Over 400 families are served each year by the Family Room and people from over 50 countries with more than 28 languages benefit from the Family Room programs each year. The programs and services that this outstanding parent-child center and community gem provide at no cost to parents, include but are not limited to: home visits; fathers groups; play groups; supervised DCF visits; preschool; ongoing developmental education and support; infant massage; and parenting; nutrition; cooking; and sewing classes as well as gardening opportunities and child care and support for refugees and new Americans who are English Language Learners taking classes upstairs at AALV. This is powerful work that helps parents, children and our communities thrive. The Family Room is a shining example of a place that celebrates diversity and families of all races, socio-economic and religious backgrounds and promotes peace, friendship, wellness and understanding.
In spring 2016 the Family Room Family, a dedicated group of parents and community members, responded to budget and staff cuts at the Family Room with a fundraising campaign which raised just over $70,000 and allowed for the return of two staff members whose jobs were cut.
The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) which has run the Family Room since its founding announced in March 2016 it would no longer be running the program, and convened a transition team to create a plan for a future Family Room outside the VNA. This team, comprised of VNA management, Family Room staff, parents and community members first sought proposals from other host organizations and is now working on a plan for a stand-alone parent child center. This is a time of great opportunity, but also great uncertainty for the center, which faces reduced revenues even as it experiences additional costs associated with the transition.