Families of infants and toddlers, from birth up to 36 months, who have a developmental delay or established risk, or who are at high risk can receive parent-to-parent support from family resource centers (FRCs). FRCs that receive Early Start funding actively collaborate with local regional centers and educational agencies to help parents, families, and children access early intervention services.
Early Start FRCs are staffed by parents who have children with special needs and who provide parent-to-parent support, information about disabilities and early intervention, and help with accessing services. Each FRC is unique, responding to the needs of its community. FRCs may operate as independent sites or be based in regional centers, local education agencies, public health facilities, hospitals, or homes. Services are available in many languages and are culturally responsive to the needs of the individual family.
Early Start FRCs contracted by DDS may provide:
- Parent-to-parent and family support
- Peer counseling and home visits
- Information and referral
- Public awareness
- Parent education
- Support services in many languages
- Transition assistance
- Support services in urban and rural communities
- Prevention resource and referral services
Some FRCs have newsletters, resource libraries, and websites, as well as parent and/or sibling support groups and telephone “warmlines” or “babylines.”
In addition, the Family Resource Centers Network of California (FRCNCA) is a coalition of the state’s FRCs. The mission of FRCNCA is to support children with special needs and their families by ensuring the continuance, expansion, promotion, and quality of family-centered, parent-directed FRCs.