Parent Groups

Children do not arrive with an instruction manual,

but we can help. Protective factors improve and child abuse risk decreases when parents get support from professionals and each other, learn what is normal behavior for children at different ages, gain flexibility and confidence, and when non-abusive parenting skills become second nature. For The Child supports parents in creating happy, abuse free families by providing many opportunities for parents to learn from each other and other experienced parenting professionals.

Parent Support Circles

For The Child is a partner in the Parent Support Circles of Los Angeles County, a First 5 funded effort to establish 100 support groups for parents of children birth to five across Los Angeles County. These groups are designed to increase social connections with other parents; increase parents’ knowledge, confidence and effectiveness; and raise parents’ awareness of resources available to help them. Focused on (1) parents of new babies, (2) fatherhood, (3) parents of children with disabilities, and (4) self-care for parents to prevent depression, these are parent-led small groups for parents to talk about what is challenging about parenting and to share resources. This program is part of a county wide effort to improve protective factors and outcomes for young children and families.

Incredible Years Parenting Groups

The Incredible Years parent education groups are a research-based series of age appropriate programs focused on strengthening parenting competencies and fostering parents’ involvement with their children in order to promote children’s academic, social and emotional competencies and reduce behavior problems.

  • Parents and Babies Together consists of a 10-12 week program that helps parents learn to observe and read their babies’ cues; and learn new ways to provide nurturing and responsive care, including physical, tactile and visual stimulation as well as verbal communication. These skills are critical to bonding, attachment and early brain development.
  • Parenting Toddlers (1-3) builds optimal parenting skills in the following ways: Parents learn to use child-directed play to promote positive relationships and gain the ability to use supportive coaching to build their child’s vocabulary and encourage healthy expression of feelings. Parents learn how to plan for common toddler challenges such as dressing, compliance, sharing, eating, going to bed, toilet training and gentle animal care. Parents learn self-control and positive self-talk.
  • Preschool/Early Childhood BASIC Series (Age 3-6 Years)Focuses on parenting skills with a series of topics that build upon each other: strengthening children’s social skills, emotional regulation, school readiness, using praise and incentives to encourage cooperative behavior, positive discipline (rules, routines and effective limit setting), and positive discipline to handle misbehavior.

Reflective Parenting Groups

These 10 week groups for parents or foster/adoptive parents of young children (3-5 years) help parents slow down and reflect upon their own parenting style and their child’s responses. Using a workshop model, these groups enable parents to discover new ways to think about the links between behavior, feelings and actions, while also learning strategies and techniques designed to enhance their self-awareness and understanding of the key role they play in creating a relationships where they and their child learn to understand and manage emotions and behavior.

Parent Education & Support Groups for Child Abuse Intervention

We provide Parent Education and Support groups in English and Spanish for parents referred by the Department of Children and Family Services or the court who are at risk of losing their children because of abuse, neglect or violence; or who are seeking reunification with their children after foster placement. Topics include: positive discipline, anger management, building self-esteem (parent and child), cultural differences in child rearing practices, communication skills, conflict resolution skills, child and adolescent development, child abuse prevention, mental health, domestic violence awareness. Priority for these groups to DCFS or Court referred parents.

Teresa was eight months pregnant when she joined For The Child’s New Baby support group.

 Her husband was unemployed. She had no health insurance and had not received any prenatal care. She was worried and anxious about her pregnancy. Her group leaders helped her sign up for health insurance with Covered California. She saw a doctor the next week. Her baby girl is now a healthy nine month old.