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Institute On Family and Neighborhood Life

Safe Families

All families face difficult situations from time to time. With disturbing frequency, families face  challenges such as poverty, separation and divorce, illness, or incarceration of a family member.  Even routine hassles of daily living can prove to be the “last straw” when parents face chronic stressors or when everyday challenges occur against a background of exceptional need.

In such circumstances, the consequences for children are often dependent on the support the family receives in the form of emotional support, information, or direct assistance. Sometimes needed assistance may be in the form of person-power providing child care or home repairs. At other times, it is material when help is given to pay an overdue bill. But when families lack such resources, difficult situations can quickly turn into crisis situations in which parents’ ability to meet basic needs is compromised, resulting in the potential for decreased safety for their children.

Safe Families, an outgrowth of Strong Communities, seeks to build a network of volunteers willing to open their hearts, appointment books, checkbooks, and sometimes their homes to children and parents in need of care and shelter. To enlist such volunteers and provide them with support, Strong Communities strives to engage partner organizations across the community to participate in Safe Families.

Individual and family volunteers are needed to provide mentoring, occasional child care, material assistance, help with problem solving, financial education and counseling, and temporary care and shelter.

Organizations can support Safe Families by providing leadership in mobilizing communities to give greater support to families, enlisting individuals and groups to offer time and resources to ensure children’s well being, supporting volunteers who accept such responsibilities, and planning and advocacy to ensure that help is available to all families with young children.

For more information on how you can help support families, click here.

If you wish to apply to be a Partner Family providing support to a family facing special challenges, click here for an application.

For answers to frequently asked questions, click here.

For information on all aspects of Safe Families, contact Stacey Scott at scott5@clemson.edu.

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