It’s hard to believe that Maryland’s Family Support Center network turned 30 this year! Here’s what I wrote for the program brochure distributed at the Spring Training event in Ocean City, where the entire network, about 350 of us, celebrated the landmark.
By the time you’re thirty, you’re flying pretty high. You’ve probably developed some positive relationships, you’ve gotten a good education – at school, at work, or in a combination of the two – and you’ve started at least one career and maybe even a family. It’s a great time of life. And so it is with Maryland’s Family Support Center Network at age thirty.
We have learned a lot together –what it takes to build a program based on the family support principles; what strategies work to recruit and engage families and help them realize their dreams, especially for their children; what combination of skills are needed among Center staff to support parents and very young children; how to work together in harmony and be productive as a family of unique individuals — directors, CD specialists, home visitors, adult education teachers, van drivers, and so on.
The positive relationships among us and the education we’ve received while working in the Family Support Center Network have enriched many of our lives, and this special Spring Training event is a time to celebrate the thirty years it took to get here.
On the first day of this conference, Throwback Thursday, we’ll revisit some of our milestones, victories, and challenges, brought to you by some of the people who helped us get this far.
On the second day, Future Friday, we’ll focus on the future: the new skills, strategies, and partners will we need to identify and cultivate to be successful over the next thirty years.
As in all things worth doing, our network – just like supporting families — depends on relationships that are characterized by respect and caring. We hope we demonstrate for you, in every detail of the 2016 Spring Training, our respect for you and your work, and our care for your well-being and success.
With much gratitude for your time in the Family Support Center Network, 3 days or 30 years.