The Family Support Council, a non-profit family resource organization located in Northwest Georgia, works to prevent child abuse and neglect by supporting and building strong, nurturing families. Ensuring that families have access to a seamless continuum of support as they do the important work of parenting is the goal of Family Support Council and has driven program development and organizational change since its beginnings.
Established in 1980 with the formation of a local Parents Anonymous Group, the organization initially provided confidential support for parents facing challenges in their parenting efforts. Named the Northwest Georgia Council on Child Abuse (NGCCA), by 1984 the agency had expanded its services and received financial support from local civic groups. In 1986, NGCCA received its first United Way funding and became a charter member of the Georgia Council on Child Abuse. During the early and middle 1990’s several other programs aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect, including First Steps, Healthy Families, Kids On the Block, Camp AIM, and the Nurturing Program were added to the services provided by NGCCA.
Spurred by the vision of key members of the business and human service delivery communities, in 1998, NGCCA joined with two other local family service programs to form an “umbrella agency” and adopted the name of the Family Support Council. The new agency streamlined administration and brought together similar family support programs under one roof to more effectively utilize community resources and provide improved service delivery. Joining existing programs at that time were the School Outreach Program and Infant Preschool Council. Soon after, the “Success By 6” school readiness program joined the Family Support Council. In 2001, the Oak Haven Second Chance Home was established to provide residential support for teen mothers and their babies who have no other safe place to live. In 2004, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) transferred from Juvenile Court to the Family Support Council. In 2005, the School Outreach staff received training in the nationally recognized “Parents As Teachers” program and eventually adopted the name “Parents As Teachers”. The Infant Preschool Council’s TeenAble Program and Camp LePapillon continue to operate under Oak Haven.
From humble origins, the Family Support Council has grown to be a significant service provider in the Northwest Georgia area. A paid staff of 37 and a host of volunteers implement the many programs of Family Support Council. The council is guided by a 24 member Board of Directors from various fields such as education, social services, private industry, and the legal profession.
The Family Support Council has garnered the confidence of the local community and has been supported in its service delivery and development with steady funding over the years, largely by United Way of Northwest Georgia. Other funding sources include the Governor’s Office for Children and Families, Georgia CASA, Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, Department of Human Services - Promoting Safe and Stable Families, Department of Public Health, Dalton Public Schools, Mohawk Foundation, Alan S. Lorberbaum Family Foundation, Whitfield County Government, Murray County Government, Nabors to Neighbors Foundation, Roman Open, Kiwanis, and private donations.
The Family Support Council collaborates extensively with other community partners and serves as the lead partner in implementation of strategies to improve the well-being of children and families and participates in community-wide benchmarking and evaluation of results.
Through all its changes and developments, the Family Support Council has remained true to its mission: to create a community in which all children are safe, nurtured, and empowered to reach their full potential. Working collaboratively with many other community partners, the Family Support Council is committed to creating a better community and quality of life for all.