Community creates brighter childhoods. Parents with a social network of emotionally supportive friends, family, and neighbors often find that it is easier to care for their children and themselves. All parents need people they can call on once in a while when they need a sympathetic listener, advice or support. To help parents find that support in their lives, Illuminate Colorado is focused on growing Circle of Parents® in Colorado.
This national, evidence informed model provides a friendly, supportive environment led by parents and other caregivers. It’s a place where anyone in a parenting role can openly discuss the successes and challenges of raising children. It’s a place where they can find and share support.
“We are excited and honored to be the new chapter lead for Circle of Parents® in Colorado. These groups are for parents, by parents with a facilitator who is there to create a safe space for parents to connect,” said Jade Woodard, executive director of Illuminate. “They can exist anywhere in the community that is accessible and open to parents; and over the next year we have plans to expand the network, add new groups all over the state and strengthen existing programs.”
Circle of Parents® groups typically meet once a week, at no cost to any participant. Weekly and consistent attendance is encouraged to assist in developing a support network and increase comfort within the group. There is no annual fee to host a group and Illuminate Colorado provides support to facilitators and parent leads by answering questions, offering peer support and educational resources and highlighting best practices.
Community-based organizations such as libraries, family resource centers, neighborhood associations, child care centers and schools play a critical role in building social connections among parents. Offering a Circle of Parents® group is an easy way to strengthen families in your community. Businesses interested in becoming a more family-friendly employer or better-serving parents in the community can also offer Circle of Parents® groups and have a big impact on the community.
Facilitators and parent leads are required to complete a 2-day training to gain the skills necessary to facilitate a group, fees may apply.
If you are a parent, organization, business, or community member interested in better supporting parents, visit www.circleofparentsco.org to learn more about starting a group today!