The Family Place was founded in 1985 in White River Junction by a concerned group of community members. A small storefront in downtown White River Junction served as the first location for the organization. In 1988, following a merger with the Parent Aide program and Learning to Listen, (a therapeutic preschool), The Family Place became designated as the Parent Child Center for Windsor County by the Vermont Agency of Human Services.
The Family Place's designation as a Parent Child Center is key to understanding who we are and what we do. Designation as a Parent Child Center involves a commitment to a set of common principles, philosophy, and core services that say we are in fact a Parent Child Center.
Parent Child Centers were established in the mid to late 80's by the Vermont Legislature (Act 0227B describing parent child center eligibility and responsibilities). The state of Vermont first awarded state funds to Parent Child Centers in Fiscal Year 1988. Vermont supports parent child centers with state funds, distributed among all 16 centers. Vermont leads the nation as the first state to sponsor Parent Child Centers. Vermont is the only state whose legislature has made this level of commitment and maintained it over time.
Vermont Parent Child Centers are seen as a model for community-based family support services throughout the nation. They have been recognized by Time Magazine (1997), Harvard Family Research Project, the National Coalition for Children in Poverty, and the National Family Resource Coalition as exemplary model providers of community based family support. Central to our approach is helping parents and families find the services they want rather than telling families what they need. We recognize that it is strong, flexible family-centered support rather than a rigid programmatic approach that makes a lasting difference.
Families Learning Together—an onsite program for young mothers and their infants and toddlers—embodies the mission of The Family Place to support the positive growth and development of all parents by offering services that encourage families to build upon their strengths. The program emphasizes active participant involvement in the nurturing of their children, educational and job readiness activities, and preparation of meals.
2008 - Funds to continue the production of Jewelrios, a successful earned income strategy.
2007 - Funds to support an earned income strategy: jewelry handmade by a collective of young mothers in the Families Learning Together program
2006 - The Children’s Fund grant will allow the expansion of the childcare room as a parenting lab, and the use of the kitchen as a job-training site.