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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Program Impact

Promotores Collaborative of San Luis Obispo County Program Impact 

With the support of the San Luis Obispo County Community Based Organization (CBO) Preventive Health Grant, the San Luis Obispo Promotores Collaborative increased our coordination capacity to grow and serve more Latino families in partnership with other agencies.  Below is a list of our accomplishments for this past year. 

Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County

During the 2018-2019 fiscal year, Promotores provided over 360 hours of service during food bank distributions throughout the county. In collaboration with the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County, the USDA Community Food Project Grant trains Promotores to educate and promote self-sufficiency in meeting food needs and building relationships.

Promotores who receive Nutrition training assist with food bank distribution in the northern region of San Luis Obispo County. The main goal is to encourage residents to attend Children’s Farmers Market, Family Farmers Markets, and neighborhood distribution. The Promotores work with nutrition educators to demonstrate uses of unfamiliar produce and provide culturally appropriate recipes during the Food Bank Distributions.  Promotores also volunteer at three additional sites that are not specific to this project. This proactivity demonstrates the Promotores’ passion for supporting and educating the community.

Promotores volunteers providing nutrition outreach and education.

Mental Health Interpretation Project

We are happy to announce that the Promotores served a total of 186 clients from the Behavioral Health Clinics in San Luis Obispo County from July 2018 to June 2019. The Latino Mental Health Enhancement Collaborative compliments the contract Promotores has with the County of San Luis Obispo Behavioral Health Dept. to provide mental health interpretation for recipients of County Mental Health Services. The Promotores assist monolingual families at the Mental Health Clinics in Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, and Arroyo Grande.

This program has evolved considerably over the past 2 years with the requests for interpretation services increasing drastically. For this reason, we contracted a Behavioral Health Consultant who met with the Promotores Interpreters once a month to provide strategic training to strengthen interpretation and communication skills. The meetings included an ongoing review of confidentiality, ethics, boundaries and interpreter responsibilities. The response to the monthly trainings was very positive and the Promotores Interpreters savored the opportunity to grow their specialized skill set as a group.

Due to the overwhelming success of this program, the Behavioral Health Department of San Luis Obispo County wants to expand Promotores interpretation services to clients from Drug & Alcohol Services.  We are looking forward to another fiscal year full of exciting, new opportunities!

In appreciation of the Promotores’ genuine commitment and dedication in the interpretation services they provide, we held a dinner celebration to acknowledge their accomplishments and service to the Latino community.

The celebration took place on July 24, 2019.  The Promotores Collaborative provided a Certificate from the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors for each Promotore!

CAPSLO Support Groups

In collaboration with Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO) the Promotores Collaborative hosted 7 Community Support Groups in Oceano.  The target population was low income, underserved Latino Families with teens who live in Oceano. 25 parents participated and we engaged them in the following family strengthening outcomes:

  1. Enhance communication skills;
  2. Promote Parent Engagement,
  3. Increase awareness of mental health issues;
  4. Decrease the stigma associated with sexual health; and
  5. Promote Healthy living.

All the feedback received was very positive. We look forward to continue working in collaboration with CAPSLO and expanding to provide these Support Groups in North SLO County.

Cafecitos

In early Spring 2019 Promotores and Parent Leaders from San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties received a Five Protective Factors and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) training.  This training was made possible through Innovative Partnerships, a grant funded by the CA Office of Child Abuse Prevention (OCAP).

The 25 Promotores and Parent Leaders who participated in the training proceeded to host 21 Cafecitos with 218 participants across their 3 counties. Cafecitos are designed to educate parents and caregivers about the Five Protective Factors and ACEs in a warm, accessible, conversational format. During the Cafecitos, Promotores and parent leaders established relationships and made connections with local services in each county.

The Cafecitos provided a wonderful occasion to witness the growth in our San Luis Obispo County Promotores. It was thrilling to see how the Promotores have developed in their leadership capacity through this facilitation opportunity. Those that hosted a Cafecitos created an inclusive environment, with clear communication, and engaged the participants with empathy. Communication is at the core of the Promotores role in their service to the community. The Cafecitos were an excellent chance to demonstrate their skills and tools in empowering a healthier community. 

Strong collaboration with the Child Abuse Prevention Councils of Ventura and Santa Barbara, and Center for Family Strengthening in San Luis Obispo made it possible for the Cafecitos to provide parent education and outreach across the Coastal Tri-Counties region. The Promotores Collaborative is very grateful for this innovative opportunity. We look forward to strengthening our regional partnerships and providing more Cafecitos in the future.

Lupus Training

This year 15 Promotores participated in a 4-hour training about the autoimmune disease Lupus. The training was the result of a request from the American College of Rheumatology who wished to provide more effective outreach to the Latino Community. Through a mini-grant the training was coordinated and the participants learned about symptoms and resources for Lupus. Now the Promotores have the knowledge to increase awareness about Lupus among the Latino Community, share resources, and encourage individuals to consult a health care provider if needed. The Lupus training is a great example of how the Promotores promote equitable access to health resources through education.

Sanamente

In Autumn 2018 the Promotores Collaborative received a mini grant from SanaMente, a CA mental health movement. The mini grant aided the Promotores in disseminating material related to Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. Over the rest of the year more than 500 SanaMente materials and associated Spanish-language stigma reduction and suicide prevention programs were shared in San Luis Obispo County.  Promotores conducted outreach at 12 community events, during support groups, community meetings, and school events, and through Promotores meetings.  Additionally, the Promotores distributed SanaMente and other pertinent material during the Monthly Food Bank Distributions in the following places: Shandon, San Miguel, Oceano, and Paso Robles, all areas where there is more poverty and high numbers of Latinos. 

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