Friends of the Family
Friends of the Family
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Parent Support and Education

Parent Support and Education programs focus on developing parents' knowledge of child development and parenting strategies, enhancing parenting skills, strengthening parent-child bonds and creating learning-friendly homes.

Services are provided at our main office in North Hills as well as at community centers and schools throughout the San Fernando Valley. Program offerings include:
FamilyRead- a family literacy, parent support, and community building program based on the idea that when families read together, the family bond is strengthened, parents become reading role models for their children, and children become better readers and learners. The program uses the accessible avenue of children’s books to teach parents an engaging way to read aloud with their children. This simple format effectively promotes literacy and also addresses pertinent parenting, child development, and family issues. The FamilyRead program is based on a national curriculum called “MOTHEREAD,” which has been expanded to include all care-givers and to include book titles that are relevant to local communities. All facilitators of the program are trained in the national model.



B.A.B.Y. (Birth and Beginning Years)- utilizing the same FamilyRead model of helping parents to effectively use children’s literature as a communication, education, and bonding channel, the B.A.B.Y. curriculum uses developmentally appropriate books to guide parents through the often overwhelming changes associated with having a baby. The program first focuses on prenatal health care topics and parenting skills and then moves on to address issues about growth and development for newborns up to one year of age.

Infants and Toddlers-
using the FamilyRead format, this program focuses on parents of very young children and provides coaching for ways to engage young children in the reading process. With recognition of the importance of stimulating the brain development of infants and toddlers, facilitators model various activities to engage their interest and participation in reading and play activities. Classes utilize age-appropriate activities that build parents’ understanding of child development and deepen the parent-child bond.

Family Friendly Finances- uses the FamilyRead format, adapting it to financial education by using the vast array of children’s literature themed around financial lessons. The program is designed to enhance low-income parents’ ability to make decisions and take actions most advantageous to their family’s economic well-being, to give them practical knowledge and skills to pursue their financial goals, to inspire their belief that economic success is truly achievable, and to empower them to pass these lessons along to their children.
Oaks to Acorns- a leadership development and support program for mothers and their 10- to 14-year-old daughters. It strengthens the mother-daughter bond, increases mothers’ understanding of pre-teen development, helps daughters view their moms as leaders, improves self-confidence for both mother and daughter, and increases coping and problem-solving skills.
The Pillow Project- a prevention and education program about domestic violence. The program educates participants about and links them to resources that provide safety and security for themselves and their families. Organized around the activity of pillow-making, participants begin by taking part in an old-fashioned sewing circle. While participants engage in needlework each week, facilitators educate about the manifestations and causes of domestic violence and coach around options for coping, how to develop a safety plan, and how to help other friends or family members who may be living with violent situations.
The Children Are Listening- a short-term parent education class that teaches parents about the effects that violence from any source (e.g., community, family, media, school) has on children. It raises parents’ awareness of the negative impact that exposure to violence in any form can have on their children.

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