Ser Familia, Inc.


Ser Familia, Inc. is an organization dedicated to strengthening Latino families through programs that empower them to thrive and enjoy a healthy family environment.

We achieve this through educational programs that increase family members’ communication skills and decrease risky behaviors, assisting families in crisis, serving as advocates for Latino families, and supporting other organizations who wish to serve Latinos in a culturally competent manner.

Our programs include:
  • Couple’s workshops and retreats
  • Youth workshops and retreats
  • Parenting programs
  • Family workshops

  • Domestic violence advocacy, awareness and support
  • Family counseling and therapy
  • Cultural and linguistic proficiency consulting

History

Formerly known as Renovación Conyugal, Ser Familia was founded in 2001 as a program to support couples dealing with difficult situations. At that time, the Latino population in Georgia had grown exponentially while programs serving their unique needs could not keep up with the demand. Belisa and Miguel Urbina, who had spent many years helping and supporting families in their native Puerto Rico, noticed how couples around them were struggling with issues of conflict resolution and navigating married life while adapting to a new culture; with the support of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta they launched the first program in the state of Georgia to help Latino couples regardless of religious creed or marital status. The first “Taller de Parejas” (Couple’s Workshop) took place in Marietta, Georgia on March 31, 2001. The workshop was an adaptation of a program delivered in Puerto Rico for over 30 years with excellent results. The program’s philosophy placed the couple as an essential part of society based on the concept that a couple with healthy communication skills will in turn nurture healthy and happy children, even when separation is unavoidable. A Support group is offered to participants to provide additional help and follow their progress. As a result of witnessing the conflicts and challenges couples were facing, it became obvious the need for additional programs that supported the family by taking a holistic approach. In March 2002, “Escuela Para Padres” (Parenting School) was introduced to improve the parenting skills of Latino parents. This program was developed with the assistance Dr. Juan Jose Genovard, renowned psychologist and author of parenting books. In April 2005, we celebrated our first youth workshop “Renovación Juvenil” to promote healthy life decisions among the Latino youth in our community. This program is also an adaptation of a program offered all over the world to prevent risky behavior in teens. In 2012 Ser Familia adopted Georgia Latinos against Domestic Violence. This program, founded by Michelle Toledo-Caiñas began as a taskforce to create a network for those who serve the Latino community, by providing support for providers and survivors of domestic violence. Today GLADV also provides educational programs and advocates for survivors of these social plague. One of the main characteristics that have allowed our programs to succeed is that they are designed, for the most part, to be delivered by volunteers who have themselves been participants of the programs. Today, Ser Familia volunteers donate over 20,000 hours a year to deliver and support our programs. Also, they are delivered at partner’s locations throughout the state, in effect taking the program to the client. Due to this model we have been able to consistently serve over 3,000 clients a year, keeping our staff and other overhead costs to a minimum and dedicating most of our resources to program delivery. An added bonus of this approach is that our participants become empowered to help others, thus strengthening their local communities. In the following years, more services have been added to meet the needs of the Latino community.


Ser Familia Today

We now have a variety of programs aimed at serving the whole family, including support groups, family workshops, and other educational programs, including two nationally recognized programs: Strengthening Families and Triple P Positive Parenting Program. Strengthening Families is an evidence-based program proven to decrease risky behaviors in kids and improve parent/children interactions. Triple P, also evidenced-based, is a parenting program designed to address severe behavioral issues in children 12 and younger to prevent future concerns. In the same spirit of supporting our families, we have recently opened our first counseling office in Marietta, Georgia. Ser Familia, INC. also acts as a Cultural and Linguistic Proficiency Advisor for other organizations that wish to better serve the Latino community, both through cultural competence workshops and one on one consulting. Ser Familia is also proud to be a great partner to other organizations that serve the Latino community. We have many formal and informal partnerships with other nonprofits, for profit, and government entities as well as faith communities throughout Georgia. Some of our partners include LaAmistad, Inc., The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, Partnership against Domestic Violence, Lookout Mountain Care Management Entity, Wellstar Healthcare system, Cobb County Government, Georgia Department of Human Services, Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Georgia Department of Justice, YWCA of Northwest Georgia, Family Haven, CETPA, Inc., and public schools in various counties in the state, among many others.

Our vision

Our desire is to see all Latino families enjoying happy and healthy relationships. To achieve this vision, we continue to expand the breadth and depth of the services that we provide. We constantly research and develop curricula and materials; identify and train new volunteers; organize and deliver new programs; reach new areas in the state and empower others to learn best practices to serve Latino youth, couples, parents and families. These efforts will always be guided by the assessments that we conduct in the community; lessons that what we learn from others in the field, and the needs that we uncover as we continue to engrain ourselves in the Latino community.