While a Focus on Families Task Force to plan and serve as a catalyst for community mobilization is being formed, the opportunity to immediately meet with parents, residents, and businesses in several key areas has presented itself through outreach by UWGUC to leaders in several communities: Plainfield, Roselle and Linden. The following information is a description of the goals associated with local Community Conversations, the first of which will take place in Roselle on February 17th.
Goal of Community Conversations:
- To work with community leaders to identify opportunities for community engagement, and plan and host events to meet mutual needs;
- To raise the awareness of parents in each community of Focus on Families, the Family Success model, and services and supports available in their community to support child and family well being;
- To help engage parents in participating in a larger County Family Forum that will include presentations on some key services in the County, including the WIB – soft skills training soft skills training through UCC, One Stop; mortgage assistance; assistance with becoming a US Citizen; and Family Success Centers;
- To mobilize parents in each community to participate in identifying and advocating for community needs, defining service strategies that are most helpful to families, providing input into priorities for funding, and participating in educating other community members about services available;
- To develop a Parent Leadership Academy to empower community members through parent leadership opportunities, increased access to education, and information about the resources and supports available to support family success. The Academy will promote the vision of the Union County Focus on Families.
- To mobilize the greater Union County community to integrate economic development, workforce development and family support strategies to assure that all families in the County, particularly those most in need, can access the resources and support they need to most effectively raise their children to become full, responsible, productive and contributing members of their communities.
Discussion Questions will include:
What do families in your community need?
Are these needs being met? If so, how? What services and supports are available?
How can parents be involved in local and state family success efforts through participation, advocacy and leadership?
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