What are Family Success Centers?
Family Success Centers are warm and welcoming, neighborhood gathering places, that’s open to everyone in the community, offering support, information, programs, services and connections to resources.
The Weequahic Family Success Center is a community resource hub located in the heart of the Southward district of Newark, NJ. The Center is built on several principles and core values that shape the work we do and how we serve the community. The Weequahic Family Success Center is a prevention program that aims to enrich the lives of children and families by strengthening families and neighborhoods. Also, to provide integrated, locally based services, reduce isolation and promote connections. This includes community education through workshops and presentations, hands on family activities, access to health related, employment related and housing related services as well as information, supportive services and referrals.
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The WFSC (Weequahic Family Success Center) is guided by ten core services and nine family support principles that help shape the FSC and give it the tools to help the community we serve. The core values are:
What do Family Success Centers provide?
Access to child and maternal health
Assisting families with accessing information on child, maternal and family health services, including referrals to local health care services and linkages to publicly-funded insurance programs such as family care, Medicaid and WIC enrollment, meals on wheels and health screenings.
Also, assisting families in how to access and how to navigate family health service systems including assisting in the completion of paper work when needed.
Assistance families with finances, link families with employment related services, job skills, job readiness programs, resume writing, income related services, TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and SSI/SSDI.
Information and Referral
Connect families to other agencies to meet identified needs, off-site public or private resources, formal or informal services, make contact with other agency’s on behalf of a family to refer and follow up with families.
Life Skills workshops are designed to increase family’s knowledge and skills necessary for everyday living. Goal-setting, decision making and problem solving, communication, healthy lifestyles and relationships, nutrition, personal safety and citizenship. Training Educational programs, classes, presentations workshops with a focus on skills and knowledge that improves a families’ quality of life. Skills such as financial literacy, dealing with stress and anger.
Helping families find appropriate housing and receiving referrals for section 8, temporary shelter, heat and utility assistance. The housing workshops will provide knowledge regarding owning vs. renting and how to take legal action against your landlord for violation of fair housing laws, or for breach of contract if they failed to make needed repairs or took unwarranted deductions from your deposit. Also, how to contact a local landlord-tenant attorney to discuss your particular situation and learn about your options. In addition, tenants can learn about taking good care of the property and keeping the property safe, paying the agreed rent (even if repairs are needed or you are in dispute with the landlord). State law regulates several rent-related issues, including late fees, the amount of notice (at least 30 days in New Jersey) landlords must give tenants to raise the rent and how much time (30 days in New Jersey) a tenant has to pay overdue rent or move before a landlord can file for eviction.
Provide structured activities for positive parent/child interactions between both the parent and child (ren). Parents and children spend time together in guided activities that they learn to do at Weequahic Family Success Center and at home.
These programs and workshops teach parents about child development, learning to positively communicate with children and teens, as well as, discipline techniques that do not involve corporal punishment. Developing healthy parent-child relationships, nurturing and attachment. Parents will learn about programs and services that can improve parenting skills, parent support groups programs and services that can include classes, mentoring, and research based programs designed to impart practical knowledge and skills about parenting.
*The parent education programs and workshops at the Weequahic Family Success Center are community based and may not be suffice for court-ordered parenting classes required in the state of New Jersey according to New Jersey Parent’s Education Act, N.J.S.A. § 2A:34-12.1 – § 2A:34-12.8.
The team at WFSC, helps families connect with needed services, provide public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policies. They teach and support self-advocacy skills, assist families in navigating systems and can provide support to families at meetings or appointments when requested.
Visit families, who are unable to come out to the center, to engage them in services at the WFSC. Also to cultivate relationships and make social connections.
Family Success Center Plans
For families who have complex needs that will take time to resolve, such as getting a GED, a job, child-care issues, housing issues, a child in special education, etc. a Family Success Plan can be very helpful. The WFSC uses a strength-based approach in assisting families with the development and completion of their family success plan(s). With the family at side, goals are set, by the family and support provided by the staff at the WFSC, throughout the process.
Shared Leadership - The PCAB (Parent Community Advisory Board)
The Parent Community Advisory Board is made up of community members, participating in the governance, influence and development of activities, programs and services. Also, helping to identify unmet community needs and the participation in the centers’ evaluation(s).
The WFSC advisory boards’ goal is to have an advisory board that is made up of at least 51% parents served by the center. They are uniquely qualified to provide valuable information as to what the needs of the community are. Their involvement in center life are critical to the centers success.
FSC’s are reflective of the cultures in the community. Understanding the difference between cultural diversity, cultural competence and cultural reciprocity. Also, to consistently engage in a process of ongoing mutual understanding and appreciation of one another’s unique culture.
In addition, the WFSC engages the PCAB in the following areas:
- Community Involvement in decision-making
- Building parent leaders
- Strength-based approaches to shared responsibility
- Two-way process of information sharing and understanding
- Relationships are based on mutual respect
- Staff represent cultures in the community
The Family Success Center works with families based nine guiding support principles named Principles of Family Support Practice which are as follows:
- Staff and families work together in relationships based on equality and respect.
- Staff enhance families’ capacity to support the 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 multicultural 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.
The Weequahic Family Success Center Mission and Vision Statement
To stabilize families and individuals in crisis, especially the working poor, homeless and those in financial need and provide them with financial support and the skills training needed to live on their own.
A greater Essex County community where the well-being of children, families, and individuals are valued, nurtured and supported to maintain a quality of life through self-sufficiency.