Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) announces partnerships with two social service agencies to provide community-based voluntary services (CBVS) for at-risk children and families. Waypoint, located in Manchester, and the Family Resources Center of Northern New Hampshire, located in Gorham, will provide critical support services across the state to promote safe, stable and nurturing families and communities.
Voluntary services are prevention tools to help families struggling with health and safety concerns that do not meet a finding of abuse or neglect today but could meet that standard without intervention by supportive community organizations. The new partnerships with Waypoint and the Family Resource Center will ensure that community-based voluntary services are available to families that have had initial contact with DCYF in order to strengthen the family setting and prevent future cases of abuse and neglect. These services will also increase DCYF’s statewide service array and advance efforts to provide New Hampshire families with the right services at the right time and in the right place.
“Ensuring that New Hampshire’s DCYF provides quality care and services to children and families across the Granite State has been a top priority of my administration,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “The announcement of these two partnerships, which will serve to provide voluntary services, is yet another step forward in ensuring we continue to meet that commitment and in ensuring support services are readily accessible to New Hampshire families directly within their communities.”
“We are thrilled to be working with two organizations with a demonstrated track record of helping children and families and with whom we have such a rich history,” said DCYF Director Joseph E. Ribsam. “Voluntary services help strengthen and preserve families, keep children safe at home, and foster environments in which they will thrive. As we continue to make our way through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, these community-based services will be a lifeline to our families as they regain their strength and resilience.”
“We are very excited by this opportunity,” says Borja Alvarez de Toledo, president and CEO of Waypoint. “Prevention services of this caliber will reduce reliance on state systems, and are transformative in the way they protect children and families.”
“We have been supporting families for more than 22 years through our five locations in the North Country,” said Patti Stolte, Executive Director of the Family Resource Center of Northern New Hampshire. “We’ve provided an array of services offered in our state from those seeking information on parenting to those needing interventions or even working towards family reunification. The new program under FRC known as Building Families Foundation is revolutionary in recognizing that families can experience a crisis, but with some intensive, short term care, can move quickly out of an at-risk situation with their family intact and achieve long-term success.”
In April 2020, DCYF issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to expand the system of CBVS with a focus on strengthening the protective factors of families, including nurturing parenting skills and capabilities, addressing concrete needs, and supporting healthy family functioning. Feedback from a Request for Information issued by DHHS in October of 2019 informed the RFP, which includes features such as family engagement, flexibility of services, performance improvement, and adequate funding for service delivery.
To read the RFP, please visit https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/business/rfp/rfp-2021-dcyf-03-commu.htm.