Bright Beginnings Executive Director and BBI parent attended performance oversight hearing with the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services

On March 1st, Executive Director Dr. Marla M. Dean attended the Council of the District of Columbia Committee on Human Resources to discuss Bright Beginnings’ partnership with Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) and Collaborative Solutions for Communities. Bright Beginnings has greatly benefitted from its partnership with CFSA and Collaborative Solutions for Communities, which has helped our organization, pursue our mission and vision and is in line with our guiding principles. We have received two capacity building grants to serve young families with young children: $40,000 in 2016 and $60,000 in 2016. Thanks to this grant, our young parents have learned how to nurture their children, support their development, and enjoy being a family – despite their homelessness. CFSA and Collaborative Solutions for Communities have provided technical assistance in programmatic and administrative ways. When CFSA staff did site visits, staff offered practical suggestions about how to enhance our program, including expanding our lending library and tracking children after they leave Bright Beginnings

Dr. Dean testifies on the partnership between BBI and CFSA

Bright Beginnings parent Renikia L. Smith shared powerful testimony on the support BBI has provided, including a safe haven for her and her children when fleeing an abusive relationship, therapeutic services for her children’s developmental delays due to trauma, help with an IEP when her autistic son was entering public school, and marketable skills and a certification in the career she wanted to enter.

BBI Parent Renika Smith describes how CFSA and BBI
have benefitted her and her family

The capacity building grant has enhanced our ability to narrow the front door to the social welfare system. We are learning to use data to identify families and children most at risk of coming in contact with the child welfare system. By investing upfront in young parents and young children, we are preventing families from entering the social welfare system.