Strong Start, a program of Austin Children's Services, is modeled after The Relief Nursery, a nationally recognized, comprehensive family support program for parents of children up to six years of age who are experiencing extraordinary stress. The program has consistently shown positive results in helping overwhelmed families decrease stress, increase positive parenting skills, and become healthier and happier.
The mission of Strong Start is to prevent the cycle of child abuse and neglect by early intervention, focusing on building successful and resilient children, strengthening parents and preserving families. Families seeking services are often struggling with risk factors like financial strain, a history of abuse, substance abuse or a lack of social support. Through therapeutic early childhood services and comprehensive family support, Strong Start empowers vulnerable families to stop the cycle of child abuse and neglect.
Strong Start is an effective model of child protection and family preservation, building on the knowledge that children are best served when they remain with their families.
Strong Start’s model, The Relief Nursery, was developed in Eugene, Oregon in 1976 by a group of concerned citizens who were appalled by the number of children being abused, removed from their homes, and placed in foster care. With a common stance of “We can do better for our children,” the women of the Junior League of Eugene joined with Child Protective Services to
Through its distinct sub-programs, Strong Start works therapeutically with children and families to prevent child abuse and make long-term changes including decreasing negative behaviors and improving social emotional development, while working with parents to decrease harsh parental discipline and teach effective parenting skills. Families voluntarily participate in the unique combination of sub-programs that meet their needs, free of charge. They participate for the length of
Volunteers are a vital part of the Strong Start team and we have several opportunities to meet your personal or professional goals. As a volunteer or intern at Strong Start you play an essential role in providing services to our children and families. Volunteering at Strong Start will give you a meaningful experience for community service hours, and provide the opportunity to help and serve others.