Family Resource Centers: Parent Resources
Family Resource Centers provide information, support, and services to parents, guardians, grandparents, and families in their communities. The wide range of supports, including parent education, playgroups, financial skill building, job readiness classes, and referals to substance use and mental health treatment services, help families raise strong and healthy children. When families have the supports they need, their children do better. The Grapevine Family and Community Center in Antrim is one of many FRCs in the Granite State. New Hampshire needs a system of FRCs to support statewide access to supports and services for children and families.
One mother describes her experiences at The Grapevine:
“The Grapevine was mentioned in casual conversation at a local monthly church supper, just a couple weeks after we moved into our house. The draw for us was the community feel, and the chance for our little one to have play time and mom to have a safe, comfortable place to discuss life as a parent. The children are well cared for and the parent groups, led by a professional educator, offer structured conversation about parenting and the struggles and joys of it all. The relationships made through the Grapevine have been an invaluable resource for us as we settle in.
In addition to the parenting groups, we have also enjoyed some of the other resources that have been made available to us, such as financial planning and tax preparation. These resources are so beneficial, not just to our family, but to the community as a whole, and we are eternally grateful that the Grapevine is able to provide them.”
Parenting groups especially foster a supportive environment of learning and community. Tori Gelinas says:
“We’ve been a part of the Better Beginnings parent-child group, the Better Beginnings for babies as well as The Learning Vine preschool cooperative. Each program fit my family’s needs at the time. I love the atmosphere that The Grapevine offers. I feel safe to discuss any feelings or problems I’m having with the amazing support staff in each of their programs. The diversity I have seen in each group that I’ve attended has been beneficial when I’m looking for advice or just another viewpoint of a situation. We help and support each other through challenging and trying times as well as celebrate with each other.”
These resources make parents and families feel safe, encouraged, and empowered. Below, Julie Brown writes about her experiences with family resource center communities and the lessons she’s learned:
“And, oh, how I enjoyed that sacred time away from my kids, sitting with other parents, enjoying a cup of coffee, checking in on how my week is going, asking parenting questions and getting super helpful advice! Parent group educator, Carol Lunan, is amazing. I’ve so enjoyed her gentle, thoughtful approach to parenting and all the topics she raises.
The Grapevine has had a huge effect on my life as I raise little ones. Whether I’m trying to broach the topic of death with my daughter, or if both kids are having meltdowns and I’ve had next to no sleep. These are the times when I can breathe and think about some of the tools I’ve learned from the Grapevine. It has absolutely helped me navigate through those tough parenting waters and helped me to be a better parent, and I’m so grateful for it.
Lastly, what I love about the Grapevine is the community. Aside from the bonds I’ve made with other families, I see people help at events, donate their time and their services, and teens and retirees volunteer with childcare. It’s truly the perfect example of a community-supported organization. When I expressed my passion in story-telling, Carol Lunan suggested we start a story night. And just like that, we started the Vine Story Hour, which takes place at the Avenue A Teen Center.
I have so loved being part of the Grapevine community. I wish every town could have a resource as valuable and special as this one.”