Long Branch Concordance is a result of a broad-based collaborative effort of people, agencies and organizations united to create a healthy, sustainable urban environment for children who live in the greater Long Branch area. In March 2004 the Long Branch Concordance was established as a result of this collaboration. The goal was to develop and implement a centrally located agency where people in need of a wide variety of services could receive the information, resources and referrals to address the concerns of their families. Shortly thereafter, the LBC obtained 501(c) (3) status.
"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)
We offer evidence-based programs, workshops, parent—child activities, major outreach events, information, resources and referrals for services to the greater Long Branch community. Our goal is to increase the knowledge base of parents, change behaviors, provide the tools necessary to improve relationships, and the opportunity to for families to grow parent—child bonding. Our services are focused on economic self-reliancy and family sustainability. We have grown from a resource center and evolved into a "one-stop" shop that provides wrap-around resources and supports for families before they find themselves in crisis. The Family Success Center is a multi-faceted community-based program that offers families convenient access to information, support, and resources that help develop and maximize their strengths and potential.
The overarching goal of the Family Success Center model is to prevent child maltreatment by strengthening individual and family functioning; enhancing parental capacity for growth and development; increasing the stability, health and well-being of children and families; and empowering community residents to acquire the knowledge, skills and resources they need to succeed and provide optimal outcomes for children and families.
Family Success Centers are characterized by:
- A welcoming homelike setting that reflects the community
- Engages its residents and offers direct services, activities and resources that promote family well-being and empowerment
- Collaborates with community partners to assemble all available resources into an integrated service system that addresses the unique needs of the neighborhood
- Broad-based participation and community involvement
- The design and delivery of services affirm the rich ethnic and cultural diversity that characterizes the community
Centers strive to ensure that families receive the support and connections they need in the least intrusive manner possible
All Centers provide an array of education, enrichment, and support services to help strengthen families and improve the quality of life and well-being for all community residents. Depending on available resources, some services are provided directly by the Family Success Center and others are offered through collaborative relationships with other community based groups and organizations.
The framework for service delivery embodies the Department of Children and Families' Core Values and is grounded in the New Jersey Standards of Prevention Programs: Building Success through Family Support, the Protective Factors outlined in the nationally recognized Strengthening Families Program, and the Principles of Family Support practice. All Family Success Centers integrate these defining elements into their direct service operations.
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.
Standards for Prevention Programs:
Building Success through Family Support
|Conceptual Standards||Practice Standards||Administrative Standards|
|Family centered||Flexible and responsive||Sound program structure & practice|
|Community based||Partnership approach||Committed caring staff|
|Culturally sensitive & competent||Links with information & formal supports||Data collection & documentation|
|Early start||Universally available & voluntary||Measurable outcomes & program evaluations|
|Developmentally appropriate||Comprehensive & integrated||Adequate funding & long range plans|
|Participants as partners||Easily accessible||Participant and community collaboration|
|Empowerment and strength based approaches||Long term and adequate intensity|| |
|Protective Factors for Strengthening Families|
|Parental Resilience: A parent's ability to manage all types of challenges and find ways to solve problems, builds and sustains trusting relationships including relationships with their children|
|Social Connections: Friends, family and community provide emotional support, help solve problems, offer parenting advice and give concrete assistance to parents|
|Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development: Information about child development and appropriate expectations for children's behavior help parents see children in a positive light and promote healthy development|
|Concrete Support in times of need: Meeting basic needs like food, shelter, clothing and health care is essential; adequate services and supports must be in place to provide stability, treatment and help for families in crisis|
|Social & Emotional Competence of Children: a child's ability to interact positively with others, self-regulate behavior and effectively communicate feelings positively impact their relationships with family, other adults, and peers|
|Nurturing and Attachment: The importance of early bonding and nurturing throughout childhood building close bonds and help parents better understand, respond to, and communicate with their children|
|Effective Problem Solving and Communication Skills: A parent, caregiver or family's ability to identify their goals, consider challenges, set realistic approaches to overcome challenges and communicate effectively with others helps families reach their goals|
|Healthy (Marriages) Relationships: Developing and sustaining relationships with diminish the levels of conflict and other attributes such as affectionate parents, high self-esteem, or appropriate role models help children and youth achieve positive outcomes|