YWCA Metropolitan Chicago’s Project HELP Program

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Project HELP provides home-based parent mentoring and parent education workshops in English and Spanish to families identified as at-risk for child abuse or neglect, overwhelmed by the stress of parenting and needing parenting support located throughout DuPage County, parts of Aurora and the south side of Chicago. The goal is to develop protective factors in families leading to healthier family relationships and safety of children.

Project HELP provides parents with tools to empower themselves and their families and create a nurturing home environment that encourages children to reach their full potential. Through weekly home visitations and a network of additional resources, Project HELP ensures children and their parents have the tools and support they need to prepare children for healthy beginnings, address challenges and parental stressors, improve parenting skills and knowledge of child development, and connect to community resources.

The Parent Mentor Program is an accredited and nationally recognized home visitation, parenting and family strengthening program. We use the National Exchange Club’s Parent Aide Model that is evidence-based and grounded in research, aimed at improving parent’s skills and reducing family stress. The National Exchange Club (NEC) recently expanded our program service guidelines from families with children 12 years old and younger to children up to 17 years of age, allowing us to address a larger number of families with more diverse, and often more complex, issues. The NEC accredits Project HELP to ensure program fidelity, quality of services, and consistent and effective services to families. In 2019, Project HELP earned the highest Accreditation ranking from the NEC.

Parents in our Parent Education Workshops benefit by learning strategies to help them communicate effectively, discipline appropriately, implement structure and routines, reduce stress, and eliminate family conflict. We use the research based Active Parenting Curriculum that instructs parents on developmental stages and milestones to foster realistic, age-appropriate expectations for behavior. In addition, we provide a wide range of specific topic workshops to support parents and their children. A combination of data, parent guide books, activities and real-world examples are used to ensure families leave with skills they can apply in their family interactions.

Spotlight Guest

Peggy McGuire, Dir. of Child & Family Development

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