The Home for Little Wanderers Opens Family Resource Center

New Roslindale Program Provides Access to All Families

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BOSTON (July 22, 2015) — The opening of the Boston-Suffolk County Family Resource Center (FRC) at The Home for Little Wanderers this July means that all families across the Commonwealth will now have access to services that will strengthen their families and keep them connected to resources within their own community. 

After more than six months of planning and renovations, The Home’s FRC doors are now open to children of all ages and their families. While families from any community can come to the Suffolk County FRC at The Home, the site focuses on providing services for children requiring assistance from Boston, Revere, Chelsea and Winthrop.

“Families come to FRCs for many reason,” explained Program Director Amy McCarthy. “Even before our official opening, our team of experienced staff has helped more than 30 families from across Suffolk County and neighboring communities including Belmont. Within our first year, we hope to connect 1,000 children and their families with appropriate services ranging from housing and utility support, legal aid, to summer camps and other family needs.”

Those who will benefit from The Home’s FRC and those that are located in every county are children aged birth to 18 that may have behavioral issues and need additional supports. At an opening ceremony on July 14, community partners including Massachusetts State Senator Karen E. Spilka, Councillor Charles Yancey, Department of Youth Services Commissioner Peter J. Forbes, and Judge Terry Craven, First Justice, Suffolk County Juvenile Court celebrated the opening of The Home for Little Wanderers’ Family Resource Center.

“It has been an almost ten year journey to make the state-wide network of community Family Resource Centers a reality,” said Senator Karen E. Spilka. “The opening of FRCs across the Commonwealth is terrific news for at-risk youth and their families. These are necessary community-based services for parents and children, keeping children healthy and safe through parenting programs, support groups, early childhood services, information and referral resources and education for families.”

 
   

Based out of The Home for Little Wanderers’ Roslindale facility at 780 American Legion Highway, the Boston-Suffolk County Family Resource Center is open six days a week and also offers satellite sites at the Suffolk County Juvenile Court and Up Academy in Dorchester. Services are offered in Spanish, Haitian Creole and American Sign Language. Staff will make accommodations to meet the needs of families who speak any foreign language.

The Home for Little Wanderers’ President and CEO Joan Wallace-Benjamin explained that this is an exciting time for the child welfare agency. “The opening of the Family Resource Center is an example of how The Home is collaborating with community partners to provide a wide network of support and strength for the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable young people, while also preparing them for meaningful and productive lives in the community,” she said. “The Family Resource Center marks a new opportunity for the Commonwealth’s children who need assistance and are at risk of needing court involvement.”

In addition to providing services for children requiring assistance, an FRC clinician can assess a child’s needs and develop a Family Support Plan to address the child and family’s needs. The FRC offers an array of services, including groups and classes for families, through its experienced staff including:

  • School Liaisons: help families with truancy, absenteeism, special education and behavioral issues.
  • Family Support Workers: connect families with resources in the community.
  • Family Partners: help families navigate the child-serving system and use their lived experience as caregivers to partner with other caregivers to help achieve their goals.
  • Peer Mentors: work with youth to engage them in a process of change by sharing their experiences and struggles as young adults.

The goal of each FRC is to provide information and assistance to families needing. Through the work of the FRCs, families can focus on strengthening their bonds, connecting to others, and engaging in their communities. The core values of the FRCs include: respect, trust, safety, wellness, caring, connectivity, and education.

For additional information on the Family Resources Centers visit www.thehome.org/frc or www.frcma.org

 

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