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NCJ Number
J S Musick; B Weissbourd
Date Published
27 pages
Because fundamental changes in family life have occurred in recent decades that include both parents working, divorce and remarriage, single parenthood, increasing geographic mobility of families, and growing poverty among children, family resource programs are needed to provide families with access to the information and support necessary to strengthen family and community life and encourage the healthy growth and development of children.
Family resource programs are significantly and deliberately different from traditional service programs. Rather than focusing primarily on a carefully circumscribed group of families who are in crisis, family resource programs are available to a wide range of families to enhance quality of life and minimize the potential for problems to develop. Based on the concept that not only children but also parents grow, develop, and need nurturing, family resource programs seek to meet the needs of both by providing new opportunities for education and support. They are designed for and by individual communities and reflect cultural and social characteristics of the community's location. Guidelines are offered on how to start a family resource program that deal with forming a planning committee, assessing needs, choosing a program model (center-based programs, parent networks, home-based programs, telephone consultation, and parent groups), setting program goals and objectives, fund raising, locating the resource center, staffing, recruiting families, providing child care, and evaluating the program. A checklist is provided to facilitate the program development process, along with a list of resource materials and programs.