Families First (Archived Program)

This is an archived program and therefore, may not contain current information.


Professionally trained staff at Families First Resource Center (FFRC) provide quality programming in the following three south Mississippi counties: Forrest, Harrison, and Lamar.

Families First Goals

  • Empowering parents with the necessary skills to strengthen the family unit
  • Advocating for strong healthy marriages
  • Increasing father involvement in the lives of their children
  • Reducing out-of-wedlock pregnancies


Families First Initiative

  • Strengthen every facet of a couples relationship
  • Improve couples communication skills
  • Improve parenting skills
  • Preserve commitment to each other
  • Identify danger signs in a relationship
  • Avoid common pitfalls in a relationship
  • Have fun!

Parenting Classes

FFRC staff recognizes parenting can be challenging and, at times, overwhelming. Our staff provides quality up-to-date individual and group parenting classes for teen and adult parents. The  focus of the classes is on positive discipline, limit-setting and consequences, importance of routines, healthy nutrition and positive self-esteem. Our staff also works with individuals on specific parenting needs. Our parenting programs are approved through the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

  • Character Education
  • Active Parenting
  • 1, 2, 3, 4 Parents! (ages birth-4)
  • Now (ages 5-12)
  • Teens (ages 13 and up)
  • Life Skills
  • Anger Management
  • Money Management
  • Nutrition – Headstart

Fatherhood Initiative

Fathers face unique challenges in the 21st century. FFRC staff provides community programs, seminars, on-going training for expectant fathers, fathers and their children.

  • Communication
  • Consequences of Unplanned Fatherhood
  • Learn how to have a positive impact in the lives of your children
  • Providing a wide variety of programs for area schools and communities

Healthy Marriage

Whether we are just beginning a marriage or have been married for 20 years, we know that marriage comes with its challenges. FFRC staff provides relationship education for engaged couples, married couples, expectant couples and co-habitating couples. Programming teaches effective techniques to help couples have strong, healthy, lifelong marriages whether it is a first marriage or where blended families are involved.

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Money Management
  • Communication

Character and Abstinence Education

Teenagers today deal with peer pressure and are faced with many challenges and obstacles. FFRC staff provides a wide variety of programs on character education: self-esteem, conflict resolution, anger management, team-building and stress management utilizing the "Love U2" and "R.I.S.E. to Your Dreams" curriculum through the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

  • Self esteem
  • making wise choices
  • peer pressure
  • personal boundaries
  • goal setting
  • Social, Psychological and Health Importance

Anger Management is one of the biggest problems our society faces today.  84% of American’s say they experience anger at least once a week.  All individuals occasionally have anger issues, including children.  Learning ways to manage anger is essential for personal success in life. 

  • Physical responses
  • Triggers/buttons
  • Coping strategies
  • Consequences
  • Problem solving
  • Repressed/prolonged anger
  • Domestic violence
  • Child abuse
  • Handling criticism

Lending Library

FFRC has a wide variety of educational books (for children and adults), educational games, toys and CDs. All items are available for check out for a two-week period.

A computer lab is available where clients can learn how to use computers and find resources on the Web

All programs are free of charge.

The Families First Resource Center is funded by the Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Economic Assistance (GR # GR525W121).


Jane Siders, Ed.D., Project Director

The University of Southern Mississippi
Institute for Disability Studies
118 College Dr. #5163
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Phone: 601.266.5163
Fax: 601.266.5114
Toll Free (TTY): 1.888.671.0051
IDS Web: www.usm.edu/ids