Families in Motion
Language and other barriers often prevent Hispanic immigrant families from living healthier lives and achieving their full economic and civic potential.
Overview and Objectives
Families in Motion (FIM) – a multi-county collaborative supporting families on their journeys to success – made a significant impact on dozens of Hispanic families in Gloucester and Cumberland counties in southern New Jersey.
FIM was led by the Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey and supported by URC via its not-for-profit affiliate, the Center for Human Services (CHS), with additional support from the Latin American Economic Development Association and Inspira Medical Center. FIM built on 20 years of CHS support for programming to benefit Hispanic communities and families in southern New Jersey, beginning with the Migratory Agricultural Workers and Seasonal Farm Worker with Disabilities Projects in 2001. The planned sunsetting of program funder The Pascal Sykes Foundation ended FIM in 2021.
FIM’s core objective was to provide families with tools to become self-sufficient and develop sustainable strategies for achieving their goals and becoming more engaged community members. FIM had three pillars: economic stability, healthy well-being, and civic engagement. It used the two-generation model with adults and children working together to reach family goals. Family development coaches helped families set goals for economic stability, physical and mental health, and civic engagement. Families were connected with local programs and services needed to achieve their goals.
Perfil Latino reported on an event (en español) that Families in Motion held on May 27, 2021.
CHS provided intensive case management services to 121 families and additional services to others during FIM’s five years. FIM helped nearly all participating families meet their goals: 88% of families reached behavioral/emotional goals; 91% achieved civic engagement goals; 93% met workforce development/entrepreneurship goals; 91% achieved money management goals; 96% reached physical and mental well-being goals; and 90% achieved nutritional goals.
Partnering with private sector entities expanded FIM services, including accessing free or low-cost vision tests, reproductive health services, and parenting education services. CHS engaged with employment agencies to help families complete job applications and prepare for job interviews. Private sector partners included:
- TD Bank, which provided FIM clients with financial literacy education;
- CATA Farmworkers, which provided information on worker rights to immigrants working in agriculture;
- The Lupus Foundation, which offered education and support to families affected by lupus;
- The Salvation Army, who donated groceries, clothes, and special dinners and gifts during holidays; and
- The Community Food Bank of New Jersey, which conducted SNAP-Ed nutrition classes on improving diets to prevent diseases such as diabetes and high cholesterol as well as fitness education programming.
CHS also engaged with the Mexican Consulate in Trenton, NJ to provide services to FIM clients, such as issuing passports, identification cards, and marriage licenses for Mexican citizens and civic education instruction to help Mexican families know their rights in the U.S.