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 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 and or to make a referral contact Sharon Collins Newton.
- 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 Meg Caron in the Berkshires or Jennifer Sweatland in the Pioneer Valley.
- Pittsfield Community Connection (PCC) is leading a comprehensive effort to support young people in Pittsfield and their families. Through a unique initiative PCC tackles individual, family and neighborhood risk factors that contribute to young people not accessing the opportunities they need to be successful. For more information contact Barry King.
- 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, Jim Summers, and Franklin County, Kim Lochel.
- 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.