First Step Family Support Center is a happy place where families come to learn, to play, to get resources that they need to keep their children warm and safe, and a place where families find caring staff members that want the best for parents and children.
Our mission, our reason for being, is: “To promote the healthy development of children and families in Clallam County”.
First Step primarily serves low income families with children from zero to six years of age. In Clallam County, the majority of women giving birth, approximately 68% of women giving birth are considered low income with a family income at 210% of poverty or less. We provide services to families in our facilities located at 323 and 325 East 6th Street in Port Angeles, as well as in the families’ homes throughout Clallam County through our home visiting programs.
First Step provides:
Promoting First Relationships and Making Parenting a Pleasure Parenting classes
Perinatal Mood disorder support groups
Kaleidoscope Play and Learn groups,
Free books through the First Books Program
Drop In centers in both Port Angeles and Sequim
A safe sleep program with free cribs and a car seat safety program with safe car seats
A free clothing and equipment closet
A Tools of the Mind Learning Academy that builds children’s “Executive Functioning Skills”
The Parent Child Assistance Program for parents struggling with substance abuse issues
The Parents As Teacher Home visiting program which helps parents help their children grow and thrive
The Maternity Support Services Program that helps women have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies
The Promoting First Relationships parent coaching program
A Supportive Parenting program that works with cognitively challenged parents raising their children
A Summer Adventure Camp for children entering Kindergarten
Cooking classes, sewing classes, and gardening classes for families and training programs for professionals working with families
First Step helps children and their families thrive. We believe that parents are their children’s first and most important teacher and their children’s emotional home, so we provide classes and services and programs for both parents and their children, using a two generational approach to promote child and family wellness and school readiness/success. We focus on preventing problems before they surface especially within families who have multiple stressors in their lives. We hope to build strong families who have the resources that they need to care for themselves and the information and tools that they need to maximize their children’s development and readiness for school and future success.
In 2017, First Step served approximately 1,900 parents and 3,400 children throughout Clallam County.
First Step was fortunate to have over 194 volunteers who served a total of 2,450 hours in 2017, but we can use more! Please contact our Volunteer coordinator Andrea at 360 457-8355 if you are interested in serving! Over the years, many of the families that we have served have become volunteers within the agency and many have later been hired on as professional staff!
We provide both scientifically designed and evaluated “evidence based programs”, as well as, programs that are designed specifically to meet the needs of our local community. With 35 full and part-time staff members and a generous and talented, volunteer Board of Directors, First Step continues to strive to ensure that: Babies are born healthy, Children have environments to live, grow and thrive in and Families gain the tools and resources needed to be strong and productive!
Quotes from First Step Clients:
“My experience with First Step is a culture of caring and nonjudgmental guidance”
“First Step helps me understand how my child grows and learns”
“I like the emotional and parenting support, someone to talk to, people who will help, a safe place to bring my kids”
“First Step helps me set and work towards the goals I want to achieve in parenting”
“The atmosphere is great, it gives me the ability to talk to other people with similar problems and situations”
Pictures from First Step program “Parents as Teacher’s” with participants and staff members