Fort Worth Family Resource Centers

Summary

Family Resource Centers (FRCs) are places where parents can go to get information on raising and educating their children. Funded through the Fort Worth public library, city staff help families learn how to develop their children's social, emotional and pre-literacy skills so that they are successful when entering kindergarten. Additional services include child health and development information, parenting education, and information and referral to other community services. The FRC offers Parent Cafes and Parent Networking Sessions which give parents and caregivers an opportunity to get to know one another, share their challenges, and brainstorm ways to better support their children. With the operation of FRCs parents receive coaching on how to turn every day moments into learning opportunities and how better to connect to city departments and services to tap into resources that will help with child care, health screenings, and peer networking.

The Strategy

City Role
The Fort Worth Library plays a lead role, including funding, but works with a number of community partners.

Funding
The resource centers are oprated by the Fort Worth Library which receives its funding from the City of Fort Worth.

Partners

• Tarrant County United Way: provides research on community needs and funding, Manages child care quality improvement activities; works on range of policy issues through public policy committee; provides financial support for child care programs serving low-income children; and operates 2-1-1 information and referral system; public awareness efforts
• Fort Worth Independent School District: promote centers and provide data
• Home Visiting Programs: promote centers and provide data
• Camp Fire: promote centers and provide data, Bilingual programs for parents and caregivers may be available
• Child Care Associates: promote centers and provide data, manage Head Start and Early Head Start

Outcomes

Reaching parents and caregivers in high-need communities, more parents bring books home to read with their children, parents form peer supports, and they learn about children's healthy development. In 2006, two early childhood resource centers opened and now there are nine locations offering 18 sessions each week. Over 5,000 families with 8,750 children have attended an average of 15 hours. External evaluations show parents increased practice of behaviors that promote learning, respect for children's independence, and improved practice for discipline of children. 92% of parents say they have learned ways to help their children get ready for school, and that they are more confident in their parenting and better able to guide their children's behavior in positive ways.

Contact Information

Institute for Youth, Education, and Families
whitehouse@nlc.org

Cindy Gray
cindy.gray@fortworthtexas.gov
Fort Worth Library
500 W. Third St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102-7305
817-392-READ (7323)

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