Research shows child outcomes are primarily a result of upbringing and parental involvement. Universal access to affordable, quality services and support networks are an imperative component to a family's economic success and general well being. These critical elements are also essential for positive child and youth outcomes. Family strengthening seeks to incorporate this research evidence into a model that focuses on the entire family within the context of its community. Prevailing human service interventions have been problem-specific, fragmented and crisis oriented, whereas family strengthening gives priority to the delivery of community based, preventative, and comprehensive services. The Center aims to leverage the knowledge of service providers, delivering family centered and place based services by: (1) Identifying initiatives that reduce family isolation, increase connections to economic opportunities, develop sustainable social networks, and improve access to supports and services; (2) Disseminating family strengthening information and resources, electronically and at professional and educational events; (3) Building a network of practitioners and policy makers in order to advance evidence-based practice and a family strengthening public policy agenda; (4) Producing a monthly e-newsletter that highlights research, current news in the field, legislative alerts, organizational profiles, and issue briefs; (5) Maintaining a website which serves as a clearinghouse of information and tools dedicated to family strengthening practices, programs and policy; and (6) Developing policy briefs that highlight emerging and evaluated family strengthening practices and barriers to developing family centered policies for family success. (Author abstract)
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