Northern New Jersey parents recently enjoyed a Family Expo, sponsored by the Sussex County Family Success Center at Project Self-Sufficiency and Project Sussex Kids, the County Council for Young Children. Interactive games and displays for kids were augmented by break-out sessions for parents; topics included dealing with temper tantrums, nutritious meals and snacks, and oral health. Hearing screenings and exhibits from local health care and social service organizations rounded out the event. Spanish-speaking interpreters were on hand to assist families with language barriers. Participants were treated to dinner; a Shop Rite gift card, a three-month membership to the Sussex County YMCA, and two tickets to a Sussex County Miners baseball game were raffled off to delighted parents.
In addition to Project Self-Sufficiency, organizations which hosted information tables at the event included Atlantic Health System, Pediatric Hub; CarePlus New Jersey Kinship Navigator Program; Caring Partners of Morris & Sussex; Center for Prevention & Counseling; CLEAResult, the NJ Comfort Partners Program; DAWN Center for Independent Living; Division of Child Protection & Permanency; Domestic Abuse Services, Inc.; Family Intervention Services; Family Partners of Morris & Sussex Counties; Hearing Life; Morristown Medical Center, Safe Kids Northern NJ; NAMI Sussex; Newton Medical Center; NORWESCAP Child & Family Resource Services; Regional Family Support Planning Council #1; Shop Rite of Newton; Sussex County Division of Social Services; Sussex County Library; Sussex County Public Health Nursing; Sussex County Special Child Health Services; Sussex County YMCA; Sussex Education Service Commission; Sussex Macaroni Kid; United Way of Northern New Jersey; Youth Advocate Program; and Zufall Health Clinic.
“The Family Expo encourages parents and children to explore new and interesting activities, and get up-to-date information about local resources,” commented Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency. “We are grateful to the community groups, parent volunteers, educators, health organizations, and social service agencies in our community who came together to offer this event for local families.”
The Sussex County Family Success Center at Project Self-Sufficiency is part of a network of Family Success Centers across the state whose purpose is to strengthen families and neighborhoods; develop networks of family services that foster healthy families; and to build connections within families, between families and to the community. The Family Success Center provides a wide range of services to participating families, including assistance with healthcare, substance abuse prevention services, career planning, job training, parenting workshops, and life skills training.
Project Sussex Kids, the Sussex County Council for Young Children, is an effort funded by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, which is designed to address the needs of families who are expecting or who are already parenting children up to the age of eight. County Councils for Young Children are being established in each of the state’s 21 counties to bring together parents, caregivers, and professionals to enhance communication, coordination and collaboration of services.
For information about the programs and services offered at Project Self-Sufficiency through the Sussex County Family Success Center or through Project Sussex Kids, call 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500, or visit www.projectselfsufficiency.org.