A Primary Connection (APC), the South Lane Family Resource Center, offers programs that emphasize family support, child development, and child and domestic abuse prevention. The Center is staffed by early childhood experts, family practice personnel, educational professionals, and trained volunteers. Our programs provide an emotionally and physically safe environment for community members to foster the development of language and thinking skills as well as social, physical, and emotional growth. Free, ongoing parenting classes are offered as well as support groups and workshops on stress management, positive discipline, and strengthening family bonds. In addition to the structured programs and activities, two bi-lingual, bi-cultural family advocates provide crisis intervention services and connect families to treatment programs as needed. A Primary Connection is supported in part by South Lane School District.
The Family Resource Center provides services for prevention, intervention, and networking to treatment services. The continuum of services at A Primary Connection includes:
- Support for infants, toddlers and pre-school children and their families: Ages & Stages Parent Education, Make Parenting a Pleasure Parent Education, Playgroups and Parent Networking, and Family Activity Nights.
- Supports for school-aged children and their families: Reaching Out Mentoring Program (ROMP) and Strengthening Families Parent Education.
- General community support & referral to: Community Sharing, Family Relief Nursery, Department of Human Services, Healthy Kids Initiative, and other community agencies.
Our target groups are children, newborn through six years of age, but we serve all children and their parents in the South Lane School District and Creswell. The Center serves over 400 non-repeating clients and their children a year. Last year the number of Dads at the Center with their children had increased due to layoffs while the Moms are working. Our drop-in hours are Tuesday and Thursday, 8:00 to 4:00, and we average 50 to 60 people each drop in session. For the families at home with young children, the Center is a welcome relief from the stress created by isolation.
One of the highlights for many pre-school aged children is that they can eat lunch in the school cafeteria. Families may qualify for regular, reduced or free lunches, the same as school aged children. This gives many children a healthy and much needed meal twice a week.
A much appreciated community outreach has been from Katie Thomas and Dr. Christian Stowell who have worked with the families coming to the Center to provide medical care to children who have no access of medical services. They recognize the strength and success and need of the agency’s outreach and have helped to support these families.
As a result of The Family Resource Center’s programs for families, participating parents will utilize positive parenting skills, develop a stronger support network and enhance their ability to resolve issues and end negative patterns. The center provides access to educational materials, games, and parenting support. The crucial development of communication skills, trust and autonomy is nourished, thus strengthening the family structure.
Strengthening the family structure results in strengthening the parent-child bond, which helps promote self-esteem among children and parents and improve parent-child interactions. Hispanic families have the opportunity to increase their mastery of the English language and gain necessary skills to become active members of the community and participate fully in their child’s education. Children interact with one another and learn appropriate behaviors, while parents have an opportunity to learn from other parents.