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April 2003Vol. 4, No. 3FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Family Resource and Support Programs

Family Resource Information, Education, and Network Development Services (FRIENDS) works under a cooperative agreement with the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect to help States implement Community-Based Family Resource and Support (CBFRS) programs, with the ultimate goal of strengthening families and reducing the incidence of child abuse and neglect.

A member of the Children's Bureau Training and Technical Assistance Network, the FRIENDS National Resource Center (NRC) provides onsite technical assistance on a variety of topics, including:

  • Network building.
  • Long range planning.
  • Funding.
  • Collaborative building.
  • Evaluation (including outcome accountability for family support programs, program self-assessment, peer review, and community report cards).
  • Family support principles and practices.
  • Family support program operations.
  • Family engagement and parent leadership.
  • Respite and crisis care.
  • Cultural competence.

FRIENDS also is available to help State child welfare agencies meet the training needs identified in the Program Improvement Plans that result from the Federal Child and Family Services Reviews. The NRC offers a website, publications and resource materials, and a lending library. FRIENDS staff provide one-on-one assistance and mentoring to new CBFRS agency leads, help CBFRS leads around the country connect with each other, and work with the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect to host an annual meeting of States.

FRIENDS is a collaboration of 10 organizations. Family Support America leads the NRC, working in full-time partnership with the Chapel Hill Training Outreach Project and the University of Kentucky Training Resource Center to provide core services.

Seven other national organizations with recognized expertise in their fields also provide resources to the CBFRS lead agencies through FRIENDS: the National Indian Child Welfare Association, Prevent Child Abuse America, the University of New Mexico's Family Development Program, the National Practitioners Network for Fathers and Families, the Faith-Based Network of the Skillman Center at Wayne State University, the Midwest Learning Center for Family Support, and Maximus Consulting Services.

Contact the FRIENDS National Resource Center at:
Family Support America
20 North Wacker Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 338 0900
Fax: (312) 338 1522
Director: Sonia Velazquez