Contact: Cathy Schrader
Click the links below to view/download county quick guides:
In 1990, the Governor’s Cabinet for Children and Families (GCCF) was formed out of Senate Bill 1. According to the West Virginia Code, § 5-26-1, the GCCF was meant “to achieve the coordination of programs and services to children and families through a cabinet in the governor’s office which is independent from any state agency and which shall act as an interagency cabinet created to nurture a flexible system for the comprehensive, unified, effective and efficient administration of programs and services to children and families which avoids fragmentation and duplication of programs and services.” As a result, statewide Family Resource Networks (FRN’s) were created to help meet the goals of the GCCF through a family-centered, comprehensive, community-based system.
FRN grant proposals were originally solicited in 1991. Interest in the FRN grant proposal was generated from a group of community organizations and agencies from Boone, Clay, Kanawha, and Putnam Counties. In August of 1991, a group of people met at a downtown Charleston church to begin laying the foundation of the Regional Family Resource Network. This initial meeting was convened by the Community council of the Kanawha Valley, an existing organization made up of local agencies and members of the business community. Persons attended the initial meeting from all four counties and included representatives from social services, the Chamber of Commerce, the Jr. League, local churches, local government, Women’s Clubs, University Extension Service, and Consumers.
The Regional Family Resource Network applied for and was subsequently awarded FRN grant funds and later became incorporated in 1992. At around 2001/2002, Clay County separated to become its own FRN, thus leaving the RFRN focusing on Boone, Kanawha, and Putnam Counties. In 2005, FRN’s were moved from the GCCF (which was dissolved with the appointment of a new Governor) and placed under the DHHR umbrella where they currently remain.
Ways we help…
Assessing Community Needs by:
•Conducting surveys throughout the community to identify current needs and opportunities and to find out where members of the community would be willing to commit their efforts.
•Collecting existing data to better inform ourselves and our partners about existing conditions in our community.
•Developing strategies and systems to address community needs.
•Helping other organizations learn and use strategic planning processes to reach their goals.
Providing Resources by:
•Conducting training and learning opportunities for the community.
•Pursuing funding sources to help sustain programs or to start programs that do not exist but are needed.
•Serving as a support system for community programs and services.
•Developing community resource guides to help connect community members to available programs and services while at the same time working to promote information sharing among social service providers.
•Working as a connector to available community services.
Community Organizing by:
•Helping develop groups to address community needs and working to strengthen community partnerships.
•Promoting various projects and programs that improve community culture
•Collaborating with local organizations so all can succeed.
•Encouraging non-profit and for-profit organizations, groups and individuals to work together as all are interconnected in the community.
•Monitoring the successes and the challenges programs and projects face to ensure anticipated goals and outcomes are being reached.
Current Areas Of Work…
Over many years, the RFRN has developed collaborative relationships necessary to identify community needs, develop local strategies to address priorities, secure needed resources, engage community members, and evaluate progress. We believe we are most successful when we all are working together. Some examples of the work of the RFRN include:
•Sponsor events, activities, and programs that benefited local communities and residents
•Coordinate or provided outreach and trainings for area professionals and members of the public
•Develop or maintain partnerships with other organizations, businesses, groups, and funders to build and sustain projects and programs
•Provide in-home parenting education and related activities through the Parents As Teachers program
•Coordinate the Starting Points Family Resource Center, the Starting Points Center, and related activities
•Address substance abuse through prevention related activities
•Hold Community Baby Showers
•Address lack of foster care and services available for foster children
•Facilitate programs and education within the community and school systems
•Promote and sponsor youth leadership programs