"It catches; it's like fire. So, when families are stronger, you have stronger communities, and I don't know anybody that doesn't want a stronger community." - Kim, Atlanta Site
What does United Way Strengthening Families Do?
UWSF begins with the idea that families are our greatest untapped natural resource and, building on the work of the CSSP, reframes the protective factors as critical and beneficial to all families and children. By using UWSF, local United Ways and their community partners are reframing their work around the protective factors, resulting in new funding approaches, new training and support for community partners, more family-centered service delivery, more robust and responsive 2-1-1 resource and referral, workplace integration, and families and communities who have the tools to mobilize and find solutions to challenges.
The Strengthening Families approach is not new. Many communities are embracing family strengthening work that supports the development of effective parenting. Integrating the Strengthening Families approach into local United Ways will serve to either reinforce and strengthen these existing efforts, or provide a framework to plan and implement family strengthening initiatives. It is clear that effective parenting skills allow children to develop and learn in a loving and nurturing environment. Families with these skills are more likely to prevent family and community problems, resulting in stronger families and stronger communities-the core of the United Way mission.