Relationships Matter

How Agencies Can Support Family and Social Network Development

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

January 1, 2006

Summary

This report, the third in a series aimed at exploring the power of social networks, spotlights the stories of two enterprising organizations: Lawrence Community Works in Massachusetts and the Family Independence Initiative in California. Readers will navigate text infused with firsthand feedback from program participants and learn how both agencies are leveraging social networks in innovative ways to better serve America’s most fragile families.  

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

A network organization can profoundly and positively impact the strength of a family

Unlike their wealthier counterparts, poor families must overcome considerable obstacles to purchase goods and services—everything from quality daycare to vacations—that can help ease the stresses of modern life. Enter network organizations, which enable fragile households to grow stronger (and dream bigger!) by opening doors to new services, social links and support. 

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