The Strengthening Families Initiative

Save the Date! Soft opening of the Strengthening Families wing of the Willis Education Center is July 31, 2017!


What: The Strengthening Families Initiative enhances the lives of Delaware County residents through comprehensive programming and collaborations. Comprised of 30+ local social service agencies, government agencies and non-traditional partners, we are working collectively to improve the lives of our children. We are doing this by focusing on increasing social emotional development opportunities for our Early Childhood Education goal, and to increase engagement opportunities for middle schoolers through our After School Programming goal.


Why: In the 2014 United Way of Delaware County Community Needs Assessment (CNA), “Families in constant crisis” is a priority. By encouraging participation in early childhood education, long-term success increases. By focusing on social emotional development, the early childhood education goal also encompasses the CNA “Access to mental health” priority.

The CNA listed “Mentorship opportunities for youth and young adults” as a priority. By encouraging participation in afterschool activities, long-term success increases. Because afterschool programming is shown to help adolescents make better choices, the afterschool programming goal also encompasses the CNA “Heroin and opiate abuse” priority.

Download the Strategic Plan

Download the Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Who: The Strengthening Families Initiative is designed to provide programming to families of all shapes and sizes throughout Delaware County.

Our initiatives are focused on children ages 0-5 and students in grades 6-8 in an effort to build resiliency during these two very impactful stages of life. While these are our areas of focus, programming will be made available for children of all ages.

View our full list of partners.

Where: Within the first year, programming will begin in the Willis Education Center, as per the agreement between the United Way of Delaware County and Delaware City School District. In the coming years, opportunities for the expansion of new programs to be conducted outside of the center will be explored.

During the pilot phase, the participating agencies will adjust this plan as necessary to accommodate effective programming and partnership that will be sustainable following the end of the pilot phase.

While much of the new programming will take place in the Willis Education Center, many existing and expanded programs will also be outside of the center in the pilot phase.

When: The Strengthening Families Initiative will begin to introduce programming this year! Look for these events this summer: 

July 31 - Strengthening Families Willis Education Center Open House (Immediately following Supplies for Scholars)

How: With Your Support!