Each 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.
See the latest free classes and programs at a First 5 Center near you.
For the last few years, First 5 Contra Costa has been using the Protective Factors framework in our approach to working with families.
Developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy, the Protective Factors framework is designed to prevent child abuse and neglect by focusing on five critical areas that help children and families thrive. The five Protective Factors are:
- Parental Resilience: Resilience helps parents to manage the challenges and stress of everyday life.
- Social Connections: Families have a network of friends, family members, neighbors and community members to provide emotional support and help solve problems.
- Concrete Support in Times of Need: Families can meet basic economic needs like food, shelter, clothing, and health care; services are provided during times of crisis.
- Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development: Parents have accurate information and appropriate expectations about child development to promote children’s healthy development.
- Social and Emotional Competence in Children: Children can interact positively with others, self-regulate behavior and effectively communicate; children with development delays are identified early and receive appropriate assistance.