River Source Family Center Helps Kids Across Chippewa County

Tom Giffey |

Whether you’re a brand-new parent eager to do the best job possible or an experienced dad or mom who still needs support, advice, and camaraderie, River Source Family Center exists to help you. The Chippewa Falls-based center serves families throughout Chippewa County, with a focus on kids between the prenatal stage and age 5.

The agency’s stated mission “is to embrace and strengthen families with young children by promoting growth through education, information, referral, and opportunities to share experiences.”

“I like to say we support, celebrate, and educate these young children,” parent services director, Becce Woestman.

River Source provides its free programs to a wide rage of families: Some are just looking for fun activities for their kids, while others need extra support. Among River Source’s most popular programs are weekly playgrounds, which encourage children’s learning and development while giving parents and caregivers time to form bonds with their kids and each other. “Play & Learn” playgroups are 9:30-11:30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays (except holidays). A “Movin’ and Groovin’ ” music and movement class is 9:30-10:15am Mondays (except holidays).

In addition to those playgroups – which are held at River Source’s Chippewa Falls office – River Source offers twice-monthly playgroups in other communities around Chippewa County, including Bloomer, Cornell, and Stanley, as well as seasonal field trips in the summer. (Check out riversourcefamilycenter.com for a full calendar.)

River Source Offers Several Other Programs

Bright Start S.M.I.L.E.

is a home-visit program that emphasizes the concept of “Parents as Teachers.” It includes visits from a certified parent educator, parent-child group connections, consultations with a public health nurse, as well as screenings for language and other forms of development.

First Connections

is a program aimed at parents of new babies born at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Birthing Center. Parent service providers offer support and information to these families through a short visit and a gift bag full of resources.

Parent CafÉ

is a new program held once a month in the evening that includes a family-style meal, a craft that parents and children can complete together, as well as an informal adult-facilitated discussion on a topic such as healthy eating or child development. (During the summer, Parent Café events will be held in Stanley and Cornell, too.)

All these programs are designed to foster strong, happy, and healthy families. As River Source declares on its website, the family center exists “Because Kids Don’t Come with Instructions.”

River Source Family Center • 403 N. High St., Chippewa Falls • (715) 720-1841 • RiverSource@fsccf.org • riversourcefamilycenter.com