Family School has been an important part of Family Support Services from the agency’s inception in 1976. Our vision for the program has never changed; we still work to decrease the risk of child abuse and neglect by providing a place where parents can learn about their children’s needs and acquire positive parenting techniques. We target young parents, with children, ages birth to ten years-old, because unhealthy behaviors are not so firmly entrenched that they cannot be changed.
Family School’s mission is to create a multidisciplinary service environment that increases the awareness of families’ needs, strengths, and limitations, by teaching how child development impacts child behavior and teaching parents how to replace harmful behaviors with nurturing ones.
Philadelphia parents attend Family School with their young children two days a week from 9 am – 2 pm. Evening and weekend classes are also available for parents who cannot attend daytime classes due to scheduling issues. A multidisciplinary team of early childhood teachers, social workers, case mangers, parenting educators and culinary staff work together with families to address the challenges of raising young children. Infants and children are enrolled in developmentally appropriate classrooms for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, while their parents attend morning and afternoon parenting workshops. During the course of the day, under the guidance of parenting educators, teachers, and staff, parents and children participate in shared activities that encourage attachment and reinforce positive parenting techniques.
As shared meals are integral to family success, Family School provides breakfast, lunch, dinner (for the evening participants) and snacks to support the Food & Nutrition portion of our parenting program. The meals for this program are funded through foundation grants.
Family School works to ensure children meet their developmental benchmarks. All infants and children are screened to assess their cognitive development and physical growth and are referred to Childlink for Early Intervention services when appropriate. Family School staff members coordinate with the FSS’ Early Intervention Division to access speech, physical and occupational therapists or Early Intervention specialists to ensure children progress developmentally. Each family is assigned a social worker or case manager who reinforces new parenting techniques in the home, and helps the family access community resources.
All families are referred to the Family School program by the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) and Community Umbrella Agencies (CUAs) . Our program supports reunification of families with children in foster care when possible. Partial funding is provided by the Philadelphia Department of Human Services.
Family School is located at 1325 S. 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146. To contact us please email childwelfare@FSSinc.org.
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