As a whole Adams County has consistently ranks in the bottom 5 of the 25 rated counties for child-wellbeing due to high rates of child poverty, children being born to teen parent, child abuse and neglect, and poor academic outcomes. Children experiencing these challenges are more likely to be exposed to toxic stress – which can have life-long impacts on health and wellbeing, often perpetuating the cycle of poverty and abuse and neglect. It is recognized that there are great disparities in Adams County, as there are areas of the County in which children and their families are thriving, and areas where children and families are barely surviving. The zip code or neighborhood in which children and families live unfortunately often determines whether they have what they need to thrive.
Because there are great nonprofit service organizations, strong family and community leaders, and invested businesses in Adams County, there is an opportunity to work together to change the landscape for these challenges and create a future where every zip code is filled in with everything that makes a strong community. In 2017, community leaders (organizations and elected officials) set a priority to “Provide Services where Families Spend their Time” to reduce barriers to equitably accessing the needed supports that can help to break the cycle of poverty and exposure to toxic stress and strengthen families towards long term positive outcomes. During 2018, Early Childhood Partnership of Adams County (ECPAC), took a deep dive into this solution through the completion of 9 focus groups with families and community members, 2 focus groups with organizational leaders, 7 interviews with elected officials (city, county, state), a review of literature, research into nationally recognized programs making an impact on similar challenges, and a survey of community service providers with three follow up community discussions. One of the results of these efforts was the overwhelming identification of the need for “Family Resource Center Hubs” to be located in various areas of Adams County. These Hubs would be a “one-stop shop” for families through strong partnerships with community service organizations, where families can equitably access a variety of comprehensive services without having to experience the barriers associated with time, transportation, and trust.
ECPAC is partnering with Growing Home and Unison Housing Partners to pilot a similar model at the Alto property in Westminster.
ECPAC is one of many community partners sharing space at the Adams County Human Service office in effort to provide seamless referrals to families and connect them to supports more efficiently and quickly. Video of Community Partners at DHS 2019.
ECPAC is secured funding to open a Family Resource Center Hub in Commerce City in the Fall of 2019 (English and Spanish) and working with other Cities to consider Hubs in future years (funding permitting).