Parents and their children are invited to a free Family Expo hosted by the Sussex County Family Success Center at Project Self-Sufficiency on Thursday, May 1st from 4:30 – 8:00 p.m. The event will feature information about health and wellness, fire safety, parenting tips, and first aid. Keynote speakers will include Family Success Center staff members, who will present information about the Enough Abuse child sexual assault prevention campaign, and Kris Imbrie, L.C.S.W, D.V.S., who will discuss ways in which parents can assist their children following traumatic experiences. Participants will be treated to dinner and goodie bags filled with parenting resources. The Family Expo is free and open to families from Sussex and northern Warren Counties, but space is limited and registration is required.
The Enough Abuse effort is a community-wide education effort which aims to mobilize adults and communities to prevent child sexual assault by increasing awareness of the warning signs displayed by predators and as well as victims. Family Success Center staff members will discuss “Understanding & Responding to the Sexual Behaviors of Children,” as part of the Enough Abuse Campaign. “The purpose of the campaign and our presentation is to educate parents on how to promote safe, healthy environments and behaviors in order to prevent people from sexually abusing children now, and prevent children from developing sexually abusive behaviors in the future,” notes Program Coordinator Claire Willetts. As part of the Enough Abuse campaign, free training sessions are offered regularly to middle and high school youth, their parents, teachers, administrators, coaches and other youth-serving professionals about how to recognize and prevent child sexual abuse.
With her presentation, “My Child’s Life after Trauma: I’m the Parent, How Can I Help?” Licensed Clinical Social Worker Kris Imbrie will discuss methods parents can use to help their children cope with the aftermath of traumatic experiences. “There are many forms of trauma that children can encounter; medical trauma, loss of loved one, car accidents, child sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence or natural disasters, just to name a few, “ remarks Kris. “Parents are left feeling helpless after their child has been traumatized. Often the child's subsequent difficult behavior makes things even more complicated. This presentation will suggest ways in which a caregiver can meaningfully participate in their child's healing.”
In addition to Project Self-Sufficiency, organizations who will host information tables at the event include Birth Haven, Center for Prevention & Counseling, Division of Child Protection & Permanency, Family Intervention Services, Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, Literacy Volunteers of Northwest New Jersey, NAMI, NJ Shares, Parent Interactions with Schools and Teachers, and others.
“The Family Expo gives parents the opportunity to interact with experts in a variety of fields, and to ask questions and get information about issues faced by their families,” continues Claire Willetts. “We are grateful for the response from the health organizations, social service agencies and public safety officials in our community, and we are looking forward to a wonderful and informative evening.”
The Sussex County Family Success Center at Project Self-Sufficiency is part of a network of Family Success Centers across the state whose purpose is to strengthen families and neighborhoods; develop networks of family services that foster healthy families; and to build connections within families, between families and to the community. The Family Success Center provides a wide range of services to participating families, including assistance with healthcare, substance abuse prevention services, career planning, job training, parenting workshops, and life skills training.
Participation in the Family Expo is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration is required for attendance. To register for the Family Expo, or for more information about the programs and services available at Project Self-Sufficiency, call 973-940-3500.