Mission / History
Family Network, a Family Focus Center, is a not-for-profit, non-sectarian, family support agency open to all regardless of ability to pay or geographic location. Our mission is to promote the wellbeing of children from birth by supporting and strengthening their families in and with their community.
Family Network was founded in 1983 by early childhood professionals seeking to connect young children and families with one another to help reduce isolation, build friendships and establish a supportive community network. We are grateful to the vision of our founders and all of the families, staff, volunteers and alumni that have contributed to Family Network since its inception.
The Parent/Child Center was established in 1983 as Family Network’s first program by early childhood professionals who recognized the importance of providing a place where families could connect with one another and find support in the challenging job of raising young children. The Parent/Child Center continues to offer programs where parents can meet the challenges of parenting through coming together for friendship and shared information while their young children are provided with safe, nurturing early experiences under the care of experienced professional staff.
The Right From The Start Program (RFTS) was established in 1994 in response to an emerging Latino immigrant population in Highland Park and Highwood. RFTS serves the Latino community offering a wide array of Spanish-based services. These offerings include: prenatal classes, home visiting services and many educational groups for parents and children from birth through the elementary years. Additionally, thanks to the vision and support of Pam Phillips Weston, exercise classes were established for moms in December of 2007 in conjunction with after school nutrition/exercise children's classes for 1-5th grades to reinforce the importance of good health and target the rampant childhood obesity issue in our country.
Family Network joins Family Focus. In 2002 Family Network became part of Family Focus a pioneering family support organization based in Chicago that was founded in 1976. Family Focus offers innovative, community-based programs that help parents, grandparents, and foster and adoptive parents, gain confidence and competence as the primary educators of their children. Family Focus has seven centers in Chicago and surrounding communities. For more information about Family Focus please see view their website at www.family-focus.org.
The After School Activity Program (ASAP) was established 2004 in response to the growing needs of working parents seeking high quality after school services for their children from kindergarten through 5th grade. ASAP provides home work help in both English and Spanish and a wide range of engaging enrichment and educational activities. ASAP is the only school-based after school program in District 112 and has two sites in Highland Park serving 5 different elementary schools.
Our Family Support Philosophy
All of Family Network’s programs are based on our Family Support Philosophy. Family Network staff work with families to empower them to build upon their own experiences. Strengthening families and building community contributes to the healthy development of children. (Click here for a complete list of the Premises and Principles of Family Support.)
Our Future Home
In order for Family Network to continue to meet the needs of our community, a larger programmatic space is required for our future. Family Network is one of five member agencies that are part of The Community Family Center including; Family Service: Prevention Education & Counseling, Highland Park Community Nursery School and Day Care, Highland Park-Highwood Home Child Care Association and Tri-Con Child Care Center. The Community Family Center is a non-profit organization that seeks to build a state-of-the-art facility that will enable families to access critical early care and education, parenting classes, after-school programs, and family counseling services in one central location. Although each agency will maintain their own identities, programs and services, they will benefit from reduced overhead through shared common spaces and gain from the synergies created in being co-located under one roof. Please help Family Network make the vision of the Community Family Center a reality by giving to this important campaign. For further information please visit the Community Family Center website at www.communityfamilycenter.org or click here.