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CFC Outreach Team Creates Instagram for Teens @fn_ction

As you scroll through Instagram, most of the posts you see show friends traveling or on some fun adventure.

Other posts, however, include more than just smiling faces or puppy dogs, instead giving viewers a reason to stop and think.

It’s these posts, many of which include information with the goal of spreading awareness on important topics, which are beginning to reach teens on social media.

The Child & Family Center is using its Instagram page, the aptly named @fn_ction, to help teens with how to function in a healthy way during a dysfunctional time, according to the page’s organizers, Daniel Moran and Leah Parker, outreach specialists at the Child & Family Center.

 “We wanted to give (teens) a healthy voice in the mix of all the unhealthy voices that they’re surrounded with in (the) media,” Parker said. “They’re at such a pivotal time in their development where they need something positive, and we wanted to be able to provide that on top of everything else that we do.”

The “lightbulb moment” came to Moran and Parker after they realized the agency’s current social media wasn’t reaching the youth population. They wanted to find a way to bridge that gap and talk to them where they are: on social media.

Instead of shying away from the important topics, posts range from mental health or sexual assault awareness to substance abuse or domestic violence, as well as trending topics.

“(Posts) are usually tailored around our services, but we also like to throw in a lot of inspirational stuff, as well,” Moran added. “There’s a lot of stigma behind these topics too, so we try to provide the information in a very tasteful way … and paint a different picture that doesn’t show the stigmatization behind a lot of the topics.”

It’s posts like this that teens respond well to, according to organizers, who say teens typically thank them for being real with them and have nurtured engaging conversations.

The page is something Moran said they hope to use as a tool to build a brand, giving teens the resources they need both online and off, as well as a way to connect with other agencies across the world to create a larger resource network.

“The ultimate goal is to just watch this become a very viral place for youth, not only in our valley but throughout the country,” Parker said. “Social media allows us that avenue to be able to take it beyond, so we’re very excited to watch this grow and bring awareness.”

To view the Child & Family Center’s page, visit instagram.com/fn_ction.

Excerpt from an article in The Signal by Emily Alvarenga, June 6, 2021

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