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Child Protection And Family Bonding Are At The Front Of The Family Place’s Priorities In Utah

The Family Place is an organization that offers therapy services, workshops, classes and educational services with the aim of strengthening family bonds and protection of children in Cache Valley. 

Through the Better Together program, The Family Place supports parents, caregivers and children to overcome stress and support child development. 

Cassie Alarcon works as a family coach for the Better Together program which started in 2019. 

“The program has four goals, the first is to strengthen the relationship between parents or caregivers—we know that it is not always the biological parents—and the children. We know that children who have at least one positive relationship with a supportive adult are more resilient to life's traumas. The second goal is to increase awareness of child rearing and development so that parents can support their children in their development. Also strengthen the protective factors in our community, not only strengthen families individually, but we hope to help the whole community, and finally to help parents and children learn to regulate emotions which can help to cope with life’s stresses and being able to have stronger families,” Alarcon said.

The Better Together program in Spanish offers the same services, but it can be difficult to reach to the Latino community and other minority groups because of fear and language barriers.

“For Latinos and other groups, it can be difficult to receive social services like the ones we offer here at The Family Place for different reasons; one, many people are afraid of receiving services due to their immigration status. Although we are not a government agency nor do we share data or information with anyone, we have seen some people who perhaps do not trust us and do not want to come for our services. The language can also be difficult for them; and sometimes, because of this, they do not know well or do not understand the systems. They may lose an opportunity to receive help simply because they did not know how to fill out an application, they did not understand that the service was going to be free, or they did not know how to make a phone call,” Alarcon said.

Cassie Alarcon told us about the ways people can get involved with The Family Place.

“There are many ways to get involved here with us,” Alarcon said. “We are always looking for volunteers, and if anyone wants to collaborate with us, they are very welcome. We have various community events throughout the year and those events are always on website and also on Facebook and Instagram as “The Family Place Utah.” As for receiving the services we provide, everyone is very welcome. Many of the services we offer are free. I invite you to look at the calendar on the website to see what we have scheduled, and you can always call to ask us questions or make appointments for therapy or Kid's Place. We have several Spanish-speaking employees answering the phones, so don't hesitate to give us a call.”

The Better Together program is a pilot program, but The Family Place is hoping the program will achieve its goals and be implemented in different agencies across Utah.

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Manuel Giron produces news content at UPR. As a bilingual reporter, he writes stories in English and Spanish, and is involved in all steps of the reporting process from thinking of story ideas to writing the stories and preparing them for air. He is a Senior at Utah State University majoring in Political Science and minoring in Portuguese. He loves to write, read, listen to music, and swim. He is incredibly excited about working for UPR and learning about journalism in the process.