United Way increases funding for EPIC

United Way of Buffalo & Erie County increases support for

EPIC – Every Person Influences Children


BUFFALO (NY) -  United Way of Buffalo & Erie County (UWBEC) increased funding for EPIC - Every Person Influences Children’s programs and services that support families and children. United Way awarded a total of $125,000 for 2019-2021 to support EPIC’s Families in Transition, Family Engagement, Early Care Engagement, and Just Teens/Incredible Years programs.

"Creating stronger families throughout Erie County is a priority at United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. EPIC is a great partner and example of an agency that aligns with our priorities and is producing results in our community," said Michael Weiner, President & CEO United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. 

UWBEC funds specific priority areas through a competitive process. In their education platform, UWBEC places priority on programs that support early learning and development, which includes programs that increase language, literacy, and numeracy skills for young children; support young children at risk for developmental, social, emotional, and behavioral issues; and, provide support for parents with young children.

“We are honored that the United Way believes like we do, that connecting communities and parents to resources builds a strong foundation for life for every child. Our results-oriented programs encourage engagement in education and child development and support families through all the challenges and joys of parenting, “said Tara N. Burgess, Executive Director.

The funded programs are:

Families in Transition - FiT ($35,000) is a research-based parenting education program with the goal of reducing family conflict. FiT participants are at-risk for a variety of personal and familial challenges including substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence, child abuse, neglect and endangerment, often resulting in loss of custody of their children. Some participants are referred by the domestic violence and family court system, preventive services and other agencies, while others seek support on their own to help them overcome personal challenges that interfere with being effective parents. FiT serves nearly 400 parents a year with a waiting list for services over 3 months.

Family Engagement ($30,000) is a multi-service program to engage families to in ways to support early academic success of children, through skill and capacity building for families and teachers.  This unique, customizable program utilizes EPIC’s parenting, family engagement, and professional development opportunities to build positive working relationships between families and educators in Buffalo Pubic Schools. 

Early Care Engagement- ECE ($30,000) designed to engage parents at a critical time before their children start school, and aligns with the Early Head Start Program and Performance Standards, through skill building for families and staff, capacity building for parents and staff development for providers. EPIC is provides ECE to Community Action Organization (CAO) at 12 child development centers and will expand to Holy Cross Head Start with United Way’s funding.

Just for Teens - Incredible Years ($30,000) Just for Teens/Incredible Years is a comprehensive program for pregnant and parenting teens focused on enhancing their skills and confidence as individuals and as parents. It includes Incredible Years, an evidence-based program for parents of children 0 -12 months old, created to strengthen the bond between young parents and their baby.

About EPIC: 

EPIC – Every Person Influences Children is dedicated to giving every child a strong start and a promising future. EPIC helps families, schools and communities raise children to become responsible and successful adults by encouraging literacy, supporting youth and families with results based programs and services.  EPIC provides year-round programming in Parenting Education, which includes Ready, Set, Parent! (offering support and solutions for parents of newborns), parenting classes for parents of young children, and young adolescents; Families in Transition (helping individuals facing challenges reach their full potential as parents); and Just for Teens (enhancing the skills and confidence of pregnant and parenting teens) and Family Engagement in Education, encouraging early literacy and building parents' capacity to be actively involved in their children's education, through programs such as Ready, Set, Read! (developing family literacy and early intervention for children's academic success); and Storytime (fun family literacy-based event). For more information about EPIC, please visit www.epicforchildren.org.


For over 100 years, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County has united our whole community to improve the health, education & financial stability of every person in Buffalo & Erie County.  United Way of Buffalo & Erie County mobilizes thousands of people every year to give, advocate, and volunteer to help children reach their full potential, families achieve financial stability, and create a healthier community.  For more information, visit www.uwbec.org