Prevent child abuse and neglect and strengthen families through mutual self-help parent support groups.
This mission is supported by the core tenets of our collaboration:
- Children are valuable.
- Children have the right to grow up free from abuse and neglect.
- Children have the right to a safe environment.
- Children have the right to a nurturing home, family and community.
- Parents and families have the right to non-judgmental support.
- Parents and families have the right to respect.
- Parents and families have the right to compassion.
- Strong communities value children and engage families.
- Communities have the right to parent support groups that are culturally responsive.
- Communities grow through support from their own members.
- Communities benefit from equal treatment of all members.
Principles of Parent Support Groups
Trust. Parents who come to support groups count on each other to listen openly, respond honestly and always act with compassion. Parents know that all information shared in the support group is confidential and never discussed outside the group setting, within the limits of the law. All parents have the option of anonymity in the support group.
Reciprocity. Parents provide non-judgmental support to one another. Parents are the experts about their own families and their own children. Together, parents learn from one another about ways to strengthen their families.
Leadership & Personal Accountability. The support group belongs to the parents who attend. Parents determine the content of meetings and agenda, they define their own goals in the group, model healthy interactions, ensure meetings take place consistently, set individual goals and act on their decisions.
Respect. Parents in support groups can expect to have their feelings heard, one at a time. They can also count on having enough time for everyone to speak, rather than one or two people taking over all the time in the group. Parents, facilitators, and parent leaders honor cultural traditions, boundaries and needs of group members.
Parenting in the Present. Support groups focus on what is happening today, rather than spending precious time on things in the past that cannot be changed. At times, people need to talk about the past, because the past is affecting what is happening now.
Shared Leadership. Parents and professionals build successful partnerships. They share responsibility, expertise and leadership roles.
Responsibility. Members of the group hold each other accountable for the above values, ask for clarification if there is something they do not understand, and reach out if someone else seems to be struggling.
Non-Violence. Participants assist one another in developing positive methods of problem solving and realize that violence at any level is not an acceptable form of dealing with problems and issues.