EPIC-Every Person Influences Children announced a grand-opening celebration for its Niagara County Family Opportunity Center, located at 175 Walnut St., Lockport. The center, as well as its counterpart in Cattaraugus County, are funded through a $1.8 million grant from the Office of Child and Family Services.
"The FOC team is so excited to be a part of the Lockport community and looking forward to serving all of Niagara County," said Ashley Greene, EPIC's director of Niagara County programs. "We are striving to make our center as accessible as possible, and hope to be a welcoming haven to all families, a place where caregivers can feel comfortable to come, engage with their children, be linked to local resources, and have opportunities to grow and strengthen their family bond."
Lockport's grand-opening is 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, and is open to all Niagara County residents. The celebration will feature superheroes, face-painting, free family photos and a fire truck from the Lockport Fire Department. Families can also tour the center and receive information on upcoming programs.
“We are incredibly excited to continue to grow our presence and have a greater capacity to serve families in Niagara county through this innovative endeavor,” said Tara N. Burgess, EPIC’s executive director. “We have been establishing strong partnerships within Niagara County for several years now, and it is thrilling to have a brick-and-mortar location where families can easily access services and supports."
The centers will work in partnership with the local departments of Social Services, community organizations, and school districts in the two counties. EPIC will provide case management support and several evidence-based programs with the goal of strengthening families and improving the safety and wellbeing of children and families. Beyond the grand-opening, EPIC will implement programs such as Incredible Years, Triple P (Positive Parenting Program), Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP), and Strong African American Families (SAAF).