Children's Trust awards $75,000 to First Steps for Strengthening Families Program at West Hartsville Elementary

Children's Trust awards $75,000 to First Steps for Strengthening Families Program at West Hartsville Elementary
Posted on 02/20/2018
West Hartsville Elementary SchoolHARTSVILLE, S.C. – Children's Trust has awarded a $75,000 grant to Darlington County First Steps to implement the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) this year. The program's first 14-week cycle will be delivered this spring at West Hartsville Elementary School. Another cycle will take place in the fall.

SFP is an evidence-based program that works closely with families with children ages 6 to 11 to develop positive discipline practices, stay resilient in tough times, reduce conflict, improve parenting skills, and assist children with social skills, relationships, and school performance. All of these factors play an important role in keeping families strong while protecting against potential child abuse or neglect.

"With the capability to deliver evidence-based programs and community-based prevention services, Darlington County First Steps is a proven partner that operates with fidelity, transparency and integrity," said Sue Williams, CEO of Children's Trust CEO. "We are proud to support them in this important work within their community. Our experience has proven that when we invest in South Carolina’s communities, all of us working together can create long-term sustainability and impact."

Children's Trust is supporting the Strengthening Families Program in 24 counties across the state. Our organization provides training, collects data and monitors the program to ensure it reaches maximum potential. The Duke Endowment and the S.C. Department of Social Services are the funding partners in this effort.

“We are so excited to be a part of the Strengthening Families Program and to have a partnership with Children’s Trust, Darlington County First Steps and The Child and Family Resource Foundation,” said Julie Mahn, principal of West Hartsville Elementary. “The program will begin on Feb. 22 and will run for 14 weeks. Staff from the Child and Family Resource Foundation has been in our school since the fall working on this program. We have had lots of interest from parents, and we already have a waiting list for Cycle 2.”

A county partner of South Carolina First Steps serving Darlington, Hartsville, Lamar and Society Hill, Darlington County First Steps strives to ensure the most efficient resources and information are available so families in these communities are strong. Program services focus on family well-being, school readiness, parenting skills, reproductive health, and contraceptive education.

The Child and Family Resource Foundation has a multilayered approach to providing psycho-emotional and social support for children in the local community. The Foundation’s programs include grief camps, mentoring programs, hosting community dinners, assisting teen moms with physical and emotional support, and Back to School backpack programs for Title I schools.