Imagine a place where young parents can get support and encouragement when life feels overwhelming.
Imagine a place where families drop in for hot lunches, visit with other parents and receive professional advice about their children’s needs.
Imagine a place where caring staff recognize how difficult it is to raise children, and they praise parents for their efforts.
Now imagine community/family resource centers throughout Lane County, where parents and children are finding free and supportive programs.
The CFRCs are located in schools throughout rural and urban areas of Lane County. From Oakridge to Cottage Grove, CFRCs offer a variety of free activities for all families. The CFRCs are supported by the Lane County Commission on Children and Families and local school districts. Many also receive additional funding from LaneCare, non-profits, service organizations, local business, and community members who volunteer their time.
“Our Lane County School-Based Community/Family Resource Center Network builds on a family’strengths. We provide resources within the framework of a community’s school,” says Diana Avery, Department of Children & Families, Senior Program Services Coordinator. “We have a proven track record of connecting with families with children of all ages, offering support, resources and parenting education.”
CFRCs use a national model to offer services and activities in both English and Spanish, including:
- Access to community resource information and referrals, phone and fax
- Parenting education
- Child literacy groups and story times
- Family activity nights, parent-child and parent-youth activities
- After-school enrichment
- Parent literacy and computer support
- Assistance with accessing school personnel
- Basic needs resources
- Drop-in services for families, children, youth and teens
A new, young mother added, “[The CFRC]…has been a godsend for both my daughter and me. Two years ago, living away from my family, I was feeling very isolated and lonely. We started attending the CFRC every Tuesday and Thursday. It has given me the opportunity to interact with other moms, and my daughter with other children, who are now her friends. The teachers are wonderful: They help give us all a perspective of what to expect from our infants and toddlers.”
During the 2010-11 school year, Lane County CFRCs connected with nearly 4,500 children, youth and adults; hosted 22 parent education courses; held 251 toddler and play groups; and made 42 home visits, among other activities.
A grandmother who has participated in their programs said, “[The CFRC]…has not only been an extremely valuable resource but a lifesaver. It offers my grandson, an only child, the opportunity to socialize with other children and also provides an environment for me to interact with the children, learn better parenting skills or simply relax and visit with the staff.”
The staff of Lane County’s Community/Family Resource Center Network has been providing services for 22 years because, as one parent said, “Being a parent is hard enough; finding support and resources should not be!”
Peggy Lintula is the longest serving coordinator in Lane County’s nine School-based Community/Family Resource Centers. Parenting Now! is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening families through parent support and education. Explore this site; call 541-484-5316; or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Family Info Line is also available; call 211, extension 5, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org