“It’s a really wonderful resource and an ongoing relationship.”
Giving children and their families the support they need now may help ensure a brighter future for them. That’s why members of the UPMC Children’s Family Care Connection (FCC) program work every day to meet those needs.
The UPMC Children’s FCC program is part of the Allegheny County Support Network. The program works in partnership with families in need, providing resources, support, and education. Six FCC centers located around Allegheny County offer services for families.
Enrollment is free and voluntary.
“We try to get the basic needs met for the families that we have involved in our programming,” says Charlotte Byrd, BS, senior manager of the Family Care Connection program. “We work with the whole entire family, really from 0 to 18 years old.”
Resources offered at the FCC centers include prenatal and postnatal education, early childhood development, parenting support and education, behavioral counseling, and much more. In addition to center-based activities, they also provide home visiting. Staffers include a registered nurse, child development specialist, family development specialist, community aide, fatherhood engagement specialist, health coach, and a behavioral therapist.
The FCC program also works with dozens of community partners to help fill the needs of the families it serves.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity was a major issue. So the FCC program worked with its community partners to provide food for families at its centers. In addition to providing short-term food relief, FCC connected families to organizations that could help them find long-term food solutions.
“We're always kind of looking for these kinds of opportunities to work with the wonderful network of folks that we work with,” Byrd says. “And we appreciate it so much.”
In addition to food, FCC distributed other needed items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and COVID-19 home testing kits to families in need. They did porch drop-offs of needed items to 10,000 families.
Although it is no longer the height of the pandemic, there are still many needs throughout the community. FCC works to address those needs any way it can. Whether it’s helping families with transportation to doctor’s appointments, operating a “health hub” at FCC centers for people to get needed resources, or making sure new parents have diapers and other supplies, FCC works to help children and their families.
“We have long-term relationships with the families,” says Jodi Krall, PhD, a member of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Community Health Division. “It allows us to kind of take the temperature of what's going on with our broader patient population because we're able to ask families about what their needs are, how we can best meet those, and try out new approaches to see if those are the best ways to ensure that a food security is met or other types of basic social needs.
“So, it's a really wonderful resource and an ongoing relationship.”
At UPMC, Life Changing Medicine means working together to help others.
Learn more about how the UPMC Children’s FCC program helps families in our community connect with the support and resources they need.
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