On April 27, Santa Maria celebrated the Strengthening Families Initiative by recognizing the many years of success of its programs and its support for the families it serves. The event was put together by 4C and Santa Maria staff, and food was provided for the attendees. Awards were given out to recognize the Strengthening Families programs, and a photo booth was provided for guests to capture the event. Family and Community Services/Strategic Director, Carolyn Brinkmann, was present to thank the programs and share with them the new direction of Strengthening Families and its continued objective to build into the community. Julie McGregor, Santa Maria’s Every Child Succeeds/Family Child Care Program Director, showed her support, as well as previous Santa Maria Family Child Care coaches, Barbara Smith and Christine Bull.
Strengthening Families came to Ohio in 2008 as a preventative initiative. Santa Maria collaborated with the initiative to incorporate it into its current Family Child Care program, and to further connect with preschools and educational centers to reach a large number of families and build into them the protective factors that would help decrease child abuse and neglect.