Mission: To empower children, adults, families and communities in Fairfield County to realize their potential.
About the Organization: Established a hundred and twenty-eight years ago, Family Centers today offers quality education and human service programs that address the ever-changing challenges impacting residents of Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, and New Canaan, Connecticut. Through twenty-five programs and services, the organization serves more than twenty-one thousand residents of Fairfield County each year. The organization's programs include preschool and early care programs for young children, bereavement and family counseling services, primary medical and dental services for school-aged children, vocational and self-sufficiency support, English language and basic literacy education, and mental health services.
Current Programs: The organization's programs and services fall into three broad categories:
Opportunities Through Education initiatives include Early Care and Education sites that offer a multi-sensory curriculum emphasizing discovery, cooperation, and communication; Family First In Education, a collaborative effort between Family Centers, the Greenwich YMCA, and Greenwich Public Schools focused on structured afterschool programming and parent involvement; and the Greenwich Parents as Teachers (GPAT) program, a key component of the Greenwich United Way's Early Childhood Achievement Gap Solutions (ECAGS) program.
Health Care Connections initiatives include Care to Care, which works to provide health services to licensed child care and early learning centers in Stamford; Center for HOPE, a respected regional resource for bereavement and critical illness support; the Den For Grieving Kids, a safe, caring place where children, teens, and families can explore their feelings about the loss of a parent, sibling, or other family member; an Early Care and Education program accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC); and free-standing medical centers located in six schools in Stamford and at Kids in Crisis in Greenwich.
Thriving Families and Communities initiatives include the Community and Supportive Services Program, which works to strengthen Stamford's public housing communities by empowering residents to become active members and leaders within their communities and beyond; the Family Self-Sufficiency Program, which provides public housing residents with the tools they need to attain economic self-sufficiency; Friendly Connections, which offers a variety of in-person and telephone-based services designed for the region's aging population; a Housing Resource program that locates and places clients living with long-term mental illness in safe, stable and affordable housing in lower Fairfield County; an Intensive Family Preservation Program, a twelve-week program in which clinicians provide families with therapeutic and case management services; a Parenting Education Program (PEP) focused on helping divorced parents foster positive parenting following a divorce; and Literacy Volunteers, which offers free English language instruction and basic literacy programs for adults and families in small group settings at locations in both Greenwich and Stamford.
COVID-19 Response: The evolving coronavirus emergency has impacted the lives of countless families and individuals living in lower Fairfield County. To help provide a lift to the twenty-one thousand children, families, and adults it serves, the organization has established an Emergency Client Assistance Fund to help cover the costs of basic living necessities during this uncertain time, while its COVID-19 Emergency Response Team is taking proactive measures to ensure the safety of its staff and clients. In addition, the Family Centers Health Care clinic at Wilbur Peck Court is open and available for acute medical and dental needs by appointment. For updates on the organization's programs, most of which remain in operation, residents of Fairfield County are encouraged to visit familycenters.org/covid-update or call (203) 869-4848.
Website: The Family Centers provides information about the organization's history, executive team, and leadership council; detailed information on its many programs and services; information about its support and therapy groups for children, adults, and families in Stamford, Greenwich and Darien; a downloadable copy of its 2019 annual report and press releases from 2020 and 2019; a video gallery; and information for people who would like to volunteer or submit a volunteer project and/or support the organization with a donation.
Funding: Family Centers is funded by foundations, the state and federal government, and individual donors.