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Overview: Parenting and Adult Services

The programs of the Mercer Street Friends Parenting and Adult Services Division will bring community, public, and private resources together to comprehensively address the physical, financial, social/emotional, and developmental needs of families either experiencing or at risk of child abuse and neglect; with the goal of decreasing risk by increasing overall parental competence, family well being, and self sufficiency through Purposeful Education. Consumers will experience/demonstrate improved capacity to identify and implement various strategies/skills designed to enhance their ability to prosper that will be achieved through their participation in services that simultaneously address individual and family needs.

Our target population is defined differently by various funders; the challenge being to be aware of this while identifying a common theme of need for intervention amongst a particular group of potential customers who may enter service at a number of seemingly unrelated points. During this past year, the “common thread” has emerged.

The target population:
Families who have identified risks or barriers that challenge their parental competence, self-sufficiency, and/or overall well-being.

Overall philosophy of this Division:
Families possess a variety of strengths; with appropriate information, resources, role modeling, and support, they are capable of developing and implementing strategies that are effective in increasing their overall health and well being.

Core services offered to this end are:
Parenting skills education and support
Family Literacy and adult basic education
Preparation for the world of work

Purposeful Education Project Focus

Common Areas of Program Awareness:
Family Strengths:

• Concern about their children and their well being
• Interest in developing self-sufficiency
• Willingness to consider new information and partnerships
• Creative with developing ability to survive with limited resources

Family Challenges/Barriers:
• Lack of knowledge or incorrect information
• Lack of concrete resources
• Isolation-lack of supportive connections in the community (both formal and informal)
• Poor self-esteem/self image and chronically elevated stress evolved from childhood maltreatment resulting in behavioral health and life choices with negative outcomes

Goals:
• Self- sufficiency/self- nurturing
• Ability to identify/implement healthy life strategies aimed at increased competence
• Healthy, nurturing, non-violent parenting skills
• Employability

Issues:
• Domestic violence
• Mental health issues
• Substance abuse issues
• Anger management
• Impending homelessness
• Food insecurity
• Budgeting
• Relationships
• Unresolved childhood maltreatment
• Parenting challenges
• Isolation/inadequate support systems