FARMINGTON – The Franklin County Children’s Task Force was awarded a $6,500 grant recently by the Maine Community Foundation. It is earmarked for the continuation of parent education classes.
The not-for-profit task force spends between $16,000 and $17,000 annually to run the Parent Education Program. Its aims are “coaching” parents in skills “to deal with their children’s challenging behaviors,” their own frustrations, and work and family stressors, as well as helping parents gain in empathy and under standing of their kids.
Task force Executive Director Tom Taylor said in the years since the organization started offering the classes, which take place in eight 12-week sessions per year, he feels “we have reduced child abuse and neglect” in Franklin County.
He said all sorts of parents take part in the classes – from young couples, to single mothers and fathers, to grandparents. “They pick up a lot by sharing with other parents; it gives them some options, choices” in how to handle difficult situations.
Even experienced parents get something out of the classes.
“Of course, times have changed,” Taylor said. “It’s a little different raising children today than it was even 10 years ago.”
“Our parent education programs build on families’ strengths and provide the tools and support they need to become stronger and more self-sufficient,” he said. “Resourceful, resilient families strengthen Franklin County.”
Taylor said the Maine Community Foundation “works in partnership with donors and community groups to strengthen Maine.”