New Resources for Atlanta Families Thanks to Sheltering Arms
and The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

(ATLANTA, January 26, 2006) – Raising a family in Atlanta has just gotten a little easier thanks to a partnership between Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers and The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.  Two initiatives recently funded by the foundation will improve access to financial assistance for low-income families, and will enlist childcare centers in the prevention of child abuse and neglect.   Sheltering Arms is a leader in both initiatives.

EarnBenefits is an innovative program being brought to Atlanta by The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.  The program helps low-wage workers increase family assets using online technology to identify and apply for benefits, such as tax credits, health insurance and child care subsidies.  Because of their daily access to young families, the foundation chose to pilot the new program in childcare centers in Fulton County.  Sheltering Arms, Quality Care for Children, and the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta are launching the initiative this month.  Front line family support workers are being trained at Sheltering Arms Georgia Training Institute, and Americorps volunteers are beginning on-site tax preparation for families as a way to introduce the new service.  While parents at the launch sites will receive additional services, all Atlanta parents can access the website at http://atlanta.earnbenefits.org/ to research benefits for which they may be eligible.

The foundation has also announced $95,000 in funding to bring the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s (CSSP) Strengthening Families Initiative to Atlanta.  Strengthening Families, a national child abuse prevention program being piloted in 7 other states, seeks to leverage the access and rapport that child care programs have with young families into a powerful resource for the prevention of child abuse.  In 2003, CSSP studied innovative child abuse prevention programs at Sheltering Arms and 19 other model early childhood programs around the nation.  That research led to the development of the Strengthening Families approach, which employs affordable, doable programmatic elements to build healthier, more resilient families.   In 2004 Sheltering Arms was named to the national technical assistance network that is assisting in the implementation of Strengthening Families around the country.

 

“Reaching our children early is critical,” said Penelope McPhee, president of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. “The services Sheltering Arms and our other partners will offer families and caregivers are the first steps in dramatically improving their chances in life.”


View one Sheltering Arms' family's story about EarnBenefits in the 2006 Annual Report of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.  Follow this link, open the Better Beginnings tab, and scroll to the photo on the far right, Increasing Family Resources. 


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