Strengthening the Christie Administration's network of programs and services that support New Jersey's most vulnerable families, Governor Chris Christie and Department of Children and Families Commissioner Allison Blake today announced $12 million in funding this year for New Jersey's Family Success Centers (FSC). Securing this funding in the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget, the Christie Administration has expanded access to the services provided to New Jersey's families and communities with seven additional FSCs being established throughout the state. The Governor and the Commissioner made the announcement at the Horizon Family Success Center in Jersey City, a family-centered neighborhood gathering place where community residents can come for family support, information and services.
"Family Success Centers are doing vital work with some of our children and families who need it most, changing lives and positively influencing communities one family at a time," said Governor Christie. "That's why we've made a commitment to these centers, the children they serve, and their families, by protecting $12 million in funding -- $9.5 million in State funding along with $2.5 million in federal funds -- and increasing the number of Family Success Centers from 42 to 49. The result has been a nearly 63 percent increase in the numbers of families we are serving, strengthening our record of making New Jersey a place where children and their families have access to the tools they need to succeed."
Recently, the Christie Administration provided $1.68 million to establish seven new Family Success Centers in six counties across the state. There are currently 49 Family Success Centers operating in every county in New Jersey. Since 2010, the number of unduplicated families served by the centers have increased by nearly 63 percent, from 37,820 to 61,755.
The goal of the FSC is to strengthen families and empower individuals to acquire the knowledge they need to raise healthy and happy children; this includes connecting parents to other wrap around services available to support themselves and their children. A key element of each FSC is its Parent Advisory Board, an effective way for parents to become stewards of their respective communities, helping to develop services that are unique to the geographic area that work for them and their families.
Commissioner Blake added, "Our goal is to provide parents and families access to the services, supports and resources they need at the Family Success Center before they find themselves in a crisis. We want to help guide and support parents while they are raising and providing care to their children, even when faced with difficulties that are stressful."
The Horizon Family Success Center receives $240,000 in state funding per year. They currently serve approximately 300 Jersey City families annually.
Some of the free, bilingual and culturally competent services provided at the Horizon FSC include supportive counseling for parents raising children; classes and support groups for families, single parents and teens; parent-child activities; and a variety of workshops on topics such as stress reduction, financial literacy, leadership/empowerment, education, employment, domestic violence, nutritional awareness, retirement resources, and financial assistance, to name a few.
To learn more about the Family Success Centers located throughout New Jersey, visit www.nj.gov/dcf and click the "Families" tab on the home page.