Strong families are critical for children's optimal development.
Families thrive best when parent-child attachments are strong, families are
connected to resources in times of need, and caregivers have access to
information about child development and parenting strategies. First 5 Alameda County provides a variety of supports for families that enhance resilience and well-being, connect families to resources, and strengthen parenting knowledge
First 5 Alameda County funds an array of services to strengthen parent-child relationships, reduce parental stress, and enhance emotional health and well-being. These include hospital-based and in-home support for families with newborns and young children, developmentally appropriate parent-child playgroups, and opportunities for families to develop supportive social networks.
Maternal depression is a significant risk factor affecting the well-being and school readiness of young children. National estimated rates of depression among pregnant, postpartum and parenting women range from 5% to 25% or higher (Gaynes et al., 2005). First 5 Alameda County
promotes screening for maternal depression and referral to services if needed.
Meeting basic economic needs for such essentials as food, shelter, and health care is important for family stability and well-being. First 5 Alameda County does this through family navigation, connecting families to community resources and other services. Helping families make ends meet strengthens family units and ultimately supports their children's development.
Caregivers of young children need information about child development and about appropriate expectations for children's behavior at different ages. They also benefit from learning additional parenting strategies and ways they can support their child's development. First 5 Alameda County funds parenting education in a variety of languages for families from diverse backgrounds. Parenting resources that are readily available to families include First 5 California's Kits for New Parents and Text4baby.