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ECHN's Family Development Center

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The Family Development Center has a single mission: to help families grow. To accomplish this, they provide a broad range of educational and support programs.

Based in the heart of Manchester, CT, the Family Development Center is a service of Eastern Connecticut Health Network.

Programs offered:


Early Head Start
(860) 646-1222 ext. 2748
Early Head Start serves families with children from birth to age 3. The key focus is building children's breadth of skills; physical, emotional, intellectual and social. Services are delivered to the home as well as through the Potter's House Child Development Center in Vernon, CT.


Family Resource Centers
(860) 647-3330 (Manchester)
(860) 875-5771 (Vernon)
The Family Resource Centers are members of the Connecticut Family Resource Alliance. They host many activities at Washington School in Manchester and Maple Street School in Vernon.


First Steps
(860) 646-1222 ext. 2457
This program helps new mothers and fathers adjust to their roles as parents. Moms and Dads are matched with specially trained volunteers, who provide resource materials on parenting, and emotional support through regular phone calls.

Volunteers are needed as well. Call today to begin your training program! 860-646-1222 ext. 2457 and ask for Susan.


Healthy Families CT
(860) 646-1222 ext. 2458 or 2702
Enhancing child development and overall family functioning is the aim of this home-visit program, which is geared to first-time parents. Services include education, support and case management.


Leadership Training
(860) 646-1222 ext. 2471
A primer course, Leadership Training seeks to instill a sense of personal empowerment and public responsibility. It's structured for adults interested in organizing community groups or events.


The Nurturing Program
(860) 646-1222 ext. 2538 or 2458
Through weekly classes, they strive to foster sound family values and healthy interaction among family members. Subjects range from positive discipline to good parent-child relationships. The program is directed to families with newborns - 5 years of age. Many of the sessions involve caregivers and their children learning together.


Postponing Sexual Involvement
(860) 646-1222 ext. 2471
The abstinence series, held after school, shows preteens the value of refraining from at-risk behaviors. Peer mentors conduct the sessions, which also teach self-respect.


Real Dads
(860) 646-1222 ext. 2471
This ongoing support group helps young dads become more involved in their children's lives. They encourage honest, open dialogue, while concentrating on topics such as relationships, goal setting and job-readiness skills.


Teen Parent Support Group
(860) 646-1222 ext. 2471
Weekly meetings lend educational and social outlets for pregnant and parenting teens. For all who attend, free child care and healthy refreshments are available. Case management is a facet of this program as well.


About the Staff:

The center's staff are a well educated and experienced team of professionals and volunteers.

All professionals are licensed and certified in their specialties. They represent a variety of backgrounds, from child development to education, to nursing, social work, and rehabilitation counseling. Additionally, all are cross-trained. This allows them to share their energies and expertise across programs, as needed.

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ECHN's Family Development Center