Family resource centers are community-based or school-based, flexible, family-focused, and culturally sensitive hubs of support and resources that provide programs and targeted services based on the needs and interests of families. Family resource centers, sometimes called family support centers, family centers, parent-child resource centers, libraries, or parent education centers, serve diverse populations and are located in a variety of community settings, including school buildings, hospitals, housing projects, restored buildings, and new structures. Family resource centers support the development of strong communities of support for parents and caregivers. The resources on this page include State and local examples.
Services provided by family resource centers may include the following:
- Parent skill training
- Drop-in centers
- Home visiting
- Job training
- Substance use prevention
- Violence prevention
- Services for children with special needs
- Mental health or family counseling
- Child care
- Literacy supports
- Respite and crisis care services
- Assistance with basic economic needs
Do Place-Based Programs, Such as Family Resource Centers, Reduce Risk of Child Maltreatment and Entry Into Foster Care?
Casey Family Programs (2019)
Evaluates family resource centers as an approach for providing community-based family support and examines the characteristics of family resource centers; the effectiveness of family resource centers in reducing child welfare involvement; the return on investment; and research literature on this topic.
Family Resource Center Association Model
Family Resource Center Association
Describes the mission of the Family Resource Center Association, which is to equip family resource centers with research, evaluation, training, and streamlined standards of quality.
Family Resource Centers and Family Support and Strengthening Networks (PDF - 6,482 KB)
Policy & Practice
Illustrates how Family Resource Centers can partner with social service providers, families, and human service agencies to provide support for families along all points of the prevention continuum.
National Family Support Network
Connects and supports member networks of Family Resource Centers to promote quality services and positive outcomes for children, families, and communities. The website also provides information, research reports, and funding information about Family Resource Centers, and standards for how to assess the quality of programs that support and strengthen families.
Alabama Network of Family Resource Centers
Lists family resource centers throughout Alabama.
Children and Family Resource Center
Offers programs in North Carolina that address the various aspects of early childhood development and education, quality child care, parenting and family support. The CFRC also serves as a referral center for clients who need services in the community.
Family Resource Center Guidebook (PDF - 258 KB)
Stanislaus County Children and Families Commission (2018)
Serves as a tool for family resource centers in the areas of operations and reporting. The guidebook contains definitions, examples of activities at family resource centers in Stanislaus County, California, and methodologies for tracking data.
Families and Communities Together (FaCT)
County of Orange, CA, Social Services Agency & Orangewood Children's Foundation
Provides support and services to children and families through community-based collaborative family resource centers. FaCT provides the centers with program development and administration, funding, and training.
Offers prevention and treatment resources for children who have been abused or who are at risk of maltreatment in the St. Louis area.
Family Resource Center
Carroll Family Resource Center
Provides prevention resources and services, including crisis child care, early childhood projects, and parent time-out, to residents in Carroll, Iowa.
Family Resource Centers
First 5 San Francisco
Describes First 5 San Francisco's Family Resource Center Initiative, which supports a network of more than 25 resource centers across the city. The centers are local, welcoming destinations where children and families can access services critical to their well-being.
Fort Worth Family Resource Centers
National League of Cities (2016)
Outlines Family Resource Centers in Fort Worth, Texas, and describes the types of services offered to families there. These include parent cafes and parent networking sessions, which give parents and caregivers the opportunity to get to know each other, share their challenges, and brainstorm ways to better support their children.
Maryland Family Network
Provides funding and oversight for the network of Family Support Centers across Maryland that includes parents and young children to support permanency, safety, and well-being.
Massachusetts Family Resource Center Program Evaluation Report: Calendar Year 2016 (PDF - 1,659 KB)
Henry, Gettens, Pratt, & McGlinchy (2017)
University of Massachusetts Medical School, Center for Health Policy and Research
Summarizes the types of services provided by Family Resource Centers in Massachusetts and the characteristics of those served by these centers. The report also examines the success in terms of outcomes and family member satisfaction with services at Family Resource Centers.
Neighborhood and Community Resources
Fairfax County Virginia
Lists neighborhood-based drop-in centers in Fairfax County, VA, offering a safe, relaxed setting for family-oriented, onsite programs, resources, activities, and classes to strengthen families in their communities.
Upstate Family Resource Center
Supports and strengthens families in the Boiling Springs and Chesnee communities in South Carolina through assistance and educational programs.