Southside Family Nurturing Center

Our History

Southside Family Nurturing Center was founded in 1974 on the belief that child abuse and neglect are preventable. With modest beginnings in the basement of Our Savior's Lutheran Church on Chicago Avenue, we now serve approximately 50 families each year at our center in the Phillips community.

As one of the first private, not-for-profit agencies to implement holistic family treatments in the state of Minnesota, SSFNC has celebrated many great accomplishments over our 40-year history:

  • From 1974-2010, Hennepin County contracted with SSFNC to provide services for its most difficult clients.
  • The National Center for Children in Poverty, in conjunction with The Minneapolis Foundation, chose SSFNC as the case study for a research project. Their report, Trapped from Birth, was published in 1990.
  • In 1991, the Emma B. Howe Foundation selected SSFNC to coordinate the development of a culturally diverse curriculum with national implications.
  • Since 1994, SSFNC's Center Based Program has earned accreditation by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs.
  • In 1997, SSFNC was chosen by Hennepin County to administer the Phillips Neighborhood Family Partnership program, initially funded by the state of Minnesota and The McKnight Foundation, and now funded by Hennepin County.
  • In 2001, SSFNC received an Excellence Award from the Greater Twin Cities United Way for fostering outstanding program excellence, community involvement, and integrated service delivery.
  • In 2005, SSFNC completed a successful transition of leadership staff who had led the agency since its inception.
  • In 2005, through funding from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and local Target stores, SSFNC initiated an arts program for children and families, in partnership with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre. The program has recently completed its sixth consecutive year. In 2008, Twin Cities Public Television aired a short feature on this collaboration, you can view the video here.
  • In 2005, a grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation enabled SSFNC to develop a handbook of activities for children who are English language learners, we also developed a diversity curriculum that will also be utilized in the classroom and for agency-wide staff training.
  • In 2006, SSFNC was awarded funds from The Sheltering Arms Foundatdion to create a Latino Family Night (which is now in its fifth year), translate parent materials into Spanish, provide interpreters for non-English speaking families, and provide conversational Spanish classes for direct service staff members. These programs have improved staff/family communication and decreased isolation among Spanish-speaking families.
  • In 2007, SSFNC received funding from a City of Minneapolis Community Development Block Grant to provide on-site clinical play therapy to children in our programs and work with their parents to improve access to mental health services. This program has expanded to include clinical mentoring for teaching staff and has received new support from The Sheltering Arms foundation in 2010.
  • In 2008, the Greater Twin Cities United Way Success by Six Childcare Initiative awarded SSFNC a grant to provide extensive training to direct service staff on child development, pre-literacy skills, and working with families dealing with chemical dependency and mental health issues. The four college-level courses that we provided to staff as a result of this grant were in addition to the 30-40 hours of trainings that SSFNC typically provides to staff members each year.
  • In 2009, SSFNC strengthened its partnership with the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) to re-establish on-site state-mandated prekindergarten screenings at SSFNC. By providing screenings at our center, during regular school hours, SSFNC has made this assessment more accessible to parents. This process also establishes parent-school relationships in a positive and familiar environment.
  • In 2009, SSFNC was awarded a Four Star Rating from Parent Aware, a child care/early childhood education rating tool in Minnesota.
  • SSFNC was awarded the 2009 Early Education Star of the State from the Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota and was highlighted as a model early childhood education program in the 2009 Minnesota KIDS COUNT Data Book.
  • In 2009, SSFNC successfully completed the renewed its accreditation statust through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). We will again complete our re-accreditation process in 2015.