Families in their many shapes and forms are the keystone of our nation. The Passaic County needs assessment was conducted within a framework of individual and family success. The overall goal of this approach is for individuals, families, and communities to have the knowledge, resources, and skills to successfully support themselves, their families, and community members from birth to the end of life.
Despite all the money, resources, and energy we spend, our country has some of the worst child and family outcomes in the developed world. Even after decades of trying to reduce the symptoms of family distress through an enormous outlay of public and private investments, we are mired in a vast number of disconnected, casualty-based, crisis-driven programs and services that do not adequately address the barriers to success that many families face. Fragmented and poorly coordinated benefits and services from multiple agencies and community institutions have made it difficult for families to access, comprehend, or trust these services, despite the best intentions of many. We need a fresh approach.
The premise of the family success approach is that comprehensive, holistic investments in organized local systems of family and individual support and community improvement will, over time, produce dramatically better results for children, youth, individuals, and families. This approach acknowledges that developmentally appropriate resources and services are required to successfully support developmental journeys through life.
The developmental stages of life represent the journey, and its goals are:
- Early Childhood Success (0-8 years old) – All young children will be safe, healthy, and ready to learn.
- Positive Youth Development (9-15 years old) – All school-age children and youth will be living in a permanent home, achieving in school, and connected to their families and communities.
- Strong Transitions to Adulthood (16-26 years old) – Youth transitioning to adulthood will be on positive pathways to economic and social independence with strong and responsible family and community ties.
- Productive Adulthood (27– 59) – adults will achieve their greatest potential for economic and social independence as responsible and contributing community members.
- Successful Aging (60 and over)- aging adults willmaintain their greatest level of independence, functioning, and dignity as valued members of their families and communities
- Strong Families, Strong Communities – Families and communities will have the knowledge, resources, and skills to successfully support their families and community members from birth to the end of life.
The family success approach celebrates diversity, embraces equity for all versus privilege for some. The family success process assures that community residents have the opportunity to impact the decisions that affect their lives.
The family success framework provides a unifying vision for stakeholders’ goals around child development and individual and family support in their community across four life areas or pillars:
Pillars of Support for Individuals and Families
Family Relationships & Community Connections
- Support and prevention services
- Civic engagement, including citizenship and leadership development
- Connections to cultural, spiritual and other community supports
- Legal and advocacy services
Personal Safety and Financial Security
- Physical, emotional/psychological, environmental and virtual safety
- Safety at home, the community, at school and work
- Employment and Entrepreneurship
- Income and wealth building
- Food security
Health and Well Being
- Physical health
- Behavioral health
- Healthy lifestyles
- Social-emotional well being
Learning and Education
- Children Safe, Healthy and Ready to Learn
- Education through college/ voc. prep.
- Lifelong learning
- Parenting education
To learn more about the Family Success Vision visit The Family Success Institute which promotes a transformational shift in thinking, funding, and practice, away from a primary focus on reacting to symptoms of family distress toward investments in comprehensive, coordinated supports for children, family, and community success. The Family Success Institute’s vision is for every family and community to have the resources, opportunities, and support they need to successfully raise their children from birth to young adulthood.