By Strengthening Their Relationship, Parents Can Improve Outcomes for Children

“Strengthening your relationship can not only improve your personal happiness, but improve the overall wellbeing of the family,” said Alison Espínola, Family Service Agency’s Health & Human Services (HHS) Grant Manager. “Research shows that children are safer, healthier, and more likely to thrive when adults in their lives have healthy relationships—whether or not they are married or romantically involved.”
Maintaining any relationship requires on-going effort. The good news is that there are tools available to help couples achieve their goals in relationships and with their family.

Over time, Martha and Mario felt they were losing sight of their friendship and mutual support for their family. They were beginning to see negative communication patterns develop.

To reaffirm their commitment, Martha and Mario recently completed FSA’s Connected Couple, Connected Families program. They built on their existing strengths to add critical life and relationship skills to help them create safer, more stable relationships, and a better home environment for their 10-year-old son. Strengthening their relationship has also strengthen their relationship with their child.

“I told my husband that life is about more than work and sleep,” said Martha. “Now, my husband spends more time with me and definitely makes more of an effort to play and spend time with our son.”

“I feel more connected to my family,” said Mario. “My son, and my wife, are happier because we gained the skills to talk out whatever issues arise as a family. We’ve also made it a habit to spend time together.”

The 10-session Connected Couple, Connected Families program is offered throughout Santa Barbara County at no cost, thanks to funding from HHS. Couples can participate in online workshops from their own home, or in-person in their local community. Classes are taught in Spanish or English.

To learn more about Family Service Agency’s Connected Couple, Connected Families program, including a list of upcoming classes, visit or call Alison Espínola at (805) 450-1520.
Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara County (FSA) is a nonprofit social service agency that has served the people of Santa Barbara County since 1899. Operating as Santa Maria Valley Youth and Family Center (SMVYFC) in Santa Maria and Little House By The Park (LHP) in Guadalupe, FSA helps the community’s most vulnerable children, families, and seniors meet their basic needs while simultaneously addressing mental health needs. Through this holistic approach, FSA improves the strength and well-being of our community. All services are provided free or on a sliding fee/donation scale and no one is denied assistance because of an inability to pay. Visit or call (805) 965-1001 for more information.

Funding for Connected Couples, Connected Families was provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, Grant #90ZB0001. These services are available to all eligible persons, regardless of race, gender, age, disability, or religion.


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