Lane County Parenting Resources Abound

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), May 22, 2014 | Go to article overview

Lane County Parenting Resources Abound


Byline: Lynne Swartz and Jean Vinson

One young, low-income parent describes her role as "helping my son know he can depend on us." Yet another parent fitting the same description is in danger of losing her child to foster care. What makes the difference?

Some families seem to have many advantages, yet outside observers wonder why that family struggles with persistent behavior problems or school readiness.

Parenting isn't easy. We know that most parents want to be thoughtful and effective in raising their children. But sadly, some parents don't know how to raise children in a healthy way, and it takes more than good intentions and economic advantages to raise thriving children. We have some good news to showcase during Oregon Parenting Education Week, which ends Saturday: Community strategies exist that can help all parents gain skills to be more nurturing, effective parents.

Throughout Lane County, many parenting opportunities are available. The variety of groups and programs offered by Parenting Now! - and the many parents who participate - proves that parents want information and resources, no matter their situation. However, some families believe that parenting classes are for those with poor parenting skills or those who have been mandated to enroll in a class through a court order. The bottom line is that parenting classes are very helpful for every parent, and even those who have good skills and parenting models can improve their family life by expanding their repertoire of parenting skills through formal parenting education.

Springfield's civic, business and school leaders recognize the importance of supporting "good parenting" programs as a way to build a healthier community. Springfield is using the Communities That Care national prevention model to promote parenting education as the community's norm. The model includes classes for parents with children of all ages.

In Springfield, residents have access to a wide array of tested and effective programs and classes offered by Parenting Now!, LaneKids, Relief Nursery, the school district's Family Centers, area high schools and churches. County residents can access resources provided by agencies that are also on the parenting education bandwagon, such as Healthy Families Oregon. It provides at-risk families with home visits from a parenting educator, and is expanding to serve families with a subsequent birth. These services will support families challenged by issues involving parental management or depression.

Head Start of Lane County, along with Early Head Start, prepares children for a solid foundation and healthy future. …

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