The Families Together program of Providence Children’s Museum has been nominated by Senator Jack Reed as a 2019 Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) Angels in Adoption Honoree.
This prestigious award has been offered since 1999 to those who have made an extraordinary contribution on behalf of children in need of families. PCM’s Executive Director, Caroline Payson, and Families Together Director, Heidi Brinig, will travel to Washington, D.C. in November 2019 to receive the honor.
Since 1992, Families Together, a program unique to Providence Children’s Museum, has been helping court-separated families by providing healthy spaces for these families to engage in play with their children while learning and improving their parenting and communication skills, as well as strengthening their family’s kinship connection. Parents receive real-time parental coaching from skilled clinicians as they interact with their children.
Founded and still guided by Heidi Brinig, herself an adoptee, Families Together uses the award-winning creative spaces of Providence Children’s Museum and the home-like setting of their alternate location, Nina’s House, to offer therapeutic visitation for infants to 18-year-olds and their parents.
They also offer case management, clinical assessments, parent education, permanency planning, and visitation training for social service workers from the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) and other child welfare agencies.
“Providence Children’s Museum is a beloved institution in Rhode Island, which for years has been passionately committed to promoting child welfare,” said Senator Reed. “Its Families Together program allows the museum’s family therapists to create healthy spaces for court-separated families during visitation where they can engage in play with their children while learning and improving their communication and parenting skills. This tremendously important initiative deserves recognition, and I was proud and honored to nominate the program to be a 2019 CCAI Angels in Adoption Honoree. I congratulate Families Together on winning this prestigious award, and I thank the program and Providence Children’s Museum for their consistent hard work and dedication on behalf of Rhode Island’s children.”
In 2006, Families Together received the MetLife Foundation and Association of Children’s Museum’s Promising Practice Replication Award and, in 2003, was a finalist for the Innovations in American Government Award through the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
About Angels in Adoption
For the past 20 years, CCAI has hosted the Angels in Adoption Program on Capitol Hill. The program is designed to celebrate individuals, couples, families, and organizations from across the nation who have made an extraordinary contribution on behalf of children in need of families. They represent the wide spectrum of individuals involved in child welfare who are making a difference. Since the program’s inception in 1999, more than 2,600 Angels have received this honor.
About Providence Children’s Museum
The mission of Providence Children’s Museum is to inspire and celebrate learning through active play and exploration. Hands-on, play-based exhibits and programs explore arts, culture, science, technology, engineering, and math, and foster children’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. The Museum welcomes children and adults of all backgrounds and from all communities and creates a safe and welcoming environment to celebrate and encourage creativity and increase awareness of the ways in which children and families learn.