Our mission is to improve the social and emotional wellness of South Bay youth by supporting parents in our efforts to help our kids reach their full potential and live healthy, fulfilling lives.
A collaborative approach
SBFC is part of the Families Connected project, created by LSM Communications, LLC, in August 2015. Using a collaborative model for youth wellness, we have partnered with 90 South Bay schools and dozens of health care providers and community organizations, all of whom share the same goal of helping youth thrive... we're all in this together.
A parent-centric model that helps youth stay on a healthy path to maturity by connecting parents and caregivers with current information, effective parenting tools, and support
The SBFC not-for-profit, currently under the umbrella of the MBX 501(c)3, offers parents and educators the following free resources, education events and opportunities to connect around the issues and challenges that we face as parents, from helping our kids navigate the new social media landscape, to reducing the likelihood that they will use drugs and alcohol:
The Families Connected Speaker Series, first launched in June 2015, is now produced in partnership with Beach Cities Health District. The series features South Bay experts as well as nationally acclaimed authors and leaders in education, prevention, and mindfulness.
SBFC also produces the Families Connected Teen Mindfulness Workshops, helping youth learn to “unplug from their devices and reconnect with themselves.”
The annual South Bay Opioid Awareness Event, and other partnered events on a variety of wellness topics, are produced by the not-for-profit in partnership with many area not-for profits, including the City of Manhattan Beach, the Manhattan Beach Police Department, the Volunteer Center of Torrance, the Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and others.
The Families Connected Parent Chat brings parents together to share their parenting challenges in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. The Families Connected Parent Chat, provided in partnership with Beach Cities Health District and Thelma McMillen Center is offered at no charge and is accessible to all South Bay parents.
The SBFC Event Calendar provides parents with a centralized location to access the events and groups mentioned above, the SBFC teen mindfulness workshops, produced in partnership with Fit On Studios, and other events offered by SBFC and its collaborative partners.
Ongoing connection and communication via the free monthly SBFC Parent E-newsletter, as well as through social media.
A concept based on need and evidence
The Families Connected project launched in August 2015 and was created by LSM Communications, LLC, in response to the high level of community concern regarding the social-emotional wellness of South Bay youth, including self-reported levels of high stress and anxiety, coupled with higher than average alcohol and drug use (Source: California Healthy Kid Survey). A teen wellness community task force meeting held at Mira Costa High School on February 2, 2015 helped define the problem and provided the spark for the Families Connected project. Parent focus groups and an SBFC survey with over 185 parent respondents shaped the project’s focus, messaging, and content. A team of virtually connected parents and community leaders continue to inform the project’s priorities and new content development, including video production topics, and website curation.
The Families Connected concept and website employ a modern approach that is anchored in current research showing the critical role that parents play in substance use prevention and social-emotional wellness, as well as the importance of engaging parents as early as pre-k Kindergarten with social-emotional wellness resources, education, and support.
The Families Connected concept, brand, and website were created and privately funded by LSM Communications, LLC, (LSM) and offer parents, caregivers, and educators a centralized location for evidence-based information on a wide range of parenting and youth wellness topics. LSM also produces and funds original content and videos for the website, and makes them available to our community at no charge. LSM employs the following strategies to ensure that the project has a high level of parent engagement and remains sustainably relevant and accessible:
Families Connected has numerous mechanisms in place for parents and stakeholders to share their concerns and shape the Families Connected project, including a parent survey, parent and teen focus groups, a Families Connected Advisory Board, and the Families Connected Ambassador program.
The breadth and depth of website content is continuously expanded based on the feedback we gather from our community and Families Connect Partner School Administrators, as well as upon our ongoing research into the issues trending nationally.
The Families Connected project is free and accessible to all parents, and due to search engine optimization, any parent who searches online for youth wellness or substance use prevention in the South Bay will find the website.
A mobile-responsive platform ensures that any parent can access the website when and where they need it.
In order to encourage use of the SBFC resources throughout the parenting years, the SBFC website offers parents an inviting, easy-to-navigate, ad-free space.
The Families Connected Partner School concept connects parents in K-12 directly with trusted parenting information and events in a way that is consistent, continuous, efficient, and cost-effective.
Our Community Commitment and Process
LSM, with continuous input from the SBFC Board and advisors, conducts ongoing resource research and updates the website content and links. At the bottom of this page and the Parent Resource page, visitors will find a response form which they can use to report issues with links, recommend additional resources, or share with us their thoughts on why a resource might not be appropriate. Please note that resources selected for inclusion must meet the following criteria:
They are accessible by all, free of charge
Prevention not treatment based
Provide clear and helpful information from a reputable source, with minimal online advertising
Do not have a direct political agenda
Though we often partner with faith-based organizations, the content or events shared on SBFC must not be exclusionary in nature, nor promote a particular religion over others.
Program Engagement and Impact
In 2017, the Families Connected website served 16,000 unique visitors,
From January to November 2018, the Families Connected is on track to have served 40,000 unique visitors in 2018.
Please click on the link below to hear from SBFC Partner School administrators, South Bay parents, and SBFC advisors about the need for, and the impact of the SBFC project to date.
Connecting Families Beyond the South Bay
In the fall of 2018, LSM Communications, LLC, launched the Families Connected website, a non-region specific resource that is based on the SBFC model, but which will be able to serve schools and parents no matter where they are located.