The mission of South Bay Families Connected (SBFC) is to improve the social and emotional wellness of South Bay youth by providing parents and caregivers with the support, resources, and education they need to help children reach their full potential and lead healthy, fulfilling lives.
Provide parents and caregivers with evidence-based education, insight, and tools to:
Understand what is trending in youth substance use and other harmful behaviors, and help youth stave off use during the teen years
Implement family strategies to help children manage screen time, stress and anxiety, and other challenges in healthy ways
Know how to talk with children about critical wellness issues, and when to reach out for help when they need it
Reduce stigma and spark community-wide conversations around the challenges that many South Bay families face
Engage parents and caregivers early, starting in elementary school through high school graduation, with consistent and continuous social-emotional wellness messaging and information
A collaborative approach
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
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 South Bay Youth Vaping project connects teens and parents to the real facts about vaping, and provides school-based education for students.
The South Bay Opioid Awareness Project, and other partnered efforts on a variety of wellness topics, are produced by the not-for-profit in partnership with many area not-for profits. These include 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 parent connection and engagement via the free monthly SBFC Parent E-newsletter, as well as through social media on three platforms. .
The South Bay Families Connected content and resources web pages are housed within the Families Connected website. Search engine optimization helps drive engagement by connecting South Bay residents to the website.
Community outreach, collaboration with other non-profit organizations, and volunteerism.
Engagement tracking and reporting.
SBFC Non-Profit Board Members
Ellen Rosenberg, SBFC Board President
Charlotte Gesten, Esq., SBFC Board Vice President
Carla Ramirez, SBFC Board Treasurer
Liz Glozman, SBFC Outreach
Kathleen Terry, SBFC Volunteer Coordinator
Amy Howorth, SBFC Outreach Coordinator
Kelly Hendrickson, R.N., Board Secretary
Laurie Phan, M.P.H., Board Member
Volunteer Creative Director, SBFC
Laura Short McIntire, Producer of the Families Connected Project and President, LSM Communications, LLC
Project Engagement and Impact
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.
The Families Connected Project
A concept based on need and evidence
The Families Connected concept and website employ a modern approach that is anchored in current research which shows 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 and kindergarten with social-emotional wellness resources, education, and support.
The Families Connected concept and website were created and privately funded by LSM Communications, LLC, (LSM). The website and Partner School concept and South Bay Families Connected brand and logo launched in August of 2015 with the intention of offering parents, caregivers, and educators a centralized location for evidence-based information on a wide range of parenting and youth wellness topics. LSM gifted the SBFC Board ownership of the SBFC brand, and the Board now directs all aspects of the project’s implementation in the South Bay (SPA 8 service area).
The Families Connected concept 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 anywhere.
A mobile-responsive platform ensures that any parent can access the website when and where they need it, and search engine optimization makes it easy for them to find it
In order to encourage use of the Families Connected website by parents K - 12, the Families Connected 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.
Producing compelling short-form video content, pro bono, from experts, parents, and youth. (2015 - 2019) for South Bay Families Connected and the Families Connected project (shown at the top of each Families Connected topic page).
The project is a scalable model that can be implemented at schools and communities anywhere in the United States.
Our Commitment and Process
LSM, with continuous input from the SBFC Board, Partner School Administrators, and parent advisors, conducts ongoing resource research and updates the website content and links.
We are committed to providing our website visitors with an ad-free space. The Families Connected website is not monetized. Visitors will not encounter pop-up or embedded promotions. within FamiliesConnected.org or SouthBayFamiliesConnected.org. This is a contractual obligation that we extend to our Partner Schools, to South Bay Families Connected, and to all who are a part of this project.
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 (with the exception of trending national articles)
Do not have a direct political agenda
Must not be exclusionary in nature, nor promote a particular religious ideology. .
Connecting Families Beyond the South Bay
The Families Connected website, a non-region specific resource that is based on the SBFC model, serves schools and parents no matter where they are located.