Family Resource Centers
Family Resource Centers
Family Resource Centers (FRCs) were first established in neighborhoods nationwide in the 1980s. Across our country, FRCs have served as place-based hubs for creating meaningful social change in diverse communities. Over the years, FRCs have been part of a positive movement to strengthen families and communities by addressing family needs and offering support to prevent child abuse and neglect. In addition to providing concrete supports via local resources, FRCs have become a hub for promoting community advocacy, education, and leadership. This trend has continued to grow and now many states offer FRCs as a part of their Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) funded programs. Throughout the nation, FRCs have taken on many forms depending on the diverse community each serves. FRCs may also be referred to as family support centers, family success centers, and other family support-oriented names.
Family Resource Centers are generally community or school-based drop-in centers located in a variety of settings including schools, libraries, community centers, housing complexes, and faith-based buildings. They offer a safe, strength-based setting for family-oriented on-site programs, resources, activities, and classes to strengthen families in their communities.
Family Resource Centers are a warm and welcoming place in the community where family members can access formal and informal supports to promote their health and well-being, not only in times of need but as a regular part of day-to-day life. FRCs provide multiple services and resources to diverse families and children, increase protective factors, and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. Services are typically provided through collaborative efforts with public and private community-based organizations.
FRCs may offer the following services:
- Parent education and skill classes
- Parent-to-parent support groups
- Child development activities
- Home visiting
- Advocacy and community leadership
- After school and academic enrichment
- Literacy supports
- Physical, mental health, and wellness information
- Respite and crisis care services
- Services for children with special needs
- Assistance with concrete supports (housing, food, clothing)
- and many other programs, activities, and services
National Resources on Family Resource Centers:
Child Welfare Information Gateway: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/prevention-programs/familyresource/
National Family Support Network: https://www.nationalfamilysupportnetwork.org/family-support-programs
Casey Family Programs: https://www.casey.org/family-resource-centers/
Family Resource Centers Vehicles for Change: https://strategiesca.org/vehiclesforchange/