is to enhance the ability of families to protect, nurture, educate and support the development of their children so that each child’s potential is achieved through seamless transitions across programs.
The Ritchie County FRN was established February 27th, 1992. We were one of the first five in the state to be established. Over the years, our programming may have changed, but out overall mission has not. We want to help families to become strong, healthy and self-sustaining. We do this by trying to help fill service gaps in the community. In the past, the FRN helped work with other groups to get Ritchie Regional Health Center started in the county. Many years ago, we helped get a day care started. Some of our current projects include the Personal Care Pantry, Substance Abuse Prevention and Child Abuse Prevention. We do our best to evolve our programs to reflect the current needs in the county.
The Ritchie County FRN is a 501C3 that is a funded primarily through a grant from WV Department of Health and Human Resources. A second smaller grant comes from WV Children’s Trust Fund, the Claude Benedum Worthington Foundation and WV Department of Health and Human Resources which is used for Child Abuse Prevention efforts.
It is through collaboration with many service providers in and around Ritchie County that we are able to offer the services we do.
History of FRN’s
In the beginning there were no FRNs…
The Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Families was created in 1990 so that policies and service delivery systems would complement one another. The Cabinet was granted unusual powers in that it could waive state regulations seen as barriers to deliver effective services and could shift funds among programs in order to improve services.
In August of 1990, Florette Angel (Founder and President of the Children’s Policy Institute of West Virginia) was working late – at the same time the West Virginia State Legislature was meeting in special session. A section of a bill, related to the establishment of the Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Families, regarding the inter-relationships among community based service systems and public education was being designed. Florette worked with the House Committee staff to refine this section of the legislation and to explore ways in which local communities could plan an active role in the envisioned changes throughout the service delivery system. The concept of a Family Resource Network (FRN) was born, to assure that local communities would have a significant role to play and services would be provided as close to the community as possible. The Cabinet supported the establishment of FRNs because of the need for:
- Multi-purpose local partners working with state government.
- Engaging diverse stakeholders in implementing policy decisions at the local level.
- Involving local folks that are closer to local needs and local solutions.
- A way to work with local communities whenever a new federal or state initiative is implemented.
- A forum for civic engagement and problem solving.
The Cabinet defined a Family Resource Network (FRN) as:
- A non-profit community-based organization.
- A local forum for cross-system deliberation, planning, and problem solving.
- A local infrastructure that supports priority setting, planning, community engagement, and collaborative initiatives.
- Concerned citizens working together to make their community a better place to live.
The first five FRN grants were issued in 1992 to the following:
- Monroe County Coalition for Children and Families
- Ohio County Family Resource Network
- Mercer County – The Family Connection
- Ritchie County Family Resource Network
- Regional Family Resource Network of Boone, Clay, Kanawha and Putnam Counties
As of January 1, 1995, Family Resource Networks were active in over two-thirds of the counties of the state. By 1999, all 55 counties were covered by a recognized and State funded FRN.
*History of FRN’s was copied from a publication entitled: FRN Handbook 2010 and was produced by WV DHHR.