May 6, 2009

Fort Wayne program for families wins Purdue award

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A family enrichment program in Fort Wayne, Ind., is the winner of the eighth annual Inspiring Families and Building Communities Award, sponsored by Purdue University's College of Consumer and Family Sciences.

The awards, announced by Dean Dennis Savaiano, honor organizations that have a direct impact on the community and improve the lives of families. The winner, Right Relations Inc.'s Family Enrichment Series, will receive a certificate and a $1,500 cash award.

Two programs - Caring Parents Program of Family Service of Bartholomew County in Columbus, Ind., and Ryan's Place of Goshen, Ind. - were award finalists. Each will receive a certificate and $500.

The Family Enrichment Series works to help parents build and maintain stable relationships with each other and their children. It is a value-based program designed to teach divorced or divorcing parents how to reduce conflict and promote effective co-parenting relationships after separation or divorce; to teach single/pregnant teen parents how to raise children in a single-parent home and how to look for a responsible, respectful marriage partner in the future; to teach spouses in troubled marriages how to have a positive impact on family relations; and to teach married parents how to maintain and improve their relationship.

The Caring Parents Program in Bartholomew County works to promote healthy relationships between parents and children. County residents responded to two cases of shaken baby syndrome in 2003 by developing a program that reaches 95 percent of new parents to educate them about how to deal with inconsolable crying. No infants have suffered from shaken baby syndrome in Batholomew County since 2003.

Ryan's Place provides support and a safe environment for grieving children, teens and their families to share their experience as they go through the healing process. Over the past seven years, Ryan's Place has served more than 1,200 clients from all socio-economic, racial and ethnic backgrounds in their grief support programs. Families from nine different counties in northern Indiana have used the free services.

Nomination forms for next year's Inspiring Families and Building Communities Award will be available in 2010 on the College of Consumer and Family Sciences' Web site at

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-2296,

Source: Karen DeZarn, 765-494-8252,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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