Saturday, February 10, 2018

Family Day - Families Coming Together

Anyone who has been a parent knows that sometimes you really need to talk about the challenges we face. Many of us reach out to family and friends when we need support, new parenting strategies, or just to vent our frustrations. However, some of us can’t reach out to family and friends because of distance, or estrangement. Others may not be comfortable sharing our parenting challenges with friends and family.

These are a few of the reasons Parent Support Services Society of BC (PSS) offers free Parenting Support Circles. As one parent said, “It's a loving circle of many interesting parents. Parents there can exchange their ideas and experiences freely."

Bella Cenezero, Director of Circles and Community, says “We believe that every parent is the expert of their own family.” She adds, “Sometimes all a parent, or other caregiver, needs is a chance to share with who have experienced similar frustrations, challenges, and joys.” Cenezero adds, “We have been told that our Circles are a lifeline for many.” Participants learn new strategies for parenting, receive resources and make connections that often break isolation.

In the Lower Mainland, PSS currently offers 19 Circles in various locations. These include support groups for grandparents who are raising and are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren, Circles run in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Filipino, Spanish, and Korean.

One parent who was new to Canada said, "This group helps me with my problems. Moreover, I benefit by learning how other parents solved their problems in different situations. New immigrants need assistance in this area."

Circles are currently operating in Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey, Richmond, Abbotsford and Langley and run daytime, evening, and weekends depending on location.

Cenezero emphasizes that as well as Parenting Support Circles, PSS offers workshops in the Lower Mainland on a variety of topics on a monthly basis.

Parenting Support Circles offered in in communities across BC include: Indigenous Parent & Kinship Care Circles; groups for parents who are raising children on the autism spectrum; Circles for parents in prison; groups for parents who are raising children who are trans or gender creative; Circles for grandparents and other relatives raising their kin; and groups that operate in various languages. PSS has Circles for people like you!

For more information and to find out about Circles in you area contact: 
Bella Cenezero 604-669-1616 Ext 105

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