Why Now?

Babies’ brains grow faster in the first three years of life than at any other time.
The sooner parents learn nurturing skills, the better our children’s future. Recent advances in brain development research show just how critical the first few years of life are to healthy child development.

At no other time in a child’s life does an investment of time and resources make such a substantial difference. Nothing is more important to children’s development than positive interactions between caregiver and child. The more children are held, nurtured, talked to, and stimulated, the better their chances for school and life success. Family Nurturing Center programs support parents and children in developing social and emotional skills. The return? Healthier families, healthier children, healthier adults.

There are 2,500 children under five within a half-mile of Family Nurturing Center’s building. The Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood in Dorchester is a dynamic community filled with multiple opportunities to reach families with young children. 

The city is rebuilding the area’s infrastructure. Community members are organizing to improve the quality of life. Community-based organizations serving the neighborhood are growing stronger.

Located at the heart of this community, Family Nurturing Center’s expanded and renovated building will be a vibrant, welcoming place, a busy hub for all of Family Nurturing Center’s work in the City of Boston and throughout the Commonwealth.

Numbers Served | July 2016–June 2017

Over 3,000 individuals in Boston neighborhoods and across the Commonwealth were served
by Family Nurturing Center in FY17.

325 families received a one-time Welcome Baby home visit, which brings a gift bag and information about early literacy and community resources to families with newborns. Visits are available in 5 languages, and FNC visits in Dorchester, Roslindale / Hyde Park, and Allston-Brighton.

77 families received twice-weekly home visits for 23 weeks through the Parent-Child Home Program. Home Visitors bring a new book or toy to families each week to build early literacy and school readiness skills.

Over 600 parents/caregivers and children were served in parent-baby groups, parent-child playgroups, and summer playgroups in the park. These are drop-in activities for parents and young children (0–4) to play and interact with each other, build social-emotional and school readiness skills, meet other parents, and connect to resources.

168 parents graduated from Nurturing Parenting Programs—intensive family strengthening programs for parents and children together. Groups of families meet weekly for 2.5 hours over 12–15 weeks to develop and improve nurturing, communication, and discipline skills. Many families referred to the program have some involvement with the Department of Children & Families (DCF).

70 parents participated in additional multi-session parenting education programs offered by FNC in Dorchester, Roslindale, and Allston-Brighton—on topics such as social-emotional development, early literacy, parenting, and children's brain development.

159 families received developmental screenings (Ages & Stages Questionnaires or ASQs) for their infants and young children - to assess progress toward milestones and receive referrals to support services if needed.

Over 500 parents and children participated in one or more FNC community events. These included a Holiday Party, outdoor summer events, monthly community coalition meetings and forums, a neighborhood diaper pantry, and a backpack giveaway.

149 human service professionals from over 30 private and public agencies participated in the Developing Nurturing Families & Communities Basic Skills training or the Nurturing Fathers’ Program Facilitator Training, as FNC’s training team built capacity across the state for the development of new Nurturing Programs.

Families in all programs benefitted from referrals to resources such as diaper pantries, ongoing home visiting, housing services, ESOL, Head Start, Early Intervention, and WIC.