Family Success Project Subject of $2.3 Million Grant to Colorado State University Cooperative Extension

Colorado State University Cooperative Extension in Adams County has received a demonstration grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families that could total $2.3 million over five years. The grant will be used to show the ways in which classes and programs that support strong families help to improve parent-child communication, reduce violent behavior and increase household incomes.

Janet Benavente, Colorado State Cooperative Extension family and consumer sciences agent in Adams County and principal investigator for the grant, said the programs included in the Family Success in Adams County, or FSAC, project are intended to "get more people out of the crisis mode and into a more solid foundation for long-term family success."

Partnering agencies include Adams County Social Services Department, Tri-County Health Department and Alternatives to Family Violence, with additional help from secondary partners Goodwill Industries, Partnerships for Healthy Communities and Adams County Head Start. Project FSAC will use its team of agencies to recruit participants and provide appropriate marriage resources through standardized assessments, relationship skills education and other training, case management, referral to community resources and a two year follow-up period, Benavente said.

The grant amount of $488,067 per year is renewable for five years and is part of more than $118 million HHS awarded recently to 225 organizations across the country to promote healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood.

"Colorado State Cooperative Extension was able to make the case for this funding because we have existing, proven programs that help people adopt new skill sets as they seek to work on interpersonal relationships, conflict resolution, parenting and employment opportunities," Benavente said.

Existing curricula that will be used includes the PREP, a skill building course for couples; Love U2, a class for young adults; Making Parenting a Pleasure; It’s My Child, Too; RETHINK, an anger management class; Partners in Parenting Education, or PIPE, a preventive intervention for parenting educators; and Spend Some, Save Some, Share Some, a financial planning and management class.

"This is an exciting model to show how Colorado State Cooperative Extension and community organizations can bring their resources together in a campus/county partnership to improve lives and really benefit our neighborhoods," Benavente said.