In Youth Service, Inc. Success Stories, we aim to recognize clients who have overcome their hardships to find success through our programming. In this post, we are highlighting our Parenting program. This program is a prevention support service available to any caregivers in the City of Philadelphia. The program meets in cycles of 12, two-hour sessions. The interactive curriculum focuses on: improving parents’ ability to identify, express, process and manage feelings; increasing parents’ understanding of child development; increasing parents’ understanding of the varied approaches to positive parenting including increased knowledge of nurturing and responsive parenting interactions. The groups also support parents in understanding and supporting their child’s educational needs. For more information please contact Erica Makowski, 215-848-6200 x 1012.

Parenting at People’s Emergency Center (PEC) is a group that allows women to come together and communicate about their feelings. The group allows them to learn new parenting strategies as well as enables them to communicate about their own history on how they were parented as children. Parenting group gives parents a platform to use their voices. Most of the parents who participate have experienced some type of trauma and are without permanent living arrangements. Our group has had parents of different races and cultures. The Nurturing Parenting curriculum has something for everyone.

A 31-year-old, single, Hispanic mother with 3 children began attending parenting group. The mother was angry and frustrated due to some of her life issues. Due to her anger management challenges, she has difficulties allowing people to assist her when she has problems. Both of her older children were in the care of other family members, which further contributed to the trauma that this mother has been experiencing most of her life.

YSI’s group facilitators were able to engage this mother and assist her with feeling safe enough to start to communicate about her feelings. This mother also recently learned that she was expecting another child. YSI’s parenting group allowed the mother to start mending the broken relationships she had with her family members by providing the tools and information that allowed her to start to practice forgiveness towards them.

Due to past experiences the mother had no support system to assist her with her 10-year-old son and her unborn child. YSI also assisted the mother with moving past the fears that have caused her to become displaced by encouraging her to obtain mental health services for herself and her son. When an individual has experienced trauma there is an inability to trust systems such as social service providers. Being in the parenting group with YSI staff allowed this parent to start to trust those assisting her and rebuild relationships, access services, and learn new parenting skills. YSI also assisted with items for the unborn baby.