Our mission is to prevent the abuse and neglect of children by providing education, family support, and treatment.
We respond to the needs of all families with an approach that is welcoming and collaborative.
Families First is a Colorado leader in the field of child abuse prevention. Founded in 1986 in response to the social need for emergency care for children who were at risk of abuse and neglect, we created a residential center for children who were as young as three years old. Over the years, the scope of services provided has expanded to further enhance our mission of preventing the abuse and neglect of children by providing education, family support and treatment. In 2017, Families First impacted over 5,000 children, youth and adults.
Our goals align with the nationally recognized protective factors for Strengthening Families, as researched by the Center for the Study of Social Policy. Each of our programs addresses three or more of the following components:
*Enhance attachment between family members
*Provide parents with the tools necessary for parental emotional resilience
*Increase parents' knowledge of child development
*Provide social connections for families, and
*Cultivate systems for parents to have concrete support in times of need
Families First provides a continuum of services in English and Spanish that a child or parent can participate in that best meets their needs. It offers a statewide support-line for any parent needing information, referrals or support. Parent education classes, support groups, and in-home services equip parents with knowledge and resources to prepare their children for a stronger start in life and greater success in school and at home. Innovative prevention and intervention programs develop social emotional competence in adults and children.
Megan's heart is in the right place. She has been the legal guardian and adoptive mom to a 12-year-old boy, a boy who happens to be the son of a foster daughter Megan had provided a home to years before. The foster daughter had seen her share of troubles: She began using drugs when she was still a teen and was reduced to living on the streets. Megan adopted the boy when he was 2 years old. The child did not bond to his mother or Megan in his early years and was subsequently diagnosed with attachment disorder. Megan made the choice to attend our parent support and education group sessions held by Families First. After attending our programs and receiving additional support for local resources in the community, Megan is now able to provide her adoptive son a firm but loving environment that provides consistency.
6 year old Ben was a child who would completely ignore rules and directions and insisted on doing things his own way. He was continually disruptive; often times separating himself from the children in the children's group and behaving inappropriately to distract other children. Children's Group Leaders worked hard using behavior modification techniques to treat Ben. Now, after a few months, he will engage in group activities and is more likely to follow directions when he finds a task challenging. Ben is also willing to be helpful, enjoying responsibilities like passing out snacks, helping smaller children with projects or reading books that the entire group can enjoy. Ben has come so far in his social adaptability that he suggested the group games Charades during one of the last sessions.