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End of year giving ask: Donations help us create real spaces for caregivers



Back in 2014, Regine Dunn was a social worker in Texas for middle and high school students. She liked the job, but there was an issue she kept running into.


“I could provide all possible support during the school day, but they still had to go home,” Regine said. “And there was so much happening at home that was out of my control.”


At home, kids and families were dealing with a lot: food and housing insecurity, domestic violence, deportation, etc. The work she did day to day at school often felt like a Band-Aid. When she heard about ParentCorps, though, it felt like something else entirely. 


“I was attracted to ParentCorps because you’re catching kids when they are young, at a critical stage in their development, and you’re working with their parents,” she said. “This is where you can have such an impact because you start understanding the perspective of the parents. As a school social worker, supporting children is at the center of your work. There were many times when I watched children struggle and judged their parents. But at ParentCorps, we focus on the caregiver.”


“I was attracted to ParentCorps because you’re catching kids when they are young, at a critical stage in their development, and you’re working with their parents,” she said. “This is where you can have such an impact because you start understanding the perspective of the parents. As a school social worker, supporting children is at the center of your work. There were many times when I watched children struggle and judged their parents. But at ParentCorps, we focus on the caregiver.”

By supporting parents of young children today, Regine said, you’re supporting the high school students of tomorrow. “Had ParentCorps been available to the caregivers of the students I worked with, things would be so different for those kids today,” she said. 


At ParentCorps, Regine facilitates programming for pre-K caregivers and trains others on facilitation. She works with families as they establish routines and introduces tools that can help caregivers process their feelings and support their kids to do the same. The parenting program also provides a non-judgmental space for caregivers to reflect on their own upbringing, share their experiences and support each other. 


“So much comes up when we talk,” she said. “It’s a space where people come together and heal in so many different ways and find support with one another.”


Before caregivers can experience that emotional space, though, they first have to know it exists. That’s where funding comes in. We take an intentional approach to outreach: working closely with teachers, school staff and school leaders to help them explain to families what ParentCorps is all about and invite caregivers to join the program for as much as feels useful – be it one session or twelve.


One way to encourage caregivers to enter the room is by offering meals or snacks. A doughnut may sound small, but in our experience, things like snacks and raffle prizes help set the stage for families to have a warm, welcoming and supportive experience with ParentCorps.


You can help us create these warm and inviting spaces for caregivers with a donation.


“It makes a difference to have things like food and raffle prizes available,” Regine said. “It brings people in – it doesn’t keep them there – but initially it can bring people together. The conversations and the content keep them there.”

 

Thank you for continuing to support ParentCorps.


Clarissa Donnelly-DeRoven is the Communications Specialist at ParentCorps.

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