Since 2004, the Cutler-Orosi Family Education Center (COFEC) has provided family strengthening and support services to families within the communities of Cutler, Orosi, Yettem, and Badger. The center’s goals are to build parent capacity and strengths by promoting positive parent and child interactions, addressing families’ needs, and by engaging the community in efforts to create safe, nurturing environments for children.
COFEC partners with First 5 Tulare County to provide Family Resource Center (COFRC) services, which includes a Family Literacy Program, parent education, provisions of basic needs, transportation assistance, domestic violence support services, case management, and resource and referral services.
Family Literacy Program
The Family Literacy Program uses a multi-generational approach integral to improving language and literacy development, as well as family functioning. Enrolled families benefit from participating in four key program components, including parent education, parent/child interactive literacy activities, early childhood education, and adult education. (Adult education is sponsored by Cutler-Orosi Adult School.) Program goals are to close the achievement gap of our youngest learners and to increase parent’s ability to support children’s learning in their homes. As parents increase their literacy skills, they are better able to support the language and literacy development of their children.
Parent and Health Education
COFRC provides several evidenced based parent education services including Safe Care, Parenting Wisely, Parents Helping Parents, and My Plate for My Family. Classes are delivered in individual and group settings.
Safe Care is an 18-week course that is focused on child abuse prevention. Safe Care consists of three modules including Health, Safety, and Parent & Child Interactions. The curriculum is implemented on a one-on-one basis, in the home, and includes a hazard assessment. Participating families receive resources to help them implement Safe Care strategies at home, including first aid kits, safety devices, and interactive games.
Parenting Wisely is a 9-week course that aims to improve parental communication and disciplinary skills. Parenting Wisely is also implemented on a one-to-one basis, in the home, using a set of interactive, computer-based training modules for parents. Participating families receive resources to help them implement Parenting Wisely strategies, including behavior charts, chore charts, and interactive games for parents and children.
SEA Parents Helping Parents is a 22-week course focused on building positive parent and child relationships and communication. Classes are conducted in a group setting at the center. The networking, group discussions, and community building activities empower both older parents and teen parents to cultivate respectful, loving, and compassionate bonds between parent and child.
My Plate for My Family is a 4-week nutrition course focused on obesity prevention. Classes are also conducted in a group setting at the center. Participating families learn how to make healthier food and physical activity choices through interactive activities.
COFRC provides families with assistance in accessing provisions of basic needs, including food, clothing, utility assistance, housing/shelter, and hygiene products. Resources are reserved for families with a verified need. Resources are made available through donations, special project grants, and agency partners.
COFRC provides transportation assistance to help case managed families access health services. Services are limited and advanced scheduling is required. In line with the goal of empowering families and building parent capacity, case managers work with families to raise awareness of available transportation services, including those that are available through their medi-cal insurance carriers.
COFRC provides domestic violence support through their subcontract with Family Services of Tulare County. This provides for the facilitation of 40 sessions for victims of domestic violence. The class meets weekly at the center and parents are provided with childcare and transportation services.
“I look back and can’t believe everything I have accomplished. I am really thankful. I see myself coming to the FRC when I need something and referring people here. I feel that if I made it through with all my struggles, anybody can do it.”
- Parent Participant
Case Management and Resource and Referral
COFRC staff provides case management services for families, establish family support plans that are unique to families’ needs, assist families in accessing services, and provide direct services. Though the course of supporting the family, case managers conduct developmental screenings and link families to medical and dental homes, in addition to offering the previously mentioned FRC services. Families needing support services not available through the FRC are referred to outside service providers.
FEC facilitates monthly C.O.N.N.E.C.T. (Cutler-Orosi Network for Needs of Education and Community Teamwork) collaboration meetings with community partners, including faith based entities, local non-profits, county agencies, and school district representatives. Through this collaborative, partners have been able to pool resources and establish accessible resources within the community. Many partners delivering support services to families are co-located at the FEC, including Tulare County Women Infants and Children (WIC) Program, Cutler-Orosi Adult School, Sequoias Adult Ed Consortium, Family Services of Tulare County, Proteus, C-SET, Dinuba Children’s Services, Turning Point Youth Services, and Tulare Youth Service Bureau. The co-location of providers has increased accessibility for local families seeking health and mental health services, legal support for victims of domestic violence, and drug and alcohol counseling.
For more information on available resources and services offered visit their website or call: (559) 528-1790.