Boston Family Engagement Network
BFEN is a network of nine community-based organizations across Boston. They provide family support services and coordinate families’ access to programs that promote children’s healthy development and family wellbeing.
- All Boston parents and caregivers with children Birth to Eight are welcome
- At no cost parenting education and family support services
- Find your local BFEN Neighborhood site by clicking “Programs“
- Welcome Baby is a one-time celebratory home visit for parents with newborns through 6 months of age.
- Parents are connected to resources to support their parenting journey
- Families receive a beautiful gift bag filled with a handmade blanket, baby care essentials, and books for baby, siblings, and parents.
- Structured literacy-based playgroups
- Supports caregivers in engaging with their children
- Hands-on, interactive and developmental play
ASQ Developmental Screenings
Curious about your child’s development?
The Ages and Stages tool helps you track your child’s development of communication, gross motor, fine motor, and personal-social emotional skills.
Boston Family Engagement Network (BFEN) is founded on the belief that parents are the first and primary teacher of their child. BFEN Parent Leadership Teams partner with families to promote positive family outcomes and and healthy child development. These teams are comprised of parents from the local neighborhoods; they are the backbone of BFEN. Parent Partners have the pulse of the neighborhood, and plan programming to meet the needs of the commmunity. BFEN sites weave a strong web of support around children and families.
Play is the natural path to learning
Play is an essential ingredient to childhood. BFEN sites offer opportunities for families to engage effectively with their children through play; It is the pathway for children to learn about themselves and the world around them, because they practice skills that help them learn, thrive and grow. Our structured Parent-Child Play Groups provide guided play, where BFEN facilitators intentionally create and organize a rich environment of developmentally appropriate materials. Guided play encourages children to make independent choices and maximizes learning. Parents engage with their children in play, help focus their attention, learn about their child’s development and how best to support their child’s school readiness journey.
BFEN activities are available to all Boston families with children prenatal to age 8, regardless of economic class, race or educational level. Our no cost programs emphasize healthy approaches to parenting that nurture children, contributing to positive outcomes for families and children.
All sites use the Strengthening Families approach in their work with families. All BFEN activities are rooted in the five protective factors:
- Parental resilience
- Social connections
- Knowledge of parenting and child development
- Concrete support
- Children’s social and emotional development
Local Family Engagement Network
BFEN programs emphasize building parents’ nurturing skills and knowledge of healthy child development, strengthening children’s social-emotional and school readiness skills, and connecting families to resources and each other for support. Our Neighborhood sites, staffed by Parent Partners from your neighborhood, offer a continuum of programs—home visits, parent-child groups, and parenting education—and connections to our neighborhood partners’ services, programs, and activities.
Each Network has additional unique programs and opportunities for families, so be sure to visit your Neighborhood’s page and check for current updates during these quickly changing times.
Calendar of Activities
The BFEN Calendar of Activities include virtual, outdoor and indoor in-person activities at your local Neighborhood sites. Outdoor and indoor activities do require pre-registration. CDC guidelines remain in place to ensure the safety of staff, families and children.
For more information, contact