Learning How to Be Better Parents

FAMILYConnections congratulates six parents from our StrongFathers and StrongMothers programs who successfully completed the IncredibleParents=IncredibleKids Program (IP=IK) this summer.  IP=IK is a nationally recognized curriculum helping to nurture the social and emotional development of young children while building parenting skills.

“The moms and dads who took part in IP=IK this summer learned new ways to interact with their children,” says Jennifer Kildea, StrongMothers’ Program Manager. “They did some role playing with their peers to learn how to apply what they learned.  Most important of all, they learned more ways to enjoy parenting their children.  This is something to feel proud about.”

StrongMothers and StrongFathers provide specialized substance abuse treatment with parenting and life skills training to help parents with dependent children build a life of recovery for themselves and their families.  CONGRATULATIONS to everyone involved!

Ready for High School Success

At the end of July, 39 teens completed Cougar Prep, a four week high school readiness program for incoming Columbia High School (CHS) freshmen.  Cougar Prep is a collaboration between the South Orange-Maplewood School District and The Loft, managed by FAMILYConnections.

“Cougar Prep is part of FAMILYConnections’ ongoing partnership with CHS to provide teens with academic and life skills support,” says Jacques Hryshko, FAMILYConnections’ Executive Director. “This was a great year with a great group of kids.  They took part in morning academics with CHS teachers and life skills training and recreation sponsored by The Loft in the afternoon.  We congratulate each of them on their hard work and wish them well as they begin their freshmen year.”

The Loft is one of four School-Based Youth Services Programs managed by FAMILYConnections.  These programs offer on-site mental health counseling, life skills training, prevention programming, academic and employment support, after-school enrichment and recreation in collaboration with school staff and community partners.

Building Strong Families and Communities

Did you know the fourth Sunday in July was Parents Day?  This national observance was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in a resolution stating, “Parents Day is established for recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children.”

Parents Day celebrates the love between parents and their children, creating strong, healthy, and happy families.  However, successful parenting is not easy to do – and there are lots of pressures facing parents today

Here are a few facts to think about, as reported by KidsCount.org, highlighting how tough it can be:

In 2012:

30% of children in New Jersey were being raised in a single parent household
26% lived with parents who lacked secure employment

FAMILYConnections is helping parents build strong families every day with your support:

Reunity House works to reunite healthy families through therapeutic supervised visitation after separation due to child abuse or neglect
Strengthening Families of Essex builds family bonding, communication skills, and support for the whole family
Parents as Teachers provides evidence-based family support services from pregnancy through early childhood to nurture a child’s healthy development and school readiness
StrongMothers and StrongFathers help parents overcome addiction while teaching parenting and life skills.
ADAPT is working with teens and their families to prevent underage drinking and substance abuse.

Thank you for your continued support.