Family Focus Highland Park, formerly Family Network, was founded in 1983 by early childhood professionals seeking to connect young children and families with one another to help reduce isolation, build friendships, and establish a supportive community network. Over 40 years of providing services to address unmet needs of local families, our services have expanded to include families all over Lake County, from Highland Park and Highwood to the Wisconsin border.
In 2002, Family Network became part of Family Focus, a pioneering family support organization based in Chicago that was founded in 1976. Family Network officially took on the Family Focus Highland Park name in 2017. Family Focus Highland Park offers innovative, community-based programs which help parents, grandparents, and caretakers gain confidence and competence as the primary educators of their children.
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Doulas are experienced professionals who provide physical, emotional, and educational support before, during, and after childbirth. A doula does not replace medical personnel such as a doctor or midwife but supports the pregnant participant person with pre- and postnatal care, connections to healthcare and supportive services, and labor coaching. Using a doula helps create a safe environment to give birth, assists with breastfeeding and lactation, and provides a support system for families to help with anything unexpected.
Donna Gottlieb Early Childhood Dual Language
The Donna Gottlieb Early Childhood Dual Language program was originally established as the Parent/Child Drop-In Center in 1983 by early childhood professionals who recognized the importance of providing a place where families could connect with one another and find support in the challenging job of raising young children. Since then, the program has grown with an emphasis on using English and Spanish dual-language education in the classroom. The Dual Language program continues to offer programs where parents can meet the challenges of parenting through coming together for friendship and shared information while their young children are provided with safe, nurturing, and dual-language early experiences under the care of experienced professional staff.
The Right From The Start Program (RFTS) is a home visiting program specific to Family Focus Highland Park that primarily serves the growing immigrant population in Lake County. Parents receive visits from their home visitor to ensure their child is meeting development milestones through parent-child activities and education. Activities guide parents and children in sharing and learning activities that improve gross motor, language, fine motor, social, and emotional skills. Parent curriculum includes good maternal or paternal and child health, home safety, food security, positive parenting, and school readiness. Home visitors meet with families facing the challenges of parenting children from birth to 3 years of age. Parents and children also meet monthly in groups for socialization, planned activities for the children, and education on parenting topics. Prenatal classes and one-on-one meetings with home visitors are also available to pregnant mothers.