When children are separated from their parents and placed in the care of another family member or in foster care, it is difficult for everyone involved. Now there is a new resource to make it a little easier.
The new Quality Parenting Center has opened in Manchester. The facility is the first of its kind in Connecticut.
The center provides a safe, family-friendly environment for reuniting with moms, dads and kids who don’t live together.
The house is filled with comfortable sofas, books, toys, and artwork on the walls. If families didn’t know better, they might feel like they’re in their own living room.
The center is located in a historic house, with a large lawn which also allows outdoor meetings. It was once a group home for six girls and a residential rehabilitation center.
Today, The Village for Families and Children, a social service organization, is partnering with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families to launch this new program.
Vanessa Dorantes, commissioner of the DCF, was on site Thursday to cut the ribbon.
“This development has transformed this beautiful building from a group home to a means of normalizing interactions between parents and children. Develop parenting capacity. You know, this last year, a year and a half, has had a deleterious impact on all of our families. Some of our families need a little more support, ”said Dorantes.
The beautiful surroundings alleviate the stress of visiting a DCF office, while the program focuses on the needs of children. The ultimate goal is to reunite children with their parents.
“We know that for children, if they have been separated from their guardian or placed in foster care, this transition can be very traumatic. And having regular, regular visits, to a place where the family feels respected and honored, is really, really important, ”said Sandy Kyriakopoulos, Village for Families and Children.
Visits are already taking place. The establishment opened on October 1. According to staff, several babies have been reunited with their families.
To schedule a visit, a parent simply needs to work with their contact at the Manchester DCF office. The Quality Parenting Center is open seven days a week.
In addition to the meetings, parents will also have access to trained coaches, who will help them before, during and after the visits. They can also use services that will help them deal with mental health, substance use and recovery, and financial issues.
The whole program in the service of the ultimate goal: reunification.