School-Based Family Resource Centers
Edgewood’s Family Resource Center (FRC) is a partnership between the parents and the school. While the parents are giving their time to help their child achieve academic success, the school is giving back to the parents by providing a place of support, a place where a parent can turn to for help, for something as simple as a warm coat for their child, a referral for a dentist, or a carton of milk to go with dinner.
The FRC builds the resiliency of these families by reducing parents’ stress, connecting parents to the schools and to each other, and empowering caregivers to be confident in their parenting skills. It offers support to parents/families whose neighborhoods have few other resources. FRC services are available to every family in the school and to families in all schools accessing Edgewood School-Based Services. Our experience shows us that:
- One-on-one student support helps prepare students socially, emotionally, and academically to achieve in school.
- School-based, culturally-appropriate services help families to better support their children.
- Emergency resources help families meet basic needs during challenging times.
Advocacy and assistance to families encourages them to get involved in the school, allowing them to build relationships with their child's teachers and the principal. Full family involvement shows the child that they are fully supported in their academic pursuits.
The Edgewood Family Resource Center currently resides at Hillcrest Elementary in the Portola/Excelsior District. All schools within the San Francisco Unified School district may access resources at this center.
Who It Helps
The Edgewood Family Resource Center is open to all children and families at Hillcrest Elementary or in SFUSD schools who may need or want assistance. Some of our services include:
- Emergency Resources: Schools throughout the district can access emergency resources such as an onsite food bank, clothing, eyeglasses, and toiletries. Edgewood receives in-kind donations from local private high schools and businesses, such as Lenscrafters.
- Parent Support Groups and Educational Workshops: Weekly 15 parents (on average) come to the FRC for "Coffee Chat". During these informal support groups, over coffee and pastries, parents discuss concerns among themselves and with FRC staff. Monthly workshops are held based on issues raised during the Coffee Chats, e.g., parents' rights, enrollment options for middle school, setting limits, technology for the home. If possible, the workshops are run by school staff so that parents can connect with them; otherwise, FRC staff will bring in an expert from Edgewood or another non-profit.
- Advocacy and Assistance: Parents or caregivers may sometimes be reluctant to question anyone in authority. The FRC offers a place to feel free to ask questions, raise concerns, and get information. In this family-friendly environment, FRC staff walk parents through enrollment guides, help parents complete school applications, and assist them through the Individual Education Plan process. The FRC Coordinator is available throughout the school day and after school to help problem-solve almost any issue a family may encounter, e.g., a parent needs to "rehearse" before meeting with a teacher; or a child has a bathroom accident and needs the comfort of dry clothing.
- Family Conferencing: Some of the families Edgewood serves are so fragile that support services are simply not enough to promote the social, emotional, and academic health of the at-risk children. In these cases, FRC staff will help convene a "family team" that includes all of the family members and service providers involved in a child's care (aunts, uncles, the teacher, social worker, therapist) to develop and implement a single action plan to meet the child's needs.
- Referrals: Parents and caregivers can also receive referrals to physical, mental, vision, and dental health screenings and care. Edgewood also offers a number of services onsite: mental health services (short-term or long-term therapy), behavioral coaching for the facilitation of student behavioral problems within the classroom, and the facilitation and coordination of Coordinated Services Team meetings.
- Student Services: The FRC Coordinator offers some services that directly impact students, especially the most vulnerable. The FRC Coordinator facilitates a "community circle" in a classroom where several students have recently lost a close family member. By facilitating in class, we help build the capacity of the teacher to run such a group so that his involvement is short-term.
partners and funders
Edgewood partners with San Francisco Unified School District and accesses private funds to allow us to offer low-cost Teacher Training to schools.