NATCHITOCHES – Students in Northwestern State University’s Child and Family Studies program collected and delivered personal care items and other supplies to community service partners Providence House in Shreveport and the Women’s Resource Center in Natchitoches. Providence House is a residential treatment facility for homeless families with children. The Women’s Resource Center provides confidential help and information for women and families facing unplanned pregnancies.
Program Coordinator Dr. Rania Salman said student response to this semester’s supply drive the largest ever and ties in with the program’s focus on improving the lives of individuals, families and communities.
“A focus of the CFS program is community sustainability,” Salman said. “Working with our community partner organizations gives our students experience in how families and children participate in the community and opens up opportunities for internship and volunteering with a local impact.”
Child and Family Studies prepares graduates to work in a variety of fields, but all are aimed at improving the lives of individuals, families and communities. Child and Family Studies has been called the ideal “helping” profession, because those in the field are ultimately concerned with meeting the needs of children and families in a variety of contexts.
La’Justice Johnson of Coushatta completed a Spring 2018 internship at the Women’s Resource Center in which she became proficient in professional skills and learned more about pregnancy and women’s health.
“The Women’s Resource Center is a big plus for the community,” Johnson said. “They help girls that need help and also their families.”
The Center’s Executive Director Beverly Broadsay said the Center serves about six parishes.
“We are so extraordinarily appreciative of donations and community involvement because we offer our services free of charge,” Broadway said. “Donations allow us to continue to serve our clients to the depth and breadth that we do and help women make informed choices.”
In addition to a focus on infant and toddler development, family systems and human ecology, NSU’s Child and Family Studies program also includes coursework in nutrition, parenting, educational psychology and early childhood education.
Dajha White of Natchitoches was pursuing a degree in education but transferred into the CFS program.
“There are many different things you can do with this degree, helping children, families and becoming a resource to families in many different aspects of family life,” White said.
Child and Family Studies is part of the Department of Teaching, Leadership and Counseling within NSU’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development. Information on the CFS is available by contacting Salman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (318) 357-4202.