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United Way Blog

A Pathway to Thrive: United Way of Central Florida’s Success by Six Program

In celebration of Women's History Month, we spotlight the transformative efforts of United Way in empowering women to overcome obstacles and seize opportunities for a brighter future. Through strategic interventions, United Way is not just supporting women; it's enabling communities to flourish. 

Empowering women through supervised visitation lies at the heart of United Way of Central Florida's initiative. The Success By 6 (SB6) Supervised Visitation Program, housed within The Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center at Bonnet Springs Park, exemplifies United Way's dedication to fostering safe, nurturing environments where women can strengthen bonds with their children while being equipped with essential parenting skills. 

SB6 Program 

The Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center is where the SB6 Program is just one part of a comprehensive effort to support families. Key programs include Great Beginnings, which helps infants learn language through play, and Pre-School Sign Language for improving communication in preschoolers. The Building Blocks program introduces young children to STEAM learning through Lego and blocks. ReadingPals pairs volunteers with children to work on reading skills, while Born Learning provides tips for making everyday moments educational. Master Teachers program enhances childcare workers' teaching skills, and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library sends books directly to children's homes each month, targeting low-income families to help kids start kindergarten ready to read. Together, these initiatives show United Way’s dedication to offering a variety of support to families and communities. 

Understanding that empowerment extends beyond visitation, United Way has curated a network of resources aimed at addressing the wide-ranging needs of these vulnerable women. Mothers are provided with the tools necessary for personal and familial stability. These range from free developmental screenings, to ensure that children are meeting milestones, to tax preparation services and enriching educational activities.  Mothers can attend a free potty-training class offered by a United Way partner agency. 

Children are also looked after in ways that are meaningful to them. They receive an age-appropriate book after every visit to build their at-home library, foster a love of reading, and promote school readiness.  The inclusion of free entry to the Florida Children’s Museum and access to outdoor playgrounds at Bonnet Springs Park further underscores a dedication to not just meeting immediate needs but enriching the lives of those served. 

The story of a mother who, through the Supervised Visitation Program, was able to reunify with her children and navigate financial hardships with dignity, stands out. Laura* and her two children attended supervised visitation for 6 months every week. She was provided with parenting tips each visit while our coordinator modeled appropriate parenting skills to help reinforce the parent-child bond. After visits, they were able to continue bonding and enrichment by visiting the museum or park. The family was also able to participate in our Health Fair where the children were fitted for bicycle helmets. This mom also took advantage of some of the programs the Children's Resource Center offers, like a health and safety event and free tax prep. After completing her case plan, mother and children were successfully reunified. Laura’s story is a testament to the power of supportive interventions in transforming lives. It's not just about overcoming obstacles; it's about laying the groundwork for lasting success and happiness. 

Celebrating Women

This Women's History Month, we celebrate the strides made in supporting women's journeys toward empowerment and self-sufficiency. United Way's interventions are a critical component of a broader mission to ensure health, education, and financial stability for all. By focusing on the unique needs and strengths of women, United Way is not only honoring their contributions but is actively working to create a society where every woman has the opportunity to thrive. 

As we reflect on the achievements and ongoing challenges faced by women, let us recognize the vital role of organizations like United Way in driving change. Their work is a reminder of the collective effort required to dismantle barriers and build a more inclusive, equitable world. To support and learn more about how you can contribute to empowering women in your community, connect with your local United Way. Together, we can ensure that the legacy of Women's History Month is one of progress, resilience, and empowerment for all women. 

If you're inspired to contribute to this kind of work, we encourage you to reach out to your local United Way. For those in the Central Florida area, your involvement can make a significant difference in the lives of families. United Way of Central Florida is always seeking volunteers for the ReadingPals program and sponsors to support children receiving free books through the Imagination Library. By joining us, you can play a crucial role in shaping a brighter future for these families. Get in touch today to learn how you can help.