First 5 Centers Bring Families Together

b-dayEach year the five First 5 Centers serve about 1,900 families, providing 400 different types of classes for them to take. These classes are designed to improve parenting skills, help parents feel more confident, and help children develop to their full potential. Parents also report that the Centers help increase their social support – which this short vignette perfectly captures.

When a mother at the Bay Point First 5 Center told other parents at the Center she wasn’t throwing her daughter a third birthday party, they wanted to know why. She said the little girl, who has special needs, did not have any friends. Moved by the response, the other parents at the Center immediately started planning a party for the little girl, which took place the following week with 15 kids attending the pink princess bash.

Building community is a big part of supporting parents. Thanks Bay Point First 5 Center and Care Parent Network for facilitating engagement like this!

See the latest free classes and programs at a First 5 Center near you.

Relief for Stressed Parents

TriplePA program we’re funding is helping to reduce parent’s stress, anxiety, and depression, while building parenting skills at the same time.

Called Triple P (or Positive Parenting Program), the program has been used throughout the world to improve parenting skills and prevent child abuse by fostering positive and nurturing relationships between parents and children. Triple P is also effective in helping parents to manage difficult child behavior.

We’re funding Triple P services in partnership with Contra Costa Health Services, Mental Health.  We each allocate $75,000 for the program, with our funding used for parents with young children.  The nonprofit C.O.P.E. Family Support Center provides some of the Triple P classes and trains organizations to implement the curriculum.  To date, 62 providers have been trained.  Classes take place throughout the county, including the First 5 Centers, family homeless shelters, and children’s mental health programs. Continue reading

15 Years for Kids: Care’s Parent Mentors

Next month, First 5 is celebrating the 15-year anniversary of Proposition 10, the ballot initiative that created First 5 commissions in every California county to fund health and education programs for children birth to age five.

In recognition of this milestone, we’re revisiting some of the success stories we’ve documented over the years and sharing them on our blog.  Up first is a moving story from 2008, one of my all-time favorites.

Ruvi, Tamika & Morgan

care1In the fall of 2008, Ruvi DeGuzman decided she wanted to help other parents who have children with special needs.

Ruvi’s son, then a teenager, was born with a rare disorder that required the partial amputation of one of his legs during infancy. Now that he was nearing 18, Ruvi was ready to give back and support other families who shared this experience.

Ruvi reached out to the Care Parent Network, a nonprofit that supports parents raising children with special needs, and discovered that Care’s parent mentor program was exactly what she was looking for.

Continue reading

First 5 Center Supports Mother with Chronic Illness

The following is a letter received by Nensi Brailo, a mother who found assistance and support for her family at the West County First 5 Center located in San Pablo.

I am writing to let you know what a big difference the West County First 5 Center made in my life.   I am a relatively old parent.  For years I worked to put myself through college as well as two graduate programs.  I was a career woman who ended up losing my job due to chronic illness.  I could have lost everything I have accomplished overnight had it not been for the support I have gotten from First 5. Continue reading