The Lake County General Health District (LCGHD) received a grant from the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund to host Parent Cafés in Lake, Geauga, and Ashtabula counties and will be partnering with The Ohio State University (OSU) Extension Office of Lake County. Parent Café is a safe, informal gathering where parents, parents-to-be, grandparents and other guardians of zero to six-year old children can talk about the challenges, worries and victories of raising a family. Parent Café is based on the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework, which is a national research-based initiative that aims to develop and enhance five specific characteristics, or Protective Factors, that help keep families strong and promote optimal development of children. Tammy Kraft, a Parent Café facilitator from the Lake County General Health District says, “Parent Café’s create friendships and support systems for parents. We can share ideas and work together to come up with solutions to the struggles at hand.”
Through enjoyable and thoughtful discussion, reflection and parent-to-parent sharing, the participants can explore their strengths and weaknesses, learn about the Protective Factors and create strategies to build strong, healthy families. The Five Protective Factors are:
- Parental Resilience: The ability to cope with and bounce back from all types of challenges.
- Social Connections: Friends, family, and neighbors provide emotional support and concrete assistance to parents.
- Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development: Having accurate information about raising young children and appropriate expectations for their behavior help parents better understand and care for their children.
- Concrete Support in Times of Need: Parents need access to the concrete supports and services that can minimize the stress of difficult situations.
- Social and Emotional Competence of Children: A child’s ability to interact positively with others, to self-regulate, and to effectively communicate his or her emotions has a great impact on the parent-child relationship.
The Parent Cafés will be facilitated by an Associate Health Educator from the LCGHD and Educators from the OSU Extension Office of Lake County. Each Café will consist of three weekly two-hour sessions. The program is free and includes childcare, a light meal and some giveaways. For dates, times and locations, please visit www.lcghd.org/parentcafe. If you have questions or would like to register, please contact Tammy Kraft at 440-350-2851 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like a supply of posters and flyers to help spread the word about the program, or if you would be able to provide giveaways, please contact Tammy Kraft at 440-350-2851 or email her at email@example.com.