As a state-funded Family Success Center we strongly support New Jersey’s approach to child welfare. “Children and families do not exist in isolation. They live in overlapping circles of extended family, block associations, neighborhood groups, community organizations, schools, workplaces and businesses, religious and civic institutions and much more. Collectively, these are enormous assets for families. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any family succeeding, in a meaningful sense of the term, without the participation of information supports and institutions like these.” (The Future of Child Welfare in New Jersey, June 9, 2004)
LBC’s goal is to increase the knowledge base of parents, change behaviors, provide the tools necessary to improve relationships, and the opportunity for families to grow parent—child bonding. Services are focused on economic self-sufficiency and family sustainability. What was once merely a resource center evolved into a one-stop shop that provides wrap-around resources and supports for families before they find themselves in crisis. By bringing together concerned community residents, leaders, and community agencies, LBC addresses the problems that threaten the safety and stability of families and the community. Thus, the LBC is a community-based, family-centered neighborhood gathering place where any community resident can go for family support, information, and services. We aim to enrich the lives of children and adults by making families and neighborhoods stronger by providing the tools to help all families to succeed.
The LBC receives $200,000 per year from the State of New Jersey to provide evidence-based programs, workshops, information, resources and referrals for services, and parent-child activities to the greater Long Branch community.
The Principles of Family Support:
- Staff and families work together in relationships based on equality and respect.
- Staff enhance families capacity to support growth and development of all family members—adults, youth, and children.
- Families are resources to their own members, to other families, to programs, and to communities.
- Programs affirm and strengthen families’ cultural, racial and linguistic identities and enhance their ability to function in a multi-cultural society.
- Programs are embedded in their communities and contribute to the community-building process.
- Programs advocate with families for services and systems that are fair, responsive, and accountable to the families served.
- Practitioners work with families to mobilize formal and informal resources to support family development.
- Programs are flexible and continually responsive to emerging family and community issues.
- Principles of family support are modeled in all program activities, including planning, governance, and administration.
During FY 2009—2010 we addressed the needs of 3,000 new families and provided goods and services to 750 people through our outreach efforts. Keep in mind that we continue to facilitate the Guest Business Center and information and referral services as well as implement evidence-based programs. In FY 2009—2010 343 parents attended workshops focused on parent education; 290 attended workshops relevant to economic self-sufficiency; and 351 parents attended classes to increase family literacy.