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Parents Helping Parents
CONTACT:108 Water Street
Watertwon, MA 02472
DESCRIPTION:This is a very difficult subject, and philanthropy is working hard to address it. Fact: The overwhelming majority of abusive parents were themselves abused as children.
Fact: Only a small minority of abused children ever come to the attention of public authorities; few of them are ever separated from their parents, for many good and sound reasons.
What then is to be done? Parents Helping Parents, in Massachusetts since 1972, has developed an effective solution: they help parents form networks of mutual support; they provide training in managing stress and solving problems safely; and they help parents develop more nurturing families. No dues or fees are ever charged; each group includes usually eight mothers and fathers, with one or two trained volunteer facilitators, in an atmosphere of mutual caring, respect and confidentiality. The groups share ideas and observations, practice new skills, and define goals for the next week.
It works, and it needs—urgently—to grow. Most parents have never heard of Parents Helping Parents; every parent should know about it. The main impediment is funding, and fundraising is difficult owing to the difficulties of the subject itself. We have to make philanthropy work here, and maybe the Catalogue can help. The ball is now in your court.
(1998: HUMAN SERVICES: Children and Youth: General)
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