Who We Are

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the focus of Families First?
  • It is our mission to end the cycle of child abuse and neglect by providing resources to empower parents, nurture children and strengthen families.
  • We respond to the needs of all families with an approach that is welcoming and collaborative.
  • Families First has the only statewide, toll-free Support Line for parents needing resources and assistance.
  • Families First serves families across Colorado.

What kinds of parents go to Families First?
  • Families First is available to anyone parenting a child. The common thread is that they need tools and resources to help them be better parents.
  • We help all parents – single parents, teen parents, Dads, grandparents (raising their grandchildren), Spanish-speaking parents.
  • We are a non-judgmental, welcoming place where parents and children can get help.

How far does Families First reach?
  • Families First reaches parents across Colorado.
  • In 1986, our first year of operation, we reached 100 families through one parent support group and 10 beds in the residential program.
  • Over the past 20+ years we have grown to offer a toll free, statewide, Family Support Line, free information and referral services to Spanish speaking parents, low cost parent education classes, and free weekly parent support groups in addition to residential care for up to 10 children suffering from child abuse and neglect.
  • Families First helps nearly 5,000 families every year!

What kind of help can a parent get right away through Families First?
  • Our Family Support Line is the place Colorado parents can receive non-judgmental, supportive advice and compassion to help them make good choices for their children and their families.
  • The Support Line is available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
  • Our trained, caring volunteers offer assistance and education to any parent, caregiver, or professional willing to ask for help, regardless of circumstance.
  • We also are the entry access for the Colorado Fatherhood Initiative which uses our toll-free statewide number 1-877-695-7996. Bilingual Spanish support is available.

Is Families First a treatment facility?
  • We have a residential treatment center, which houses up to 10 children, ages 3-10 years old.
  • Our Children’s Treatment Center is on the Families First “campus” – across the street from our administrative offices.
  • Our Children’s Treatment Center provides a nurturing and homelike environment for young children who have been removed from home due to abuse or neglect. These children have severe emotional and behavioral problems that prevent them from living in a family setting.

What kinds of classes can parents take?
  • Children are not born with an instruction manual, and we’ve seen that many parents would make good choices if given good information. Our Parenting Classes and Workshops teach effective communication and disciplinary skills for parenting children, from birth to young adulthood.
  • We offer a variety of parenting classes to respond to needs in the community. From infant massage to parenting teenagers, parents can get critical skills.
  • When the parents are taking a class, we offer Children’s Groups for the kids to play. This removes the childcare dilemma from the parent who wishes to take classes.

How can you help Spanish-speaking parents?
  • Our Consejos Para Familias program helps Hispanic parents learn specific ways to ensure school readiness for their children.
  • Parents learn firsthand about important parenting skills in classes and workshops. These parents learn how to create strong families.
  • Families First also offers a statewide Spanish support line to provide additional information, referrals to community resources, parenting inquiries and emotional support to Spanish-speaking parents.

How can I learn more?
  • Please call our office to arrange a tour of the facility with our senior staff at Families First. Seeing firsthand the work that is being done will leave a strong impression with you of the importance of our mission.
  • Online, we can be found at www.FamiliesFirstColorado.org
  • Our Family Support Line 1-877-695-7996 (statewide toll-free); 303-695-7996 (Denver Metro); Consejos para Familias 1-866-Las Familias (1-866-527-3264 (sin costo)).
  • We have many fun events during the year, which will connect you with others involved in Families First.

How can I support Families First?
  • There are many ways you can help. We accept cash and in kind donations, as well as volunteer assistance.
  • We have several fundraising opportunities available throughout the year, which would benefit from your assistance.
  • Please contact Mary Hencmann, (email Mary) Executive Director, or Alice Edwards (email Alice), our Development Associate.

Who supports Families First?
  • Our Community! Individuals, Schools, Businesses, Government Agencies
  • Of course, we receive financial support through donations and participation in our events (tickets & sponsorship opportunities).
  • Since 1994, families, schools and businesses have raised money for us through our unique piggy bank fundraisers - Drive for Community $Change$. It's a great way for kids to give to kids!

What portion of your income goes directly to providing services to families?
  • In 2012, 84% of our revenues went directly to family services. (51% Chidren's Center, 33% Family Support Services)
  • 5% Administration....11% Fundraising
  • For more information, you may want to read our Annual Report which is posted on our website 2012 Annual Report.