Families Graduate TFTS Program

Photo: TFTS Program Graduates

Kerr County Families Celebrate Parenting Class Success

KERRVILLE — Eight local families recently celebrated their graduation from the parenting education program Texas Families Together and Safe (TFTS), operated by BCFS Health and Human Services-Kerrville. Each parent received a certificate and graduation gift at an informal, private celebration last week, hosted by BCFS-Kerrville.

TFTS provides free parenting classes to support parents in developing a stable, nurturing home for their children. Parents learn conflict resolution strategies, tips for improving communication between family members, and how to address behavioral problems in their children – both at home and in school.

Local mother of five, Athena Blevins, says the classes have built her confidence in her parenting skills.

“I have seen myself as a parent become better, more patient and loving raising my kids,” Blevins says. “We all have our challenges in parenthood, but because of this course, I look forward to putting my new skills into practice… It’s not about what you are doing wrong as a parent, but how you can be better.”

Another TFTS graduate, mom Amanda Chmylak, says she also learned helpful parenting tips.

“I was a little apprehensive about this class at first, but I thought ‘what the heck?” Chmylak says. “The steps I learned in this class definitely are helping in my family.”

“Parenting is incredibly hard work, and the choices we make when we interact with our children have a profound impact on them,” said BCFS-Kerrville Interim Director Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie. “Our children watch us to see how we react when we’re stressed or overwhelmed, and they pay attention to the ways we encourage or discipline them. Every parent, regardless of their background or family circumstances, could benefit from learning some extra parenting tips.”

New parenting classes will begin mid-October in the Kerr County towns of Center Point, Hunt, and Kerrville, Texas. All classes are free and participants receive wraparound support, meals and referrals to other community resources to help meet the family’s basic needs. Attendance incentives, like helpful household items, are awarded to parents at each class; plus a graduation gift is provided upon completion, which for this recent group of graduates included slow cookers, toasters and first-aid kits.

For start dates and to register for classes, call (830) 890-8690 or email Parent Educator Shane Williamson at PW0316@BCFS.net.

Any Kerr County parent with a child or children aged 3 to 17 is encouraged to enroll in TFTS. Families with no open or substantiated case with Child Protective Services (CPS) are eligible.

According to Maxwell-Rambie, the classes provide practical advice for many different types of parents: overworked or single parents, divorced couples, and any parent interested in learning how to make a healthy, happy home for their child.

The TFTS Parenting Wisely curriculum helps families:

  • Strengthen the parent-child bond
  • Validate the strengths of a parent
  • Resolve conflict and improve communication within the family
  • Improve children’s behavioral problems
  • Discipline children in healthy, effective ways
  • Deal with difficult issues like strong emotions, aggression, alcohol and violence

The primary goal of TFTS is to prevent child abuse. The program is funded by the Prevention and Early Intervention Division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. For more information, visit DiscoverBCFS.net/TFTS or call 830-896-0993.

BCFS Health and Human Services-Kerrville, a nonprofit located in the BCFS Hill Country Resource Center, helps local families, youth from the foster care and juvenile justice systems, homeless youth, and young adults struggling with unemployment, past abuse or neglect, poverty and other challenges. Visit DiscoverBCFS.net/Kerrville to learn more.