By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
Parents, caregivers and teachers now have a one-stop online destination for an array of resources that can help build stronger families through the remainder of the pandemic and beyond.
Alabama Family Central offers education materials, child care listings, health information and services of state agencies and nonprofits at its website, alabamafamilycentral.org
The website is free, can be easily accessed by mobile phone and is meant to help those who care for children by streamlining sometimes disparate information and resources, Gov. Kay Ivey said.
“Great parents need strong partners. I thank the state agencies and other partners for this wonderful new resource,” Ivey said at a news conference announcing the site’s relaunch.
The effort came about as the result of discussions between State Sens. Vivian Figures, D-Mobile, and Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, during last year’s education budget negotiations. Given how many parents had been forced to provide additional care and instruction to children, Figures wanted to find a way to get useful resources into the hands of those who could use them. Utilizing an existing entity in Alabama Family Central and working with the A+ Education Partnership, a $500,000 line item was set in the Fiscal Year 2021 budget.
“When I learned that our students would be learning remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my heart immediately went out to the parents who would need assistance teaching their children at home,” Figures at the time.
The budget line item was listed as a “bright spot” of the coronavirus-shortened 2020 legislative session.
Information about the site will be communicated on agency partner websites, the Alabama Family Central Facebook page, online videos, radio, and billboards throughout the state.
The Alabama Family Central website is a collaboration headed by the Alabama Partnership for Children and includes:
- A+ Education Partnership
- Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention
- Alabama Department of Early Education
- Alabama Department of Education
- Alabama Department of Human Resources
- Alabama Department of Mental Health
- Alabama Department of Public Health
- Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services
- Alabama Medicaid