family Support.

FRCA’s vision is a Colorado in which every family is thriving and self-reliant. We believe that Family Support can lead to true change for families and our communities. One lesson learned in over 25 years of Family Resource Center Program service in Colorado is that when you provide families with a primary point of entry for multiple resources, you significantly increase their chances for success in reaching their goals for economic, social, health and financial stability. This is accomplished by partnering with families in goal setting, skill building and providing the resources they need to achieve their goals.

FRCA endeavors to:

  • Ask the hard questions about what is working and what isn’t working in Family Support systems and practice.
  • Work on answers that lead to change in practice and systems.
  • Collect, analyze and report on data helping us to understand how and if families are increasing their self-reliance.
  • Equip our Members both programmatically and organizationally to serve Colorado families with excellence.

I believe that working on the big questions and challenges can bring innovation, collaboration and great opportunities. It is hard work, but the rewards are priceless.

However, we are still a long ways away from realizing our dream of every Colorado family being self-reliant. According to KIDS COUNT Data Report, Colorado’s child population grew faster than all but five other states between 1991 and 2016 and three times faster than the U.S. child population. Right now, children under 18 make up 22 percent of Colorado’s population, with approximately 168,000 of those children living in poverty across the state.

The influx of people moving to Colorado coupled with a rise in housing prices means many are just one emergency away from being able to afford the cost of necessary household expenses, including childcare, transportation, health care, and taxes, among others.

These statistics show how prevalent the need for family strengthening programs is across the state. We hope that this blog will help expand the conversation around family support and strengthening, challenging you and other leaders to propose out-of-the-box solutions to the problems facing the field.

This blog will feature a variety of voices; from asking leaders the big questions that will help move the field forward, to celebrating solutions & collaborations, and highlighting family stories of success; we look forward to showcasing the Family Support. Together we can make a difference!

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