Helping hands: Community has a variety of parenting groups – Centre Daily Times

If you are a parent and feeling alone or confused during a particularly challenging time with your child, help is available in Centre County. We are fortunate to have a great network of opportunities to help parents to find relief in learning that many others feel the same way.

Parenting discussion groups and classes provide times for parents to meet others, ask questions and offer suggestions. For some who are home with young children, it’s a welcome time to have conversations with other grownups. For people who are new to the community or new to parenting, it’s a way to make some connections, new friends and to absorb the local culture.

Home visits are available for those who find it difficult to join in a group setting. A home visitor can come to meet you at your home, listen to your questions and concerns, and help you find solutions to meet your needs. If you aren’t comfortable having someone come to your home, you can arrange to meet with some of the parent educators at their offices or in a community setting.

The State College Area School District offers the family outreach program; all of the options mentioned above are available to parents living in SCASD, and the family outreach specialist can refer others to programs in their area. Find out more about this program by calling 231-1070 or emailing ces11@scasd.org.

Other programs available countywide include:

▪ Parenting Plus, offered by the Youth Service Bureau. Parent educators offer personal visits, group connections and parenting support. You can reach them at 237-5731.

▪ Cen-Clear Child Services, with Head Start and Early Head Start programs for low-income parents from pregnancy through age 5. In these, parent education is a large component. Contact them at 342-5678.

▪ The Childbirth Education Association is best known for its classes to prepare expectant parents for the birth of a child, but also offers some continuing support through playgroups and other programs. Contact them at 237-4232 or info@ceaofstatecollege. org.

▪ The Child Development and Family Council is best known for childcare programs, referrals to quality childcare in the area and access to funding for childcare, but also provides information and referrals to parents with particular parenting concerns. Reach them at 238-5480 or cdfc@cdfc.org.

Other networking opportunities exist through local churches and community groups. Contact us for information and join us.

Connie Schulz is a family outreach specialist at State College Area School District. Contact her at 231-1070 or ces11@scasd.org.