Family Resource Centers are making a difference

To the Editor: The scientific evidence is solid that helping parents today improves the health and well-being of future generations. And yet, the current state budget under consideration does not provide enough funding for Family Resource Centers or primary prevention programs. I’d like to share a story from the Family Resource Center at Families First in Portsmouth and Goodwin Community Health in Somersworth to illustrate why I strongly advocate that lawmakers fully fund family centers like ours. Two summers ago, a grandmother received a phone call that said she needed to pick up her 10-year-old grandson that day or he would be going into foster care. Not long after, she found her way to our grandparent support group. Here she experienced firsthand that talking with others helps promote healing and decreases shame, stigma and painful isolation. We connected her to concrete supports and she had the opportunity to develop knowledge of parenting and child development through a 12-week, evidence-based parenting program.

Over the past two years her grandson has had an incredible transformation. He used to be behind in school, would hoard food, was constantly worried and hyper-focused on his surroundings, but now he is healthy, happy and thriving.

Our Family Resource Center programs are helping to decrease the risk that this woman’s grandson will struggle with the negative health and social consequences of childhood adversity.

To continue to serve New Hampshire families, we need the financial resources to make this happen. Family Resource Centers make a difference in our communities.

PATRICE BAKER

Portsmouth

 
 
Thursday, April 15, 2021
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