Strong Families

The Strong Families goal is to support and strengthen families to promote good parenting for the optimal development of young children. Strong Families programs are intended to help homeless families and families at risk for homelessness. More than $2.4 million of the First 5 Orange County budget was allocated to Strong Families programs in Fiscal Year 2017/18. An additional $82,917 in catalytic expenditures supported homeless prevention and family support services.

Family Support Programs:

  • Family Support Network – Provide comprehensive developmental screening via subcontract with appropriate agencies at various Orange County sites in order to identify with symptoms of developmental, cognitive or speech delays, and/or lack of healthcare coverage and refer them for further evaluation, intervention, and linkage to care.
  • Early Childhood System of Care (ESCOC) – Address health and developmental needs of children to 5 years upon their entry into the child welfare system.  Each child will receive three months of case management services from a Health Care Agency Public Health Nurse who will provide and health and developmental screenings, develop an individualized care plan, coordinate service delivery, and support and educate caregivers around the care plan. Funded jointly by First 5 Orange County and the Orange County Social Services Agency.
  • Parent/Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT) – Provide outpatient mental health, trauma and child abuse-related counseling. The program provides training to parents with children from birth through age five. The program’s objective is to have 75% of parents who complete the PCIT program show a 30% improvement in their parenting skills as reflected in pre- and post- evaluation instruments.
    • Partner: Child Guidance Center
  • Neighborhood Resource Network – Provide services to families at high risk for future substantiation of child maltreatment, specifically those families who have had an initial Child Abuse Report, but will not receive further intervention from Social Services Agency and have at least one child ages 0-5.
    • Partners:
      • Children’s Bureau of Southern California
      • Child Guidance Center
      • Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center
      • Children’s Home Society
      • Social Services Agency
      • Children’s Data Network – University of Southern California
  • Social Services Agency (SSA) Medical Director – First 5 Orange County supports SSA in funding the SSA Medical Director position. The SSA Medical Director assists in maintaining a focus on the health needs of all young children in the child welfare system as set forth in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between First 5 Orange County and SSA.
  • Early Childhood Mental Health Collaborative – A collaborative committed to creating system changes that address behavior concerns, underdiagnosed mental health issues, high expulsion and suspension rates, and other related needs of pre-kindergarten students

Homeless Prevention Programs:

  • Homeless Prevention Program – Transitional, interim and emergency shelter programs to provide housing and support services to families with children ages prenatal through five (5) years of age to help move them from homelessness to permanent housing.
    • Operational Funding Partners (operational funding provides ongoing financial support to homeless providers for expenses to support bed night and improve the quality of supportive services to families):
      • Casa Teresa
      • Colette’s Children’s Home
      • Families Forward
      • Fullerton Interfaith Emergency Shelter
      • Illumination Foundation
      • Mercy House
      • Precious Life Shelter
    • Catalytic Funding Partners (catalytic investments are one-time funding projects designed to increase the capacity and infrastructure of the shelter system, which include the construction and/or operation of emergency shelter and transitional housing facilities throughout Orange County):
      • Casa Teresa
      • Family Assistance Ministries
      • Fullerton Interfaith Emergency Shelter
      • Illumination Foundation
      • Laura’s House
      • Orange County Rescue Mission
  • HomeAid Orange County Essentials for Young Lives Campaign – An annual drive to collect donations of diapers, baby wipes, baby food, and other baby products for distribution to homeless families with young children. Includes funding for legislative support, strategic communications and the Essentials for Young Lives event activities.
  • A2 Cohort – One time funding through a $150,000 First 5 Orange County grant for a six-agency cohort to partner together to analyze the efficacy of current resources for homeless families and inform system changes to end family homelessness.