NEWTON, NJ - Sussex County parents and their children recently enjoyed a Family Expo, sponsored by the Sussex County Family Success Center at Project Self-Sufficiency and Project Sussex Kids, the County Council for Young Children.  The event featured children’s activities as well as interactive sessions about health and wellness, fire safety, parenting skills, and other topics.  Keynote speakers addressed media literacy, raising healthy children, and the detection and prevention of child sexual abuse.  Participants were treated to dinner and goodie bags filled with parenting resources. 

Sussex County Family Success Center and Project Sussex Kids staff members offered a presentation about the Enough Abuse program, 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. 

Dr. Eric Loewrigkeit, of Sparta Chiropractic and Wellness Center, conducted a workshop, “Growing Healthy Children,” which discussed methods for boosting children’s immune system and maintaining childhood health.  The topic of media literacy was addressed by Gwen Federico, Associate Director of Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Intervention Services.

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In addition to Project Self-Sufficiency, organizations which hosted information tables at the event included

  • Caring Partners of Morris and Sussex
  • Children’s Mobile Response
  • DAWN Center for Independent Living
  • Division of Child Protection & Permanency
  • Domestic Abuse & Sexual Intervention Services 
  • Family Intervention Services
  • Family Partners of Morris and Sussex Counties
  • Ginnie’s House
  • Legal Services of Northwest New Jersey
  • National Alliance of Mental Illness of New Jersey 
  • NJ SNAP-Ed and Support Network Supplemental Nutrition Program 
  • NORWESCAP Head Start
  • Partnership for Maternal & Child Health of Northern New Jersey
  • Sussex County Community College
  • Sussex County Special Child Health Services
  • Sussex County YMCA; Sussex Warren Chronic Disease Coalition
  • Zufall Health Clinic 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,” commented Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency.  “We are grateful to the health organizations, social service agencies and public safety officials in our community, and to all of the volunteers who came together to offer this event for local families.”

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. 

Project Sussex Kids, the Sussex County Council for Young Children, is an effort funded by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, which is designed to address the needs of families who are expecting or who are already parenting children up to the age of eight.  County Councils for Young Children are being established in all of the state’s 21 counties to bring together parents, caregivers, and professionals to enhance communication, coordination and collaboration of services.

For information about the programs and services offered at Project Self-Sufficiency through the Sussex County Family Success Center or through Project Sussex Kids, call 973-940-3500 or visit www.projectselfsufficiency.org.