Parenting Programs
DHS supports a host of free parenting education and support groups designed to help parents improve their parenting skills and enhance their relationships with their children.

To make a referral call 215-PARENTS.

Types of Programs
The Division of Community Based Services offers two types of parenting programs:

  • The Parenting Collaborative consists of a wide range of parenting education programs conducted by more than 70 community-based agencies.
  • The Parent Action Network (PAN) consists of targeted and general parent support groups.
  • Both programs share similar philosophies and goals and are provided in an emphatic, nurturing environment. These programs are also able to connect families to other health and social services they may need.

DHS' parenting programs aim to prevent child abuse, neglect and interpersonal violence. Other goals include: Promoting the child's development Improving child/parent attachment Improving child/parent communication skills Increasing self-esteem of participants Improving child/parent social control Reducing aggressive behaviors by children and their caregivers
Parenting classes and support groups:
  • Serve parents of children from birth through age 21 (classes are generally organized based on the ages of the children as follows: zero to five, six to ten, eleven to sixteen and seventeen through twenty-one)
  • Encourage discussion, ensure understanding, foster implementation of what is learned and provide opportunities for parents to discuss their experiences in order to learn new ideas, techniques, skills and strategies.
  • Provide attention to the special needs of fathers. Some programs include men while others provide separate fatherhood programs.
  • Meet minimally on a weekly basis.
  • Are led by a trained facilitator with a background in early child development.

Parenting programs may also include the following elements:

  • Presentations and seminars
  • Home visits
  • Guest speakers
  • Parent/child interaction (e.g. play groups, childcare, head start)
  • Trips
  • Parent/school interaction
  • Family counseling
  • Using older children to talk about their family home and school experiences
  • Participation in or observance of drama presentations