In order to achieve our goals, we are engaged in several partnerships and initiatives to raise awareness of our cause. These partnerships help strengthen the network for families affected by our cause who need support.
Families Together in New York State
This organization is based in Albany and works to provide a state-wide, unified voice on behalf of families who have children with mental health issues. They work closely with the State Office of Mental Health to provide a family perspective on services and the needs of families. They have also become a powerful voice in Albany on behalf of families. Families First has been participating in their Legislative Luncheon days for years by teaching local families how to advocate for their needs, and taking parents to Albany on an annual basis to speak directly to their legislators regarding the needs of families of children with mental health issues.
Families Together in the Adirondacks
Families First helped spearhead the development of this local Chapter for Families Together in NYS. The Chapter consists of parents and providers from Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Washington, and Warren Counties. This Chapter holds its own annual conference, in addition to helping to send parents to the State FTNYS annual conference.
Children's Mental Health Awareness Week
This designated week occurs during the first full week of May each year. For the last ten years, Families First has hosted a range of local activities intended to raise awareness of children's mental health issues. These have included addressing the local Board of Town Supervisors each year regarding children's needs, various art projects that have enabled children to express their thoughts and feelings regarding mental health, performance art at local schools, and in 2010, our first annual Walk to Raise Awareness.
Child Abuse Prevention
Since the advent of our Family Resource Center in the year 2000, Families First has participated in child abuse prevention efforts by providing education and activities for parents of young children. We belong to an Adirondack Regional Network of Family Resource Centers and the Family Resource Center Director participates in annual conference planning and quarterly discussions regarding support and services designed to help parents increase awareness of the typical developmental stages of children and how to parent through them.
Stop Domestic Violence
Families First partners with Stop DV when we find that domestic violence is or has been an issue in a participating family. Stop DV educates and supports a family as they address issues related to domestic violence.