Nonprofit View: Parenting education and support available for Dads and Moms

Dads Works/Moms Works

The surest way to provide a healthy and happy childhood is for both parents to be working together for the benefit of the whole family. At Dads Works and Moms Works we help parents overcome barriers to successful and responsible parenting.

Many parents who seek help from Dads Works and Moms Works are separated or divorced. In some cases, parents are together but unemployment, illness, financial problems or substance abuse are part of the mix. Unable to communicate successfully with each other or their children, parents in these situations may find themselves overreacting, lashing out with anger or abuse. They often feel alone, ashamed and desperately unhappy.

Dads and moms who participate in our program services range from 15 to 65 years old. They sincerely want their children, and family, to be healthy and happy together. They often don't know how to get there, and everything they try seems to fail. They may be involved in a visitation or custody war, feeling the odds are stacked against them.

Our 24 session psycho-educational program helps both dads and moms build the knowledge and self-confidence needed to provide their children with encouragement, support and discipline. Separate groups are provided for dads and moms allowing both parents to learn and seek support in a safe, confidential space.

Within the weekly group meeting, they learn coping and communication skills. They learn the stages of child development and how to apply them to their situation. Parents learn to recognize stress, how to cope and when to apply the principles of positive discipline. As they gain confidence, parents come to realize that there is strength in consistency and the influence of their character, provides a silent, but powerful template that children can follow to grow into mature, capable adults.

Parenting classes at Dads Works and Moms Works are a substantial investment in the future social and mental health of the family. Certificates of Completion take 6 months or longer to achieve. The average cost to participate in this program for each parent is $1,000. Clients contribute as their circumstances permit, and they donate volunteer time to fundraising events. Contributions from local businesses, churches and private individuals help too, but there is a massive shortfall.

More than 145 individual parents sought help from Dads Works or Moms Works in 2016. Some of them were in the Carroll County Detention Center. To date in 2017, we've helped 21 new parents who reached out for help.

For more information about Dads Works or Moms Works, visit our website at www.dadsworks.org. Consider making a donation, giving as generously as you can. Or, will you choose to volunteer at one or more of our "parking cars" fundraisers, which happen locally in July, August and September? You can make a difference however you choose to lend your support.

David Berry is the director of Dads Works and Moms Works. He can be reached at davidberry@dadsworks.org.

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