Family Success Centers are Great Community Resources
Find Your Local FSC
If you and your family are in crisis, where can you turn? In several New Jersey communities, you can get help and support through a Family Success Center. Each community center is a local one-stop shop for families in need.
Acenda’s Family Success Centers help families in seven counties in New Jersey, including Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Gloucester, Ocean, and Salem. Here we’ll review what a Family Success Center is, the services offered, and how to find out more about your local FSC.
What is a Family Success Center?
A Family Success Center (FSC) is a neighborhood gathering place for families. These centers offer programs and support to help families thrive. Anyone in the community can use these services. But they are targeted at families who are struggling in some way. Families who come to their local FSC can get the support they need to prevent a crisis.
Families can get guidance, education, and social connection with the help of their local center. Parents learn to work with a budget and can get help with employment needs. Families spend time together doing fun bonding activities, and set goals together to make their bond stronger and deeper. Each FSC is unique for its local area, but the services below are typically offered in each location. Here’s a review of the core services.
What services do Family Success Centers offer?
FSCs offer a variety of services to support families in need. The focus is local so families can limit travel and stay in the community they’re familiar with. Here’s more about each one and how they can help.
Information about vital family services
- Child, maternal, and family health: FSCs may offer these services in person or virtual classes. FSCs hold events like virtual workshops on health and wellness, fitness classes, and nutrition education programs. Online interaction and outdoor activities keep families connected and safe during the pandemic.
- Being financially self-sufficient: FSC staff teach parents how to manage money and spend wisely. Budgeting workshops may be offered in person or virtually, depending on safety concerns.
- Job readiness: Parents that can keep good jobs create a safer home for their families. And when they need to find new employment, job fairs make this task simpler. FSC staff can help parents navigate through this process.
Life skills training
Life skills training covers the major tasks an adult needs to live in today’s world, but when people have a difficult or traumatic childhood, they may grow up lacking some of these important skills. These individuals may struggle to meet their needs or manage emotions, but with practice and support, people can learn and improve these behaviors in training sessions.
The areas covered in life skills training help people build a healthy, stable life. These topics may include:
- Emotional coping skills
- Stress management
- Time management
- Money management
- Decision making
- Social situations
Housing services and information
Affordable housing is an essential safety need. But getting it can be an overwhelming and lengthy process. Experienced FSC staff members help parents every step of the way. They share vital information and educate parents on their options.
Families can find housing through HUD at the federal level. New Jersey state government programs also provide housing aid and rental assistance. Housing support may be available through local programs. FSC staff help coordinate applications and keep families informed along the way.
People who have difficult childhoods may struggle with parenthood. Without a healthy role model, they may feel lost or overwhelmed. Parenting classes provide step-by-step guidance with emotional support.
As parents use the skills they learn in their daily lives, they can see positive change unfold before their eyes. The classes teach parents how to handle behavior problems and conflict. Parents learn about managing emotions and difficult moments.
Change is difficult, even when it’s the right thing to do. Parenting classes are safe spaces for parents to share struggles and positive moments. No matter the ages of their children, these classes can remind parents that they aren’t alone. Local parent support groups may also be available through social media.
Parent-child activities may look like just fun and games. But the value of these events goes much deeper.
- Parents and children learn to bond. They form the emotional glue that holds families together.
- Every family member is valuable.
- Each person can be social and form relationships with other families.
- Family members get physically active and may spend time outdoors.
Activities are held year-round to give families many opportunities to attend. Some activities can be held in person, such as outdoor events during good weather. And when in-person gatherings aren’t possible, some may work as virtual events.
Some examples of parent-child activities include:
- Making music
- Doing crafts
- Family-friendly fitness classes
- Physically active family games
- Virtual camping/storytime
Advocacy for families
Families in need often struggle to advocate for themselves. They’re often just trying to survive and get through the day. FSC advocates stand with families and take the lead when needed. With this experience and support, families can feel more empowered to take these steps on their own down the road.
Advocates help families access better and more affordable housing. They also help families navigate health services, mental health care, and financial aid. Whenever families need someone to step up for them and stand by them, FSC advocates are there.
How can I get more information?
Acenda offers FSCs in eight communities across New Jersey. Each center has information and services unique to its community. Many have online calendars, contact information, and are active on social media. Click on each city to reach their website.
Bird’s Eye FSC – Pennsville
Connections – Pine Hill
Mosaic FSC – Glassboro
Oceanside I – Atlantic City
Oceanside II – Atlantic City
Orchards FSC – Sicklerville
Oasis FSC – Barnegat
Riverview FSC – Penns Grove
Shore Family Success – Rio Grande
Family Success Centers – Resources and Support
Family Success Centers are great resources for education, information, and social support. Families can get started with services and build their support network. And they become empowered by the caring staff at each FSC. Find out more about Acenda’s Family Success Centers today.