Center for Healthy Communities & Research

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Marion Area Coalition for Healthy Communities

Family-Focused Resources

Family-Focused Resources include a Marion Area Family Resource Center lending library, drop-in playtime, family events, information and referral services, and a Parent Network Directory.  Through these and related programs, opportunities are available to residents of the Marion Area to build on individual and family strengths.


Different partners are involved to a greater or lesser extent in each family resource program. 

  • A planning group of community member have guided the Family Resource Center development;
  • Area churches and the local newspaper provides publicity for the Center and help promote current activities at the Center;
  • The City of Marion gives the Marion Area Family Resource Center rent-free space;
  • The City of Marion Police Department provides information on the laws around substance abuse and opportunities for prevention;
  • Area experts offer educational programming free of charge;
  • Community-based staff from the Center for Healthy Communities in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin help plan and implement these programs.

Goals of the Program:

  • Increase family strengths using an asset-based approach


  • Lending Library-The Marion Area Family Resource Center houses over 1000 books, videos, and toys.  The materials cover a wide range of topics, from aging to infancy, from health to social.
  • Drop-In Playtime-A regular activity schedule is established (playtime occurs once a week), the program has been publicized, and new families regularly participate.  Average participation is approximately seven adults and children per session (2006), which is comparable to family resource centers in larger communities.
  • Family Events-Family events are opportunities for families to come together, explore a particular topic or activity, and create lasting positive memories.  Average participation was approximately 17 individuals, with eight events (2005).
  • Information and Referral Services-Information regarding local, state, and national resources has been gathered and is available for families.  A newsletter, distributed by direct mail to all families in the school district, provides helpful hints, a calendar and other resources.  The Resource Center also provides more focused information in the form of programs, workshops, and seminars.
  • Parent Network Directory-The directory provides parents with key information on the repercussions of different drugs and alcohol violations for youth and adults, and offer a list of parents who pledge to host only drug-and alcohol-free events/parties at their house.
  • Families that Care-Guiding Good Choices-This parenting program is for parents of middle and high school children.  It is held once a year, and aims to give families tools to help prevent youth substance abuse.  A local church mandates that parents of youth in its confirmation class participate in the program.
  • Parenting postcards-Age-specific postcards are mailed monthly to families with children in grades 4-9.  These postcards provide brief, easy-to-remember suggestions and ideas for increasing youth assets.  By mailing directly to the home, the aim is to reach a broader audience than by inviting people to attend an event or program.

Funding Source:

  • Drug-Free Communities Support Program grant, Office of National Drug Control Policy, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • Marion Lioness Club contributed funds for Drop-In Playtime materials
  • St. John's Lutheran Church donated space for a period of six months
  • Marion United Fund, the Marion Lions Club, the Marion Lioness Club, and the City of Marion regularly donate funds
  • The partnership has secured a number of small state and county grants.
  • All these programs are sustained by staffing and other kinds of resources through the Drug-Free Communities Support Program, the Center for Healthy Communities, and significant community in-kin and volunteer contributions.

Community Links:

Marion Area Family Resource Center
© 2015 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 06/09/2014