Hispanic Parent Support Group
The College Park Hispanic Parent groups build community among Spanish-speaking parents, improves their ability and confidence as a parent, breaks down isolation, develops a sense of community and leadership and strengthens their connection to the community-at-large. The groups strengthen parental functioning by developing, supporting, and affirming adult relationships with other Hispanic parents.
“To me, is of great help as we can express our problems, find support, and advice.” - Father of 13 year-old girl
It is also through this process that parent leaders are emerging. Parent leaders volunteer their time and energy to reach out and support other parents as well as accept opportunities to communicate about the program to others including the public. Youth and Family Services staff mentors these parent leaders and offers leadership and public opportunities for them to develop their skills.
Meetings are held weekly and facilitated by bilingual College Park Youth and Family Services staff.
In the meetings, parents share difficulties in their relationships with their children, with their children’s school. Other issues include truancy, gang recruitment, their own unemployment, issues of health, domestic violence, immigration, housing, court, difficulties negotiating bureaucracies – all of which is made more challenging by parental isolation, limited English as well as lack of knowledge of resources or ability to navigate American systems.
Parents are empowered through the group’s support and feedback. They have more confidence in addressing the multiple challenges facing their children and through enhanced interactions with their children, the parent/child relationship is also strengthened. Social activities for group members and their children are also provide opportunities for the parents and children to come together for structured social events.
“I am very thankful to all the persons who make this program possible for Hispanic parents. Thank you for taking us into account.” - Mother of 10 year-old boy
For more information on the Hispanic Parent Support Group please contact, Abigail Delgado – (240) 487-3550.