Center for Family Strengthening is dedicated to strengthening families through education and advocacy. The center partners with family support organizations in San Luis Obispo County to provide resources to families in need, protect children from abuse and neglect, and ensure that strong families are a community priority.

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  • Meet Yesenia, a Nurse Family Partnership success story

    Nurse Family Partnership provides first-time moms with support and mentoring Meet Yesenia, a very smart but also very shy girl who graduated from high school at age sixteen. Pregnant at… Read more…

  • The Success of Nurse-Family Partnership

    SLO County’s Amazing Hero-Nurses for First-Time Moms The Nurse-Family Partnership of San Luis Obispo County (NFP), is a tremendously successful maternal and childhood health programs for low-income first-time mothers. As a national… Read more…

  • CFS Promotes Staff Member

    Center for Family Strengthening promotes Erica Ruvalcaba-Heredia to Director of Promotores Collaborative. “We are thrilled with Erica’s accomplishments in driving the growth and success of Promotores Collaborative,” said Lisa Fraser,… Read more…

  • CFS Welcomes New Program Coordinator

    Gwendolyn Garcia has joined Center for Family Strengthening as Program Coordinator for CFS’ major programs: Parent Connection, Kidz Tool Box for personal safety, Promotores Collaborative, Central Coast Breastfeeding Coalition and… Read more…

  • CFS moves to new location

    Center for Family Strengthening has moved its corporate headquarters to 3480 South Higuera, Suite 100, San Luis Obispo. Affiliate agency ALPHA Pregnancy and Parenting Support is also moving its corporate… Read more…

Film Screenings

Recently CFS screened two groundbreaking films in SLO County about the promising beginnings of a national movement to prevent childhood trauma, treat Toxic Stress, and greatly improve the health of future generations.

Trailblazers in pediatrics, education and social services are using cutting-edge science and field-tested therapies to protect children from the insidious effects of toxic stress. By strengthening resilience and healing trauma, we can interrupt intergenerational cycles of violence, addiction and disease.

Paper Tigers

Center for Family Strengthening was pleased to partner with CASA of San Luis Obispo County and in Cuesta College to host two screenings of Paper Tigersa profoundly important film about the crossroads of at-risk teens and trauma-informed care.

Paper Tigers follows a year in the life of an alternative high school that has radically changed its approach to disciplining its students, becoming a promising model for how to break the cycles of poverty, violence and disease that affect families. 

“Stressed brains can’t learn.” 

That was the nugget of neuroscience that Jim Sporleder, principal of a high school riddled with violence, drugs and truancy, took away from an educational conference in 2010. Three years later, the number of fights at Lincoln Alternative High School had gone down by 75% and the graduation rate had increased five-fold. Paper Tigers is the story of how one school made such dramatic progress. 

Following six students over the course of a school year, we see Lincoln’s staff try a new approach to discipline: one based on understanding and treatment rather than judgment and suspension. Using a combination of verite and revealing diary cam footage, Paper Tigers is a testament to what the latest developmental science is showing: that just one caring adult can help break the cycle of adversity in a young person’s life.

Resilience

With the generous support of Cuesta College two screenings of Resilience were shared with partners in law enforcement, social services, education, mental health and community-based organizations. 

The one-hour documentary film, Resilience is about the “Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope.” Researchers have recently discovered a dangerous biological syndrome caused by adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect and household dysfunction. The film dives deep into the world of this tragic cause-and-effect relationship, and describes in detail exactly how children suffer from and are affected by such toxic stress.

Too much stress triggers physiological and hormonal changes in the body and can lead to adverse effects for young children who have yet to learn and develop stress-coping mechanisms. Studies have linked high levels of stress hormones to depression, obesity, heart attacks and other health problems.

 “The child may not remember, but the body  remembers.”

These biological changes, if left unmanaged, heighten a child’s overall lifetime risk of physical and mental illness, substance abuse, incarceration, homelessness, family violence and more regardless of whether the child remembers the actual trauma itself. “Resilience,” determination to fight back, aims to prevent and protect children from these realities by promoting awareness and better educating the public on the severity of child abuse issues.

Trailblazers in pediatrics, education and social services are using cutting-edge science and field-tested therapies to protect children from the insidious effects of toxic stress. By strengthening resilience and healing trauma, we can interrupt intergenerational cycles of violence, addiction and disease.

To request a screening for your staff, please contact us.

 

Events
15 February 2018

23 February 2018

07 April 2018

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