Children’s Trust of SC Meets Families Where They Are

Children’s Trust of SC

Rita Crawford remembers feeling unsettled the first time she and her husband attended a session of the Strengthening Families program.

“Walking into a program that is called Strengthening Families, you’re kind of vulnerable. Because you’re like, is everyone going to think that something is wrong with us, as a family? But once we got there, we realized that there are parents and families from all walks of life there, and maybe some needed help more and areas than others,” she says.

Strengthening Families is one of the flagship programs of Children’s Trust of South Carolina, a nonprofit organization that funds innovative child welfare and family strengthening programs throughout the Palmetto State. The Endowment, in partnership with the S.C. Department of Social Services, supports Children’s Trust’s work in sites across South Carolina.

Children’s Trust does not directly provide services to families, but offers an array of services and programs through local service delivery partners, including pediatricians, educators, schools, faith-based organizations, and child care providers. Key to their approach is employing evidence-based programs such as Strengthening Families and the Positive Parenting Program, or Triple P, that helps adults learn to manage parenting challenges while building healthy family relationships and promoting positive child development.

Children’s Trust has overseen the implementation of Strengthening Families in counties across South Carolina. Outcome data for the Palmetto State surpassed those of a national comparison group; researchers have credited the implementation support provided by Children’s Trust. The Endowment also supports expansion of Strengthening Families in North Carolina through grantee partners such as Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina.

“Walking into a program that is called Strengthening Families, you’re kind of vulnerable. Because you’re like, is everyone going to think that something is wrong with us, as a family? But once we got there, we realized that there are parents and families from all walks of life there, and maybe some needed help more and areas than others.”

Rita Crawford, Strengthening Families participant.

Two characteristics attracted Rita Crawford and her family to the program. One, it was held at a convenient and familiar location. Two, the program provided options tailored to their family dynamics for building needed skills, managing challenges in new ways, and developing effective practices for a loving and healthy family life.

The flexible approach Crawford describes is a hallmark of Children’s Trust’s strategy to address root causes of, and significantly reduce, child abuse and neglect across South Carolina. They move their strategy into action by offering programs proven to reinforce positive parenting and support families, explains Executive Director Sue Williams.

“It’s always been my idea that we shouldn’t just have a one size fits all, that we should have an array of services. So you can meet families where they are, not where we think they should be… and give them what they need,” she says.

Crawford is thankful for Children’s Trust and its programs. “I want people to know that while being a parent can feel lonely at times, you are not alone,” she says. “You are not alone.”

Learn more about Children’s Trust of SC.

Childrens Trust of SC family