Families Growing Together

Home | AIA Projects | AIA Project Directory | Families Growing Together

Families Growing Together

FGT
153 Summer Street
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 276-4300
Website
Download project description [PDF]

Project Director
Valentina Laprade, LICSW
vlaprade@cfsri.org

Project Evaluator
Lenore Olsen, PhD
researchap@aol.com

Sponsoring Organization
Children’s Friend

History & Overview

History & Overview

Children’s Friend is Rhode Island’s first child-serving nonprofit agency, providing services for children and families in need since 1834. Guided by their mission, Children’s Friend is the innovative leader in improving the well-being and healthy development of Rhode Island’s most vulnerable young children. They accomplish this by providing flexible, effective, and culturally-relevant services, and advocating for programs and policies that support and strengthen these children and families. By reaching children in their earliest years and by working with the entire family, Children’s Friend helps children grow up in the best possible environment while assisting their families to become self-sufficient.  Their vision is that every child in Rhode Island grows and develops in a safe, healthy, loving, and stable family. With sites in Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls, they provide a broad array of services for children and families.

 

Service Delivery Model

Service Delivery Model

Families Growing Together enhances the services offered within the continuum of Children’s Friend programs.  The project’s vision is that by increasing the protective factors in families affected by illicit substances and HIV/AIDS or other significant medical issues, children’s social, emotional and overall well-being will be improved and family functioning will be strengthened.

Families Growing Together focuses on:  (1) parent-child relationship-based therapeutic intervention and support to strengthen attachment and improve social-emotional development; (2) comprehensive, integrated services to improve parenting abilities; (3) permanency facilitation through caregiver supports and frequent parent-child visitation with coaching; and (4) training and consultation to improve workforce knowledge and competency.  Services utilize the Promoting First Relationships approach; modeling and coaching parenting skills; weekly home visits; case management and service coordination; supervised parent-child visitation when children are in out-of-home placement; advocacy; linkages to community and natural supports; concrete services to meet basic needs; and supports for relative and foster care providers. In addition, the staff receives training to improve their knowledge of trauma and toxic stress, and other factors affecting work with this population, as well as the impact of such factors on child well-being.

 

Staffing

Staffing

The Families Growing Together team consists of a multi-cultural, multi-lingual group of clinicians specifically trained in parent-child bonding and attachment, in addition to family mentors.  The mentors are experienced in working with high risk parents and infants and/or have successfully parented a child in a lifestyle of recovery, or a child with special health care needs.  Services are offered in the office and are carried over into the home and community for maximum effect.

 

Community Collaboration

Community Collaboration

Children’s Friend staff participates in several community collaborative efforts, stakeholder groups, and networks related to women, men, families and substance abuse as well as adoption, early intervention, Nurse Family Partnership, Healthy Families America, WIC, Early Head Start and Head Start, and fatherhood initiatives.  Children’s Friend is the largest social service provider of services to infants and toddlers in Rhode Island and advocates vigorously on behalf of infants and young children on the local, state and federal level.

 

Evaluation/Outcomes

Evaluation/Outcomes

The Families Growing Together evaluation assesses the project’s impact on child well-being, parenting ability, parent-child interaction, linkage to support systems, and permanency.  These outcomes will be measured using the ASQ-3, ASQ-SE, North Carolina Family  Assessment Scale – G, NCAST Parent-Child Interaction Teaching Scale, NCAST Network Survey, and a program specific termination summary. The evaluation examines the results of agency training directed toward increasing staff knowledge of trauma and toxic stress, and its effects on child development, as well as the health care needs of the target population.  Staff surveys and interviews are used to elicit descriptive information concerning changes in staff knowledge and practice.

The project is evaluated using qualitative methods to assess program implementation and service delivery, and a randomized control group design to assess project outcomes.  The treatment and wait-listed control group are selected from referrals internal to the agency.  At the end of the six-month service period, parents in the control group are eligible to participate in services should they so choose.