Programs & Services

Families First - Nurturing Families Network Program

Helps first-time parents raise healthy children beginning prenatally.

The Families First Program offers the Nurturing Families Network to families having their first child who live in the greater Norwich area. This unique program provides child development education for mothers and fathers to increase their confidence and support them in raising healthy children. Parenthood is a rewarding experience that requires great skill and a lifetime of learning.

Our program uses research based curriculum to assist parents in learning about how their child is developing and introduces nurturing parenting skills to support their relationship with their child.

The program is made up of two key components: Nurturing Connections helps first-time parents by providing emotional support, help with Questions regarding child development, adjustment to parenting and telephone assistance. Home Visiting provides new parents weekly support, education and assistance at home from prenatal to age 5. Families must enroll in our program before their first child reaches three (3) months of age.

Family Support Center

Helps families to build strong support systems and cope with life’s daily struggles.

The Family Support Center is a unique program providing a non-bureaucratic, family friendly “one-stop”, comprehensive center for at-risk families to increase their parenting skills, receive emotional support, stabilize their family and improve access to information and resources.

The Family Support Center Program provides support to parents who are isolated and lack social, family and peer support and benefit from an atmosphere of encouragement and acceptance. Center based services include: a place for families to receive informal counseling, and education from staff, receive information and referrals, utilize a client telephone, prepare meals for their families, and receive basic needs or emergency assistance. The Center also provides baby equipment, formula, diapers clothing and household items as well as   parenting classes, cooking/nutrition classes, adult education/English as a second language programming, socialization activities, and other self-improvement programs.

Children’s services:  While the parents are participating at the center, their children can play in the supervised, developmentally appropriate playrooms with other children.

During summer months the FSC is a feeding site for the federal summer food program for children.  While families are engaging in play, trained professionals and volunteers are able to role model to the children as well as with the parents.  A critical component of the Family Support center is developmental screening, which is provided to over 400 children under age 5 on an annual basis. With the screening comes anticipatory developmental guidance to their families and referral to early intervention/medical screening when needed.

Fatherhood Initiative

Increases positive involvement and interaction between fathers and their children.

This program was created to serve all fathers and father figures as they develop positive relationships with their children. The purpose of the program is to increase positive involvement and interaction between fathers and their children. We work with fathers to help them increase their ability to meet their parental responsibilities of providing social, emotional, medical, educational and financial assistance to their children.

Services provided include:

  • Individualized Attention to Meet the Specific Needs of Each Dad Involved In Our Program
  • Peer Groups
  • Educational Groups
  • Child Care Provided for All Groups
  • Court Advocacy
  • Referrals for Substance Abuse, Employment, Legal Assistance, and Mediation

Appointments recommended, drop-ins welcome.

Great Beginnings - Nurturing Families Network Program

Promotes maternal and child health and fosters child development before and after delivery of your child.

Great Beginnings is a program designed to engage high-risk pregnant mothers, including first time mothers who are not eligible for other programs and non-first time mothers.  Families must enroll in our program before their first child reaches three (3) months of age. Great Beginnings also engages fathers through a fathering component led by a fathering home visitor. Great Beginnings serves families in Norwich, Griswold and Sprague.

Great Beginnings uses Parents as Teachers, an evidenced-based parent education and family support home visiting model. With this model, Great Beginnings provides pregnant women and their families with information, support, and encouragement to help reduce the risk of poor birth outcomes; as well as infant care that supports optimal child development during the crucial early years of life. Services include weekly home visits, maternal and child health and development screenings, family support, parent education, group connection meetings and referrals to other resources as needed. Participation in this program is voluntary.

Great Beginnings is a Connecticut Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program.

Triple P - Parenting Support Services

Cultivates parents to become independent, resourceful problem solvers.

The Parenting Support Services Program is an in-home, evidenced based program that helps parents become independent, resourceful problem solvers. Parents will learn how to create positive and safe home learning environments that promotes their children’s emotional, behavioral, and cognitive strengths.

Families receive a thorough assessment of parent-child interaction. Parents are taught using a parenting skills curriculum that is used to target a broad range of behaviors. The parent/caregiver chooses the target behavior(s) to be addressed. The teen program actively engages the adolescent in learning coping skills and problem solving skills while also improving the parent/caretaker-teen relationship.

This program serves families that are active with the Department of Children and Families or with community assessment staff. Referrals come from the DCF Gatekeeper and community assessment program providers. The Triple P program serves parents/caretakers of children 0-18 years of age.

It’s a joy for me to watch our families strengthen the bonds they have with their children. I feel it is our responsibility to support and coach parents in order to protect the well-being and future of the children in our community.


Wendy Yagarich

Clinical Director