What is a Family Resource Program?

“Family Resource Programs” or FRPs are generic terms for a prevention model of service delivery which emerged during the 1970s. These informal programs enhanced child and family well-being by reducing the isolation of parents with infants, toddlers and preschoolers, by providing information and resources that encouraged healthy child development and positive parenting, and by acting as friendly access points to more traditional community services.

At An FRP Centre

At An FRP Centre: Family resource centres aim to be welcoming and inclusive. They are in settings such as community centres, schools, church basements, storefronts or neighbourhood houses, where parents and others in the parenting role can spend time with their young children and with each other. Over time, staff and participants develop mutually-respectful and trust-based relationships. Staff members are often hired from the community and bring to their work a range of formal and informal credentials; personal warmth and people skills are highly prized. By enhancing the capacity and confidence of parents and caregivers, family resource programs endeavour to strengthen families and communities. The well-being of both children and adults is attended to.

Example of an FRP Centre

Family resource centres are responsive to participants’ diverse needs. Specific program components are developed in response to identified needs. They may include fathering groups, family literacy activities, clothing exchanges, cooking groups, parenting sessions and workshops on topics of interest. Activities are designed to increase capacity in many domains including physical and mental health, parenting, lifelong learning, and community development.

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