Child & Family Well-Being
We know that children grow up best in families, yet all families need help at some point. Partnering with families is the best way to promote healthy, happy children, so BCF supports families in recognizing and building on their strengths to address challenges. BCF helps families build skills, confidence and vital community connections — all of which bring opportunity and stability to children and families.
Our array of programs is designed to strengthen all families to develop the skills they need to keep their children safe and build a strong family of support. Programs include:
- The Young Family Corridor of Care includes parenting and family education classes and support groups, early education and care, teen parent education assistance, the Redfield House residence for young families, and staff to guide and support young families. For more information contact Lindsay Brillon.
- The Family Resource Center helps children and families resolve challenges, strengthen their families, and connect to neighbors and other needed services. Learn more.
- Parents as Teachers shares the best strategies in early development, learning and health of young children by supporting and engaging their parents and caregivers. A certified Parent Educator works with parents and caregivers in their homes to aide them in becoming their children’s first and best teacher. This program is open to families with children ages newborn through 5 years old. For more information contact Lindsay Brillon.
- Community Centered Family Support workers help families access community support, strengthen parent-child relationships, and improve communication with their children’s schools. Each family is matched with a Family Support Worker to build on their strengths and enhance their parenting skills, provide financial management assistance and address housing issues. For more information contact Gina Blake in the Berkshires or Gail Fries in the Pioneer Valley.
- Pittsfield Community Connection is leading a comprehensive effort to support some of the most vulnerable youth in Pittsfield and their families. Through a unique initiative PCC tackles individual, family and neighborhood risk factors that contribute to youth violence. The program targets a set of youth and families concentrated in the neighborhoods with the highest levels of poverty, crime and educational truancy in the city. For more information contact Jon Schnauber.
- Family Networks, Lead Agencies (Greenfield and Pittsfield) staff work with the Department of Children and Families to ensure that children and families receive individualized services necessary to ensure safety, permanency, and well-being for all children. Staff act as consultants and connectors for DCF staff, to access financial management support, family team facilitation, parent support and education and placements in residential or foster care. For more information in Berkshire County, contact, Pam Fitzpatrick and Franklin County, Michelle Tyer.
- Family Partners links parents/caregivers with a “family partner.” These Family Partners are mentors with life experience as the parent or caregiver of a child or youth with behavioral health needs. These partners are trained to provide support and case management to families, and to work as part of a team to make informed decisions about the best resources for a child, stabilize families, and better meet children’s mental health needs. For more information in Berkshire County, contact Gina Blake, and in Hampshire County, Gail Fries.
- CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a community-based program that recruits, trains and supports citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities. Volunteer advocates—empowered directly by the courts—offer judges the critical information they need to ensure that each child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care. Volunteers stay with children until they are placed in loving permanent homes. Learn more.