9 Families from Orange and East Orange Successfully Completed the Fall Cycle of Strengthening Families of Essex

EAST ORANGE/ORANGE, NJ - FAMILYConnections is pleased to announce that 9 families from Orange and East Orange successfully completed the fall cycle of Strengthening Families of Essex (SFOE).  SFOE is a 14 week course that teaches families how to work together for better communication and improved family bonding.  The program is offered by FAMILYConnections at safe, convenient locations throughout Essex County.

“We congratulate everyone who completed this last cycle of classes,” says Jacques Hryshko, FAMILYConnections’ Executive Director.  “SFOE is a program that benefits the entire family. When families meet, they enjoy a wholesome meal together. They take part in group sessions utilizing the nationally recognized Strengthening Families Program curriculum which teaches good communication between children and parents. Studies show that better family communication decreases the chances of children experimenting with drugs, alcohol and other high-risk behaviors.”

The SFOE fall session concluded with a graduation event celebrating completion of the program. Festivities included a cupcake war in which families competed against one another to bake the best healthy cupcake. Jackie Philbin, Dietician for Shop Rite of West Orange, and Taylor Cain, Dietician for Shop Rite of East Orange, served as bake-off instructors.  The final cupcake line-up included orange creamsicle, black bean brownie, blueberry zucchini and Greek yogurt funfetti.   Each family received a Cupcake Wars award for their participation along with certificates and a special family baking set.   

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To date, since the start of 2017, 80 families have successfully completed the SFOE program, offered at 7 different sites in Essex County.

FAMILYConnections will be offering new SFOE sessions in the coming months.  Families with children ages 6 and up are encouraged to find out more by calling (201) 259-3543. Babysitting is offered for children 5 and under.  

FAMILYConnections is a non-profit counseling and family services agency with 35 specialized programs for all ages from infants to seniors.  The agency delivers research-based therapeutic services to improve the quality of life throughout the community by reducing child abuse, drug abuse, gang involvement, and crime; by increasing social and coping skills, school success, and employability; by healing emotional pain and helping individuals and families become strong and independent.

For more information, call 973 675-3817 or visit






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