Parenting Services

Parenting Services

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Welcome to Parents

MHA’s initial venture into parent training was as sponsor to the County’s first Parents Anonymous (PA) meeting 1977.  PA offered parents an alternative to abusive behavior toward their children.  In 1986, a community coalition was organized to expand the project and link it to a Tallahassee based PA host project.  MHA was asked by the Coalition to serve as the lead agency and did take on that role. In 1988, Broward County, through its Children’s Services Administration Division, funded MHA’s expansion of the project.  In subsequent funding cycles, MHA was able to document greater need and was awarded more funds.  The project was modified to reflect its expanded services and became known as PEPS (Parent Education/Parent Support).  In 2015, PEPS joined the initiative in Florida to standardize the Parent Education Services throughout the state. Through monthly state-wide meetings, MHA was part of an implementation team to develop protocols for improving the outcomes of Parent Education in the state of Florida. Appropriate curriculums were identified and staff were trained in evidence-based parent education for parents of children 0-18 years of age and evidence based behavioral observations for parents with children 0-5 years of age. MHA has been in the forefront of this initiative and continues to be a leader in providing high quality evidence- based curriculum today.

PEPS

PEPS is known as a prime parent training resource for the Broward Courts and for Child Net as a result of its service competence.  The program offers an evidence-based parenting curriculum with tracts for parents of infants, school-aged children and teens. PEPS also offers individual services to parents who may, upon intake, present with unique problems that are not appropriate to the group/class model.   PEPS receives well over 200 referrals annually. Primary funding for the project is now via Child Net.  Our recently renovated children's playroom/observation room, named The Roberta Eisenberg Room, allows us to offer pre/post observations and supervised visitation for parents in our parenting program. 

Services are provided in Broward County jails, drug treatment centers and community locations around the county.
​MHA-PEPS also provides fee-based parenting services for families needing supervised visitation and for families in need of specialized support during and after divorce through our Co-Parenting and Divorce Program. 

Additionally, PEPS provides Anger Management classes, Circle of Security classes and Child-Parent Psychotherapy. 

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Family Support Services

In 2005, MHA agreed to provide support services to families of SED (severely emotionally disturbed) children.  The project was titled FISH (Families Invested in Support & Health).  FISH consisted of individual outreach, parent training and support groups.   The County funded grant that supported this initiative also supported the MHA- Connections for Kids, guidebook (no longer funded for publication).  Under the County-wide umbrella of “One Community Partnership,” the project was followed by additional initiatives, Family Involvement Coordination, Family Support Partners and the mandate to develop a new Family Run Organization that could take on a specific advocacy role for SED and at-risk families.  Toward that mandate, MHA applied to IRS for “umbrella” status under which it can incorporate subsidiary organizations.  That authority was approved in June 2007.  The new family organization, Family Voices for Family Choices, was the first of MHA’s supported ventures.  The new organization expected to pursue full independence once it established a fiscal and policy track record to make it eligible for sustained and independent funding.  That goal was not realized as it became clear that the families needing the service were best served if their energy could be directed to their own families’ challenges.  As a result, the Family Voices program at MHA offered individual and group peer support.  Approximately 200 families a year received services. Families received support, learned self-advocacy, stress management, and access to resources in the community. 

County funding was discontinued October 1, 2018. MHA continues to search for new funding to maintain services to families in Broward County. Families in need of support can call 211 for current resources.

 

Remember that mental health is a goal for everyone, and prevention is important!

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24/7® Dad Fatherhood

24/7® Dad curriculum focuses on the importance of fathers’ involvement in their child’s lives. Through a private grant from The Bachelor Foundation, we are able to reach fathers across Broward County who are committed to being more involved dads.

Developed by fathering and parenting experts, 24/7 Dad® focuses on the characteristics that men need to be involved fathers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The goal of the program is to increase the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, and committed fathers. Fathers need fatherhood-specific skill-building resources to help them be the best dads they can be. We work with fathers in our local jails with imminent release dates- many of whom will reintegrate back into family situations; fathers in recovery and fathers in the general community. In our 2nd year with this population, the data from the pre/post testing consistently shows positive outcomes in attitude, skills and knowledge.

Quotes from fatherhood graduates

 

“The class opened my eyes a bit to the overall aspect of parenting. It comes with ups and downs. Also learned to see the relationship I have with my ex from her perspective and ways of dealing with everyday issues of parenting, (long distance). Was a great class. Thank you.” SC

 

“I enjoyed taking the course very much. I learned the different styles of parenting, and also how to communicate with my child in a positive manner! Thank you for all of your support and helpful information you have provided me! I haven’t seen my daughter in several years but was motivated to open court proceedings to request visitations with her. I’m ready! Thanks again”. DP

 

“The class was very informative and gave me the tools to be able to see things a little different(ly) and better understand things- it has made me more self- aware thank you.“ LS

 

“You taught me to not give up because they are worth it!” MF

 

Research shows a connection between father absence and an increase in social problems in America including poverty, teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, physical abuse, suicide, substance and alcohol abuse and a host of other troubling social problems. The fact is that not only does father absence hurt children, fathers suffer as well. Fathers need to be involved in their children’s lives. Developing positive relationships with their children encourages and motivates fathers to lead more constructive lives, even in the most difficult circumstances. For instance, the simple act of regularly writing to their children from prison improves outcomes for incarcerated fathers, including increasing their odds of training for, finding, and keeping a job once they reenter society. Evidence shows that fathers who write to their children once a week have a lower risk of violence in prison and recidivism when released. These positive outcomes are multiplied when we study the impact on the children of inmates, and how father contact can change the trend of their children’s lives−even while the father is still incarcerated.

Fathers need fatherhood-specific skill-building resources to help them be the best dads they can be. In addition, research and experience tell us that there is a strong correlation between lack of father involvement and many larger social challenges. Currently, trends are against us. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for example, has recognized that fewer fathers live with their children. Reasons for this trend include incarceration, non-marital childbearing and other factors. Fathers need training and encouragement to be involved with their children, and an understanding that they are more than a paycheck (even if they do not live with their children.)

Kinship Services

 
 

KINSHIP CARES provides support services to relative or nonrelative caregivers raising children when their biological parents are unable to do so. In collaboration with the Jim Moran Foundation, The Children’s Services Council funded program provides comprehensive case management services in-home and in the community. The purpose of Kinship Cares is to strengthen families and reduce risk for children who have already experienced significant trauma in their lives. Emphasis is placed on empowering the family, promoting self- definition, developing and improving decision-making strategies. Services include family assessments, navigating the school system, emergency financial assistance, information on public benefits, linking to career counseling and job training, respite care, support and parenting groups, training and self- advocacy, transportation assistance, linkage to healthcare and mental health services, assistance with affordable childcare and legal assistance.

In seeking out Kinship families to join our program, we are also hoping to engage relatives and non-relatives taking care of the children of their incarcerated family members.

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