Creating a community in which all children are supported to reach their full potential
About our mission
The first five years of a child’s life are critical for development. A child’s brain develops more and faster in these first five years than at any other time in life. When these years are filled with safe, nurturing, enriching and stress-free experiences, a child can grow into a healthy, curious, resilient and thriving adult. Adults who later get involved in and shape the future of our community. That’s why Family Futures is dedicated to:
- Educating parents about positive parenting practices
- Offering support when help is needed
- Providing tools that let parents keep track of their own
When we all set up children and families for success, communities thrive.
The challenge we face
Kent County has a big challenge to overcome. In 2011 alone, 47.9% of children, or an estimated 1 million children, experienced one or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). An ACE—a stressful or traumatic experience that happens during the critical years when a child’s brain is forming neurons, connections and coping mechanisms—can lead to challenges with health, behavior and welfare later in life.
This is a staggering challenge, but we can prevent our community’s children from experiencing toxic stress and trauma in their early years. That’s the driving force behind the work we do in our Connections and Healthy Families Kent County programs.
We don’t do this work alone.
Our community has a wealth of fellow organizations, foundations and government resources who are working toward the same goal: making sure all our kids have the best start in life. For a new parent, it can be overwhelming navigating all the options that are available. That’s why we’ve made it our work to get to know the resources that are out there, and to collaborate with the partners who can bring you the best solutions to your parenting challenges. Together with our partners, we can achieve far more than we ever could alone.
We offer our parents access to the same reliable, accurate screening tools that early childhood educators and pediatrician’s use. By tracking your child’s physical and social-emotional development, parents can have the peace of mind of knowing what to expect and getting a head start if additional help is needed.
Recent research finds that parents and caregivers who strengthen their parenting skills in certain areas can increase the well-being of their children and families. These emerging skills might not have been passed down from generation to generation, so we are making it our mission to share the resources and strategies needed to support you in becoming the parent you know you can be.
Community of resources
There are a lot of family resources and services out there. It can be overwhelming to know what is available and how to get it. Family Futures has been working in this field for decades, mapping out who offers what and making introductions to the parents who would benefit. When you need a little extra support, we do the research so you don’t have to.
What parents are saying
“I am so glad I found out about the Connections program. Even as a second-time mom I find it comforting when doing the ASQ and getting the results. I don’t have anything but good things to say about this program!”
“Thank you for offering the Connections program as a service to families! What I appreciated most was the follow up if either of my kids had an area where they had a lower score. I appreciate this service.”
“Healthy Families has made me feel heard as a mother. I’ve had a great place to come to with problems my family has faced. I feel supported.”
—Healthy Families Mom
“Healthy Families has made a huge and positive impact on my life. It made me a better me for my boys!”