Family Enrichment Program Pivots to Support Families

Family Enrichment Program Pivots to Support Families
Online Instruction, Spanish Language Classes, and New Fathers’ Groups

The need for parent support services has never been greater, and our quick-acting Family Enrichment Programming team has been hard at work to ensure that our parents continue to be served through the disruption of the current pandemic.

All Family Enrichment Programming, which offers robust parenting support and programming, has been moved to a virtual platform to continue to help families during unprecedented times.

Although our team misses seeing our families in person, there have been significant benefits to going online, including:

  • Eliminating transportation barriers for our families
  • Allowing for more time flexibility for our busy parents
  • Uncoupling any physical location limitations and time constraints

We have also seen the added benefit of expanding our reach! Our weekly drop in support group has new participants from all over Massachusetts, as well as all over the country, including New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Michigan.

In addition, we are offering two monthly support groups conducted in Spanish-many of the parents graduated from the Nurturing Program in May 2020. It has allowed participants to stay connected with one another, all while staying home. An unexpected blessing during this challenging time is the natural formation of father’s group that meets monthly. A group of fathers graduated from the Nurturing Program in June 2020 and wanted to remain connected. We offer a facilitated support group once a month to allow fathers to have a place to convene (online) and receive support from one another. It has expanded to us opening up the group to other fathers who have graduated from Nurturing in year’s past.

One father reflected, “Both programs at Pathways for Children have helped me communicate with all of my kids, it taught me a lot. I need improvement on many things. I didn’t have a lot of empathy. I learned from my child’s point of view. Pathways has provided me guidance, support, and it is an excellent place and I am glad I went because I have obtained full custody of my son. Everybody that I deal with goes out of their way to help me. I highly recommend Pathways for Children! It is different raising a child now than in 1999. Everything resolves around the phone and social media. The staff showed me a different perspective about parenting skills that have shown me how to be a better parent. My son will get to live with me. Things would have been hard to handle on my own.”

We are currently offering a 15 week Nurturing Program session with 12 parents enrolled. Since there has been so much interest, we will be starting two more groups in December, one conducted in English and another in Spanish. The Nurturing Program is an evidenced based curriculum to prevent abuse and neglect in children by instilling five main constructs: appropriate expectations, developing empathy, positive discipline, appropriate family roles and gaining power and independence. All groups continue to be conducted by trained facilitators.