The Parenting Center

 
We’re excited about the future of The Parenting Center and Tarrant County as a whole. With all of the local efforts underway related to quality early learning and development, our community is ripe for supporting the important work of parents. We are well positioned to help meet that need and assist in building a strong community where children thrive.
— Suzanne Stevenson, Family Life Education Program Director, The Parenting Center


Building strong community by building strong families

For 40 years, The Parenting Center has been a critical community resource helping to build successful families through counseling and education.

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The Parenting Center was originally founded by the Junior League of Fort Worth and the Sid W. Richardson Foundation in 1974 as a response to the growing problem of child abuse and neglect in Tarrant County. It has remained focused on equipping parents and families with the tools they need to establish healthy relationships, grounded in the belief that strong families are at the center of a strong community.

Many clients of The Parenting Center say they seek to create loving, close relationships with their children, but lack the knowledge and skills to translate that desire into action.

“I don’t want to be a spanking mom, but I don’t know how to change it.”

“I don’t want to yell at my kids, but it’s the only way I can get them to listen.”

Quotes like these are common among new clients that walk through The Parenting Center’s doors.  Many are simply modeling parenting behaviors that they experienced themselves as children.

But oftentimes before the end of their first class, parents have experienced a moment of clarity – or even a breakthrough – that gives them the encouragement to continue forward in their journey to become the parent they want to be.

In 2015, The Parenting Center served over 3,000 parents through its parenting education classes. 77% of those parents showed an increase in their parenting knowledge or skills following the parenting education course.  Over 13,000 individuals were served through all the services available at The Parenting Center.

The Parenting Center achieves these types of gains across all of their programs by adhering to three distinctive principles:

  1. An evidence-based, dual-generational curriculum. Each of The Parenting Center’s services features an approach backed by research. The Parenting Center incorporates a two-generational model where appropriate in order to work with both the child and parent in learning and adopting healthier family practices.
  2. A high standard for staff. All Parenting Center staff must have a bachelor’s degree in one of the human service fields. Employees are also trained to utilize strengths-based and trauma-informed practices in their work with parents and families.
  3. Deep community ties. The Parenting Center regularly partners with other organizations to help bring education and best practices to the local community. Its work with the Morningside Parent Engagement Collaborative and the Raising of Fort Worth are just two examples of these types of impactful community collaborations.

With nearly 50% of its clients making less than $20,750 annually, The Parenting Center strives to keep fees as low as possible in order to make its services accessible to all families. Once families attend one class with The Parenting Center, more than half return for additional education or other services.

The Miles Foundation is proud to partner with The Parenting Center in its work to enable parents and families to be healthy, strong, and successful.