The Families First Approach
We know that Massachusetts families living in poverty face severe challenges - stress, unemployment, surrounding violence and health problems. For the parents, gaining parenting skills can mean the difference between violent outbursts and calm, consistent communication with their children.
Studies show that children in low-income families are at a much higher risk for drug use, violence, dropping out of school, or becoming victims of abuse or neglect. Rates of child neglect have increased in Massachusetts increased in the past 10 years.
Families First reaches those parents who are striving to be the best parents they can be. Our preventive approach reduces levels of stress and violence on a community-wide level.
Parents who take Families First workshops gain a greater understanding of their children’s development and behavior, in a supportive environment. Collectively, this understanding community-wide, can reduce stress and drastically decrease the chances that a child will be neglected or abused.
In 2011, Families First served over 4,000 individuals through 500 Parenting Education workshops and Professional Trainings. These programs are provided at no cost to low-income families and the professionals who serve them.
Each year, more than 100 community agencies throughout Greater Boston and Eastern Massachusetts engage Families First to provide quality educational programming to their clients and staff.
Families First offers a unique approach to helping parents in need. Recognizing that there is no one right way to parent, and that not all techniques work for all parents, we teach several tools and methods that have been proven to be more effective ways to parent. Our goal is to provide parents with a range of skills and strategies that they can have available to help with everyday parenting situations. For over 20 years, Families First has helped build positive relationships between parents and their children. We help communities thrive by strengthening families first.
Our partner’s include
- After school programs
- Daycare centers
- Early childhood resource enters
- Head Start programs
- Homeless shelters
- Public health initiatives
- Religious institutions
- Senior centers
Families First works in partnership with social service agencies because parenting education that is embedded in comprehensive family support programs tends to be more effective than stand-alone programs. Evidence shows that parenting education results in better childhood health, fewer cases of child abuse, a reduction in foster care placements, and improved behavior and performance in school. Due to the increased stress placed on their family, children in low-income families are at a much higher risk for negative outcomes, including drug use, violence, dropping out of school, or becoming victims of abuse or neglect.
Families First Parenting Programs builds positive relationships between parents and their children by educating both families and the professionals who serve them through inspiring, hands-on workshops. Our skilled workshop leaders stand beside parents and caregivers to lead them through the crucible of child rearing by transforming their experiences, doubts, and fears into the knowledge and confidence they need to build positive discipline, communication, and self-esteem in families. We help communities thrive by strengthening families first.