Over the last five years, Families First for Mississippi has successfully served all 82 Mississippi counties by providing Youth Development and Parenting/Life Skills programming, with services delivered by two community agencies: the Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC) and the Family Resource Center (FRC). This statewide program seeks to strengthen families of all backgrounds and life circumstances by offering youth development and parenting education through seminars, workshops, classes and presentations. These services are provided at local schools, community centers, churches and state agency offices. While Families First has created a tremendous positive impact thus far, it has the potential to be much more dynamic in its services and scope.
This fall Families First for Mississippi is expanding to provide services for all ages, from infancy to senior adulthood. According to Executive Director of MCEC, Nancy New and Executive Director of FRC, Christi Webb, the main goal is to impact the entire family by connecting the dots between all Mississippi family services.
Current and new program centers will provide more in-house services including early childhood and adult literacy programs, high school diploma and credit recovery, employability and soft skills development, youth development and healthy choices, parenting and fatherhood curriculum; as well as continuing to deliver services outside of the brick-and-mortar centers. This “whole family” approach will meet the needs of children, adolescents, teens, adults and the elderly. The expansion will follow a holistic approach to community education by assessing family and community needs, and providing services from “womb to tomb.” The expanded program will utilize partnerships with state and community agencies to both fill in service gaps and ensure that quality services are not being unnecessarily replicated.
For more information about Families First for Mississippi, visit www.familiesfirstforms.org.