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Families First Resource Center awarded large grant from PCAK

The Danville Schools Families First Family Resource Center has been awarded the largest grant it’s ever received from Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky (PCAK), the state’s leading child abuse prevention organization, in the amount of $13,390. The money will be used to support Families First parent education programs in Boyle County.

“I’m very, very excited about the increase in funding,” said Anna Houston, the Family Resource Center director. “Parents and children are hurting,” and the nurturing parenting classes she teaches with the financial help from PCAK can help keep families together.

Families First is one of only 12 organizations throughout the state to receive this funding.

As one of PCAK’s long standing partners in prevention, Families First has provided parent education services to families and children not only in Boyle County, but also in Mercer, Garrard and Lincoln counties, Houston said.

Jill Seyfred, Executive Director of PCAK, said, “Families First provides cutting-edge services to parents in the region and we know they are making a difference in the lives of families and children.”

The parent education program is designed to give families the skills needed to raise children and improve the life outcomes for Kentucky’s children.

Houston said there are 26 parents or primary caregivers in the the current class. “We have folks who need to take a parenting class” because they were referred by family courts, mental health departments and school districts. “They learn things like discipline, empathy and strategies,” in order to raise their children better and not have them taken away by the court system, Houston said.

The class is free to all families and meets one day a week from 4:30 to 7 p.m. for 13 weeks. Textbooks and the curriculum are provided. Houston said their children, who are between the ages of 4 and 12, are also encouraged to come. They go to the gym and play games that teach them about family rules. “It’s fun and they don’t really know they are learning,” Houston said.

The last 20 minutes of the parenting class, the adults go to the gym and the children and parents practice what they have just learned together.

If more funding can be attained, Houston would like to offer the same class on Saturdays for the ones who can’t attend during weekdays.

Houston said parents become very close during the class, so she’d like to try starting a support group for them to meet after the classes are completed. She said many of them are very comfortable together and would benefit being able to continue meeting and talking about what’s going on in their families’ lives. Houston said even after they graduate from the class, parents will still have work to do on their parenting skills. A support group of friends they already have would make them feel like they’re not alone, Houston said.

SO YOU KNOW

If parents or community members have questions about parent education services offered by Families First Family Resource Center, they may call (859) 936-8564.