Our History and Background
The concept for the Family Resource Networks (FRN) was designed under what was The Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Families, now known as Bureau for Children and Families, in the early 1990’s, to assure that local communities would have a significant role to play in service delivery, and services would be provided as close to the community as possible. The Cabinet supported the establishment of FRNs because of the need for:
- Multi-purpose local partners working with state government
- Engaging diverse stakeholders in implementing policy decisions at the local level
- Involving local folks that are closer to local needs and local solutions
- A way to work with local communities whenever a new federal or state initiative is implemented
- A forum for civic engagement and problem solving
The Cabinet defined a Family Resource Network as:
- A non-profit community-based organization
- A local forum for cross-system deliberation, planning and problem solving
- A local infrastructure that supports priority setting, planning, community engagement and collaborative initiatives
- Concerned citizens working together to make their community a better place to live
West Virginia’s Family Resource Networks are defined in WV State Code as follows:
§49-1-206 Family Resource Networks.
(a) “Family resource network” means a local community organization charged with service coordination, needs and resource assessment, planning, community mobilization and evaluation, and which has been recognized by the cabinet as having met the following criteria:
(1) Agreeing to a single governing entity;
(2) Agreeing to engage in activities to improve service systems for children and families within the community;
(3) Addressing a geographic area of a county or two or more contiguous counties;
(4) Having non-providers, which include family representatives and other members who are not employees of publicly funded agencies, as the majority of the members of the governing body, and having family representatives as the majority of the non-providers;
(5) Having representatives of local service agencies, including, but not limited to, the public health department, the behavioral health center, the local health and human resources agency and the county school district, on the governing body;
(6) Accepting principles consistent with the cabinet’s mission as part of its philosophy.
(b) A family resource network may not provide direct services, which means to provide programs or services directly to children and families.
Every county in West Virginia has a Family Resource Network
Family Resource Network of the Panhandle, Inc. (FRNOTP), Serving Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan Counties, West Virginia, became incorporated as a non-profit organization in September of 1997.