Serving Summit County since 1993
FIRC has continuously worked to find gaps in community services and fill them with our programs. We strive to give families the support they need to be successful parents and community members.
Why do families struggle in Summit County?
It’s nearly impossible for people to earn what it takes to live in Summit County. Many people have to pay 40-60% of their income towards housing, which leaves little for the other basic needs. When parents are facing financial stress, children usually feel the results. This is why FIRC works with families to set long-term goals, obtain year-round jobs and adjust budgets to avoid future financial crisis.
The following are the impacts our programs have on families and the efforts of helping them achieve stability.
Investing in the future
For every DOLLAR spent on EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION —$17 is saved in future truancy expenses, social services programs and prison costs.
As the person ages, it requires more money to make a change that will ultimately have less of an impact.
Knowledge of parenting and child development:
Parents who have some knowledge of basic child development are likely to have more realistic expectations of their children. With that knowledge, parents are better able to provide the right amount of nurturing, supervision, and guidance. When parents understand their roles in their children’s lives and learn about specific parenting techniques and strategies, they can form positive relationships with their children and have options for appropriate responses to typical child behaviors.
FIRC’s Parenting Class Attendance last year for parents with children ages 0-18
- 238 parents attended classes on specific topics
- 264 parents attended Dialogue Over Dinner, a monthly meeting connecting experts with parents to discuss topics affecting adolescents.
- 47 parents attended multi-session workshops
- 25 parents and kids attended Cooking Matters cooking and nutrition classes
Home visitation last year for parents with children ages 0-5
- 177 total children served through home visitation
- 1,897 total home visits completed
Social groups to build connections with other parents
- 281 fathers attended a father-specific class or monthly group
- 366 women attended Mamacitas, a monthly empowerment group for Spanish-speaking women
Resilient parents are stronger parents. In times of stress or crisis, their children are less likely to be abused or neglected. When parents are depressed, or too consumed by their own problems, they often have difficulty providing for their children’s needs. Resilient parents, however, have more patience with their children, especially in times of stress.
- 3,500 clients last year were helped one or more of FIRC’s services. All programs have the goal of building parental resilience, which results in stronger families.
Breaking the Cycle
FIRC provides the tools for families to break the cycle of risk factors that can lead to child abuse or neglect, developmental delays and financial instability.
Importance of providing concrete support in times of crisis:
Concrete Support in times of need helps avert the following negative outcomes by ensuring that the basic needs of families and children are met.
Impacts of homelessness and housing instability
- Compared to poor, housed children, homeless children have worse physical and mental health, more developmental delays, more behavioral issues, poorer school attendance and performance, and other negative conditions
- Even housing instability (not necessarily homelessness) negatively impacts children. Moving three or more times is associated with increased behavioral, emotional, and school-related problems
- 268 families received housing assistance last year to avoid eviction
- 34 households received foreclosure prevention counseling last year to help families stay in their home
Impacts of food insecurity
- Children growing up in food-insecure families are vulnerable to poor health and stunted development from the earliest stages of life
- Studies have found that food insecurity has been associated with health problems for children that may hinder their ability to function normally and participate fully in school and other activities.
- Children who experience food insecurity may be at higher risk for behavioral issues and social difficulties.
- 1,839 people used the FIRC food bank last year. While guidelines permit households to visit the food bank once per month, 79% of households visited the food bank 1-3 times during the year.
Medical Assistance and Insurance Enrollment
- 37 households received financial assistance last year with the cost of urgently needed medical care
- 223 individuals received assistance with the process of applying for Medicaid or CHP+ health insurance programs last year
FIRC’s Healthy Families program promotes healthy behaviors through parent engagement, education connections, nutrition and exercise programs. FIRC believes the foundation of a healthy family is to live and learn together. FIRC works to develop the essential parenting skills of setting boundaries, utilizing positive discipline, school engagement and exemplifying healthy nutrition and exercise habits to help families create a healthy future. Engaged and educated parents build momentum towards a healthy future.
Impacts of the Healthy Families Program
- Parent education and engagement
- Building relationships with children
- Positive discipline
- Improving communication
- Reducing child obesity
- Promoting exercise and nutrition
- Parents and children learning together to create a healthy future
- Foundation of a healthy family is to live and learn together
- Providing to tools to build healthy behaviors