In every parent’s mind there runs a continuous ticker of nagging questions, like how do I get my teenager to follow curfew, do their chores, or be kind to their siblings? Or what will make my young child act appropriately in public, stop interrupting, or do their schoolwork? Some parents call friends or family for advice, others search the internet for parenting tips – but some local moms and dads are turning to new support groups that use an evidence-based curriculum and strategies to answer their questions.
These free parenting support groups aimed at strengthening families, called Texas Families: Together and Safe (TFTS), meet weekly to discover how to improve communication, manage stress and resolve conflict within the family. The groups are led by BCFS Health and Human Services’ Kerrville Transition Center.
“Every parent wants to see their child succeed in their education, personal relationships and overall well-being, and many parents look for ways to improve their skills so their child can truly excel,” says Terri Hipps, executive director of BCFS’ Community Services Division. “The moms and dads who participate in our groups learn a lot from one another’s experiences, gain confidence and see that they’re not alone in the struggle to maintain a loving, nurturing home environment.”
Program participants are included in drawings to win prizes that include an Xbox One gaming console worth $500, and assorted packages worth $150 each including a Samsung Galaxy Tab Lite, a Samsung digital camera and digital frame, and a family gift bag of games and movies. Door prizes including gift cards are given away weekly at each group meeting.
“Too often it can be a thankless job to raise a family. So we want to reward families who take the initiative to participate in the meetings by offering prize giveaways that help family members come together for fun, bonding experiences,” says Hipps.
BCFS’ Kerrville Transition Center serves local youth, helping them transition to adulthood and independence by providing case management, counseling, mentorships, assistance with education, employment and housing location, and transitional living apartments. Youth served at the center are in the foster care system, juvenile justice, or at-risk of issues like poverty, homelessness or dropping out of school.
In recent years the transition center rapidly outgrew its small facility, so in early April community leaders gathered on Main Street to break ground on a brand new 20,000 square foot building set to open in early 2015. The new center, named the BCFS Health and Human Services Hill Country Transition Center, will house five non-profits and is expected to serve more than 4,000 children and families annually.
For more information about parent support groups through BCFS’ Kerrville Transition Center, visit DiscoverBCFS.net/Kerrville or call (830) 928-9267.
To support the work of the transition center by donating, contact Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie at (830) 896-0993, give securely online, or send checks to 1105 East Main Street, Kerrville, Texas 78028.