Supporting Parents

and Caregivers, Helping Children Thrive





300

Every month, Family Link
provides services to over
140 families and
an average of
300 children.

Vibrant’s family support programs work with parents and caregivers to provide them with resources, skills, and tools to strengthen their ability to help their children thrive.

Cristina Colon-Melendez.jpg

“Family Link helped to strengthen and enhance my family’s foundation so that we can meet whatever challenges may come our way.”

—CRISTINA

When a parent or caregiver walks through the door of Vibrant’s Family Link program, they can rest assured they have found staff who will provide the support and resources necessary to strengthen their family’s emotional health. I know because I wouldn’t be here today without them.

Years ago, I arrived at Family Link’s front door incapable of managing stress and looking for help managing my son’s behavioral health issues. Together, we developed an individualized plan that has helped our family achieve wellbeing.

Our journey to Family Link began after I emigrated with my three children to the United States from Puerto Rico. Months after we settled in New York, my oldest son, Roberto, struggled to acclimate to our new life. He got involved with a troubled group of kids, was often sent to detention at school and involved in neighborhood fights. Sometimes he didn’t come home for days. Neighbors told me that they had heard he was doing drugs.

Roberto’s behavior had a dramatic impact on my emotional health. I developed severe anxiety and a short fuse, flying into a rage in reaction to the slightest infraction. Incapable of coping with stress and out of ideas for how to help my son, I called the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) looking for answers.

ACS referred me to the Family Link program. Their small, hands-on staff identified my need for coping skills. I learned how to stop, pause and take a deep breath whenever I felt a rush of anxiety. My case manager, Vicki, and family advocate, Samantha, became instrumental in helping turn our lives around, offering to be there for me any time. With their support, I went to the Board of Education and requested a school transfer for Roberto so that
he could get a fresh start. Samantha referred him to a psychologist to get him the therapy he needed. Their support has made a difference. This fall Roberto enrolled in a GED program and has his sights set on entering the Army.

Family Link helped to strengthen and enhance my family’s foundation so that we can meet whatever challenges may come our way.

—CRISTINA, PARTICIPANT, FAMILY LINK