Family Involvement

GOAL 2: IMPROVE FAMILY CAPACITY TO KEEP CHILDREN SAFE FROM HARM

Objective 2.1: Increase early intervention services for families at risk of child maltreatment.
Objective 2.2: Reduce the harmful effects of tobacco and cannabis products.
Objective 2.3: Increase parental knowledge and skill building around preventative injuries to children.

WHY THIS MATTERS

First 5 Family Resource Centers (FRC) are owned and operated by First 5 Madera County with the intention to implement prevention-focused and family-centered programming that promote family resilience and reduce child maltreatment (including trauma). First 5 FRCs provide safe, welcoming places for families to seek supports and services before problems arise, as well as during critical times of need. When these types of services and supports are available to a community, families are more likely to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to ensure their children are healthy and thriving.

Programs like the First 5 FRCs are best able to keep children safe from harm by involving families in practices that promote engagement and social connections.

 

Keeping children safe from harm also involves increasing knowledge and skill-buildingabout preventative injury to children. Bolstering parental capacity to recognize the potential for harm in everyday situations like car passenger seat safety, water safety, and sleep safety empowers parents to act on behalf of their children.

Core to safety is the reduction of the harmful effects of controlled substances on unborn and nursing babies. Consistent with the Proposition 10 legislation, First 5 Madera County aims to educate practitioners and families alike on the harmful effects of tobacco. Given the legalization of cannabis, concerns for exposure to this drug are growing. Since many classify cannabis as a harmless natural herb, there is growing necessity to aid parents and providers in understanding the harmful effects of cannabis use while pregnant and nursing.

STRATEGIC INVESTMENTS

Strategic investments will include the dedication of First 5 Madera County staff time and/or fiscal resources to focus on the following:

  • Prevention Efforts in High Risk Neighborhoods
  • Interventions for Children at Risk of Maltreatment
  • Tobacco and Cannabis Capacity Building
  • Injury Prevention Capacity Building

GOAL 3: INCREASE COMMUNITY CAPACITY TO EFFECTIVELY PROMOTE FAMILY RESILIENCE

Objective 3.1: Increase culturally sensitive professional development opportunities on topics related to child maltreatment and trauma.

Objective 3.2: Increase parenting interventions that are culturally sensitive.

Objective 3.3: Increase access to social and concrete supports to reduce the effects of family isolation.

WHY THIS MATTERS

Family resilience is most often defined as the family’s ability to “withstand and rebound from disruptive life challenges strengthened and more resourceful” (Walsh, 2011). Building on this concept, Strengthening Families is a research-informed approach to promoting family resilience by increasing family strengths, enhancing child development, and reducing the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. It is designed to assist programs in assessing a family’s resilience using the Five Protective Factors which are 1.) Parental Resilience 2.) Social Connections 3.) Concrete Supports in Times of Need 4.) Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development, and 5.) Social and Emotional Competence of Children (Center for the Study of Social Policy). Findings from the assessment tool are used to create a strength-based case plan designed to bolster family functioning.

Communities are most effective at impacting family resilience when service providers 

across industries are trained and well-versed on family strengthening practices. As such, attention to multidisciplinary professional development among providers from the variety of fields that work with families (including educators, health care providers, behavioral health professionals, social workers, etc.) is valuable to a community.

All families need help sometimes, so access to both social and concrete supports reduce family isolation and promote resilience. Social supports are the extent to which one is cared for and part of a supportive network. This might take the form of healthy relationships with family, friends, or neighbors. Concrete supports are tangible services that address unmet needs. This might include healthy food, safe environments, and transportation. Together these types of supports aid in maintaining resilience during trying times.

STRATEGIC INVESTMENTS

Strategic investments will include the dedication of First 5 Madera County staff time and/or fiscal resources to focus on the following:

• Transportation
• Community Mobilization and Community Champions
• Equity in Service Delivery
• Trauma Informed Care
• Preventative Family-Strengthening Services
• Community Awareness