Finding Resources in Your Community
Posted on November 7, 2018 by CHS
There are many community resources to promote the well-being of families. Whether you are looking for help in making ends meet, staying healthy, learning, or simply enjoying time together; there are likely programs available to help you meet your needs. It can be difficult to locate programs easily because the names of some specialized services change from county to county or state to state. Programs may also be grouped together by their funding source rather than their service. However, there are some easy ways to find the resources you need if you know where to look.
Child Care Resource and Referral (R&R) Agencies
Start your search for community resources with your local Child Care Resource & Referral (R&R) agency. R&R agencies can help families locate licensed child care providers, explain the type of child care options that are available, and direct families to programs that offer child care assistance. Families can also request referrals for other assistance programs such as rent assistance and housing, bills and utilities payment programs, medical insurance or health clinics, and referrals to places where families can find free or low-cost meals, clothing, toiletries, diapers, and any other necessities.
R&R agencies can also assist families with resources for finding employment, learning about child development, or finding free or low-cost developmental screenings for children, parenting classes, and therapy programs. It is free to use R&R services. You can find your local R&R through the Child Care Aware website (link below), or by calling them at (800) 424-2246. You can visit your local R&R website to find their phone number and see what specific services and resources they offer.
Family Resource Centers (FRCs)
Most counties have at least one FRC that offers direct services to families. Your local FRC can assist with referrals to other assistance programs, completing forms and applications for other assistance programs, domestic violence intervention, counseling, adoption or foster care support, parenting classes, and programs for children and youth when they are out of school. Services vary at each FRC depending on the funding they have available. You can find your local FRC by contacting the Resource and Referral agency that serves your area, or by searching your city’s website for Family Resource Centers. Locate California FRCs and learn more by reading our previous blog: Family Resource Centers (link below).
Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
The ACF is part of the United States Health and Human Services department. The website for ACF (link below) has resources and links to the following programs and assistance for low-income families: adoption and foster care, child abuse, child care, child support, Early Head Start and Head Start (preschool programs), runaways, health insurance, domestic violence, emergency preparedness, financial security, housing, hotline phone numbers, and assistance for refugees or repatriates.
Charitable and Nonprofit Organizations
There are nonprofit organizations such as religious institutions, charity groups, and foundations that work within selected communities. These organizations often offer services such as food banks, clothing, laundry assistance, bus passes, scholarships, bill assistance, thrift stores, backpacks, and school supplies. The best way to find these programs is by contacting your local R&R agency and requesting referrals to the services you need.
Some organizations can be found nationwide. Services may include child care, after school programs for teens, family events, youth camps, and more. Click on the link for each agency below to learn more. Family Promise is working nation-wide to provide shelter, education, and care for families experiencing homelessness. You can search for locations on their website (see below).
The public library is a hub for information. In addition to lending books and offering story time for children, the library also provides free use of computers and the internet, state forms for taxes and assistance programs, homework clubs and tutoring assistance, events for families, classes for learning English, classes for learning how to use computers, and book clubs for children. Families can also check out music, movies, and Wi-Fi devices for use at home. Librarians are available to help families find the information they need and guide them through the process of setting up an email account or finding websites to look for jobs. Public library cards are free for local residents to use. Find the public library near you by clicking on the link below.
The following resources offer services nation-wide and appear in the order they were mentioned above. You can connect to local offices through their websites. If you require further assistance please contact us.
- Find CCR&R Agencies through Child Care Aware
- Family Resource Centers (CHS Blog)
- Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
- Find a Head Start Center (Low-Cost Preschool Program)
- Find State and Tribal Child Support Agencies
- Find Health Care Coverage
- Health Center Locator
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program
- Find Homeless Shelters or Resources for Keeping Your Home
- Find Rental Assistance and Housing
- Low-Income Energy Office Search Tool (Utility Assistance)
- Information about the YMCA Programs and Locations
- Information and Locations for the Boys and Girls Clubs
- Family Promise Programs and Locations
- Find a Public Library