Family 740

Network of Coordinated Programs and Services

Slide 230What We Do

We foster connections among programs, service providers, and community partners to help create multiple entry points for families into a comprehensive and coordinated system of family support services. Bringing multiple programs under one roof, and using common frameworks, resources and assessment tools, helps providers to improve the quality, accessibility, and alignment of services and supports provided to families throughout the county.

Why We Do It

Strong connections and alignment between programs and organizations in the community increases families’ access to the full range of services and supports they need. Working in collaboration helps improve the quality of family support services families receive.

As a child’s first teacher, parents and caregivers can strengthen brain development. Caregivers who read, play, sing, and talk about everyday activities support language growth and help children learn even before they begin school.

Our Results

Our coordination efforts have helped to increase collaboration among family support providers and services.

Helping Families Access Services

First 5 envisions a community where there is no wrong door when it comes to accessing family support services. Our relationship building and coordination efforts strengthen ties between agencies and programs so they can operate as part of an integrated system of care.

Helping Providers Connect Families with Services

Girl with Bow 120x180Connections between grantees increase providers’ awareness of other services offered for families and helps them connect families with supports they need.

First 5 facilitates these connections through

  • Promoting the use of Shared Data Systems
  • Funding the development and maintenance of a Family Resource Guide

Providing Multiple Services Under One Roof

First 5 facilitates families’ access to services by housing multiple programs and services in one location and in places where families already go.

First 5 support has contributed to:

Offering services on school campuses

School-Based Services. Our funding has supported school-based sites including the Via Esperanza and McDowell School Family Resource Center, where families can access multiple programs and services.

Integrating services in accessible settings

Accessible Services.WIC Dental Days brings dental services to the WIC office where families already go for other services. Triple P is offered at child care and elementary school sites. Reach Out and Read incorporates the gift of literacy and a book into pediatric care at Federally Qualified Health Centers throughout Sonoma County.

Offering workplace-based family support services

Workplace-Based Services. The WHEEL Plus Program supports outreach efforts to engage the business sector in supporting family well-being by offering family-friendly policies, connecting employees with family resources, and providing on-site support services at parents’ workplaces.

WHEEL Plus program

As a result of the WHEEL Plus program22 Sonoma County employers implemented new work-based family-friendly policies and services, such as:

  • Earned Income Tax Credit Information
  • English Classes
  • Healthcare Information
  • Lactation Accommodations
  • Financial Literacy Workshops

Learn More about the WHEEL Plus program


First 5 convenes and participates in collaboratives made up of grantees and community partners in order to strengthen and align family support services and ensure that services address the needs in the community.

The Sonoma County Home Visiting Collaborative, convened by the Nurse Family Partnership, provides an opportunity for service providers to share best practices, data, and collective adoption of the Strengthening Families framework.

The MHSA-PEI 0-5 Collaborative meets to problem solve, share best practices, and ensure smooth referrals between agencies. The grantees have collaborated to incorporate lessons from the First 5’s Triple P evaluation in order to strengthen and improve Triple P implementation.

The Professional Community Advisory Committee is made up of leaders of community agencies. The committee’s role is to share input about the needs and priorities in the county to inform First 5s strategic plan and areas of focus.

Strengthening Families

We have promoted the use of the Strengthening Families framework as a common approach for grantees and partners to support families in Sonoma County.

Strengthening Families is a research-informed, strengths-based initiative for preventing child abuse and neglect in families with children birth to 5 years old.

We have encouraged all of our 15 child and-family-serving grantees to adopt the Strengthening Families Framework.

Learn more about Strengthening Families

Promoting Common Assessment Tools

The Strengthening Families protective factors are attributes and conditions that help to keep all families strong  and on a pathway of healthy development and well-being Promoting Common Assessment Tools

We have promoted the use of the Protective Factors Survey (PFS) to monitor family resiliency. We developed and delivered a training on the survey, and now several of our grantees are routinely using it to measure program impact.

We are partnering with Upstream Investments to do community outreach about use of the PFS. The survey is currently being used by other partners in the community such as Family, Youth and Children’s services, enabling greater alignment across the county.