United Way

Family Service & Children’s Aid – Parent Education Program

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The FSCA Parent Education Program is designed to assist parents in developing the skills necessary to positively influence their children through the parenting role.  The program provides parenting assessments to identify areas of strength and need.  Focus is on building empathy in children, fostering independence, developing age-appropriate expectations, maintaining appropriate roles, and using positive discipline techniques.  Individualized assessments identify barriers to positive parenting.  The Nurturing Parenting curriculum uses evidence-based practices that emphasize positive parenting, which in turn builds stronger families.  Skills are emphasized that help parents develop empathy and improve overall relations within their families.  The FSCA PE program connects families with assistance needed to support their child(ren)’s school success.  The Parent Advocate conducts comprehensive intake and exit interviews that identify needed resources for the family.  Both community resource linkage and advocacy are provided on an ongoing basis.

Classes run for 8 weeks and are completely free.  Participants can join anytime during the 8 week course.  All classes are held at the Family Service & Children’s Aid’s main office at 330 W. Michigan Ave.  Although success stories are many, here’s one.

While discussing as a class how easy it is for parents to feel overwhelmed and then respond in negative ways toward their family members, a thoughtful father stopped the conversation to say that he finally understood what his wife was going through (with a new baby at home).  During this particular class he looked at her and told her he was sorry for not knowing or understanding (how he was contributing to the stress at home).  He shared with the parent group what they had been going through, what the stress was like and that he was realizing (through this class experience) how he was making their situation worse.  In front of the group of parents, he asked his wife for forgiveness.  Everyone in the room was in awe; it was incredibly emotional and meaningful for everyone there (and especially for his wife).  As the weekly classes progressed, this couple opened up more and became much closer.  The father (in particular) shared regularly how he was practicing at home with his children what he was learning in class and the positive results he’d experience.  This family really evolved and grew closer and the father’s willingness to share enhanced the overall group’s understanding of Nurturing Parenting.