What is a Family Center?
In many ways a Family Center is like an old village well. In simpler times the village well was the place people would gather at to draw resources (water), talk story, find out what was available from whom, and to help each other pump the well or carry the water home. Many new ideas for an event, a collaboration, or a new service for the village was incubated during well-talk. The villagers dug, build, tapped, and owned the well together, and at village meetings determined how the resources would be maintained, shared, and developed as the village grew.
Much like the village well of yesterday, today’s Family Centers serve as a neighborhood gathering place where individuals can build social relationships, find resources to support and strengthen family life, and develop a sense of ownership through programs that enable them to give back to and take charge of their own community.
Source: Back to the Well 2000: Reviving the Family Center Movement in Hawaii. August 2000.
About the Kaneohe Community Family Center
KCFC is a community-driven program of Parents and Children Together (PACT), a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) family support agency. KCFC is located at 46-155 Kamehameha Highway, Portable 1, in Kaneohe on the Windward side of the island of Oahu, Hawaii, and operates as a school-linked Family Center through its partnership with the Hawaii Department of Education, Castle Complex. KCFC offers support to the families and the staff of Kaneohe’s eight (8) elementary schools, King Intermediate, and Castle High School, as well as to individuals and families in the greater community.
KCFC serves as a welcoming place in Kaneohe that families can visit not only in a time of need, but as a part of everyday life, to gather resources, participate in family strengthening activities, and to develop a greater sense of belonging within their community by donating their time and skills to help others.
KCFC supports adults in their roles as parents, nurturers, providers, neighbors and leaders. Rather than focusing on weaknesses, KCFC recognizes and builds upon the strengths and ideas of individuals and their own self-determined capacity to succeed.
KCFC Staff members work as partners with Kaneohe families, volunteers, school personnel, community leaders, and funders, to provide programs and services that reflect the wants and needs of the community in the core areas of:
- Information and referral;
- Parenting education;
- Family strengthening;
- Youth tobacco, alcohol and other drug prevention; and
- Leadership and community capacity-building
KCFC receives leadership and direction in program planning from its Advisory Council and through its numerous collaborations with other community organizations. KCFC plays an active role in facilitating partnerships and connecting service providers in the Kaneohe community to eliminate duplication, improve accessibility and leverage resources towards building healthier individuals, stronger families, and a connected Kaneohe community.