Divorce rates across the country are at astonishing levels – an average of about 50%, with one Northern California community a startling 89%. A disturbing 12% of Sacramento County’s population is divorced, compared to 9.5% statewide. And Sacramento exceeds national rates for children living in single parent households, in poverty, and exposure to related risks for abuse and neglect.
Our founder and Executive Director, Carolyn Rich Curtis, Ph.D., a Family and Marriage Therapist, spent 30 years in private practice. She wanted to make a difference for even more people in our community. She knew that through hard work and community support, she could form an organization that would improve the quality of lives of thousands of people and their future generations. In 2005, the Relationship Skills Center was established.
Through small grants and community donations, we made an immediate difference. The federal government recognized our success and saw the larger possibilities and awarded us a large grant in 2005. Through this grant, along with continuing private donations and the dedication of staff and volunteers, were able to expand our work to reach the most fragile families in our community.
What We Do
The Relationship Skills Center helps couples and families thrive. We promote the development of strong, safe, and stable families among those most at-risk. We teach young people the skills necessary to make healthy decisions regarding their romantic lives, and we support couples as they transition from being a couple to being a healthy family.
We achieve this by providing relationship skills education and support to low income parents. The program reinforces the value of raising children in a two-parent household. Classes focus on teaching communication skills, conflict management and problem-solving. As a result of our program, our unmarried couples learn about the risks for children raised without the presence of two parents, and many relate to their own experiences of growing up without a father. These highly personal, emotional moments of self-discovery often result in a newfound resolve to raise children together. Upon completion of this program, many couples become married, engaged, or plan to marry.
Every child grows up in a healthy family.
To build a better community by strengthening peoples’ relationship skills.
Since opening our doors, over 3,000 people have participated in our programs, and we’ve had the privilege of witnessing numerous success stories. In 2011, we commissioned a comprehensive, independent 5-year study of the results of our program1. Although we knew our program worked, the data proved it. Below are just a few of the results.
- fighting in front of their children 81% less than before
- doing activities with the children 79% more than before
- planning for their children’s future 65% more than before
- spending time together as a family 74% more than before
- Able to financially support ourselves and our children 53% more than before
- listening to what the other person is saying 82% more than before
- able to compromise 74% more than before
- making decisions together 78% more than before
When asked if they’d take this class again, 94% of participants said yes, and 92% recommended the program to others.
At the Relationship Skills Center, we provide the tools to help families live happier, healthier, more satisfying lives.
1 LPC Consulting Associates study, 2009-2011
RELATIONSHIP SKILLS CENTER HONORED WITH TWO MAJOR AWARDS
The Relationship Skills Center received the Daily Point of Light Award from the Points of Light Foundation and the Office of the President of United States. This award is given to individuals and groups who are creating meaningful change in communities across America.
The Relationship Skills Center has also been honored with a prestigious 2012 Top-Rated Award by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations.