A Publication of WTVP

Families come in all shapes and sizes, but they have one thing in common: They're a team with each member playing a specific position. Family members bring specific skills and personalities to their game, and while one player may at times seem more important than others, a healthy and happy community needs all of our families' team members to be the best they can be.

Local family programs offered by our health and social service agencies are in place to help families function successfully in the community. These programs provide social, health, emergency, and educational resources. Counseling, disaster services, emergency shelter, respite care, parenting classes, family activities, and outreach services are just a few parts of the family support structures in place in our community.

Families provide their team members with a sense of belonging, a source of emotional support and comfort, warmth and nurturing, and protection and security. Families are so much more than just groups of individuals. They're our first sense of "home"-the first place every child and adult should feel he or she is important and can follow their dreams.

Every parent knows it takes hard work to keep his or her family going. And adults who are caring for both their children and older parents know the struggle to keep life balanced. Yet as important as this caring and sharing is to the family structure, these roles aren't always easy to assume. This is when the caring and sharing functions of the community take center stage by providing outlets of support.

Many of us realize there are core values that must be in place within our families for them to thrive. The idea that parents matter is vital to the wellbeing of individuals and nations throughout the world. Communication, trust, partnership, purpose, vision, and commitment are essential to every family member. Communities that continue to help parents provide opportunities for learning, experiencing new opportunities, or offering assistance when it's needed are essential.

A community, just like a family, is also a team with the social service industry, our arts organizations, educational systems, and many others playing important roles in the success of our families. Together, we can help our families get through the tough times, enjoy the good times, and know that they matter. IBI