By Chelsey Weaver -February 18, 2021
The Greater Boston area is home to many exceptional nonprofits, but the ones that serve moms are especially close to our hearts. Boston Moms is excited to spotlight and support the local nonprofit organizations that make our area so great.
This month we are showcasing Parenting Journey.
Parenting Journey knows that resilient parents are a catalyst for social change — and that all of us have a role to play in harnessing that power to build strong communities.
Local studies have shown that their programs reduce parent stress and improve family outcomes, and we love and support their innovative resources.
Join us in celebrating Parenting Journey‘s mission by donating to their cause HERE.
We had a chance to talk to Rachael Dubinsky, Parenting Journey’s manager of external affairs, who shared why the organization is such an integral part of the Greater Boston community.
Where is your non-profit located? Somerville, MA.
What is Parenting Journey’s mission? Since its founding, Parenting Journey has refined and adapted its services to best partner with families. We cultivate the inherent strengths of parents to disrupt the intergenerational trauma caused by racism, poverty, and other systemic barriers by providing evidence-based, therapeutic programming in a group setting and training social service providers in our model. Our dynamic and systemic approach supports parents through high-impact programming and promotes family-friendly environments for all.
What services does Parenting Journey offer families? In a PJ group for caregivers, a small number of parents and caregivers meet for two hours a week for 12 or 14 weeks (now virtually). Our program is experiential, which means you learn by doing. Through a combination of hands-on activities and guided discussions, parents develop knowledge and skills that support them as parents and role models. By reflecting on their own childhoods, they will be able to choose what kind of parent they want to be and create their own style of parenting — one that reflects their personal vision and values.
There are a variety of Parenting Journey groups to help mothers, fathers, and caregivers increase their confidence, capability, and resiliency — as individuals and as parents. We have foundational programs like Parenting Journey 1 and Parenting Journey 2, and we also have more specific programs such as Parenting in America (for immigrants), Parenting in Recovery (for substance use), and Parenting Journey for Fathers. Currently, our groups are offered in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Parenting Journey also provides professional development trainings. What do they look like? Our professional development trainings prepare human service professionals to interact with families and their colleagues in a supportive and reflective way to ensure families are receiving consistent communication across all the services they access. Parenting Journey offers immersive five-day facilitator trainings for professionals interested in implementing Parenting Journey programs at their agency.
In this virtual environment, our hybrid training is composed of live virtual sessions and self-directed online components delivered across five days. Live virtual sessions focus on experiential learning of curriculum content and facilitation skills. We have also created an online portal to serve as a hub for Parenting Journey facilitators to obtain resources for implementing groups, network with other facilitators, advertise or make referrals for groups, and learn more about upcoming events and offerings.
How does your mission support local moms? Moms tend to be the primary caregivers in many families. As such, it is imperative that moms, and all parents (could be grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc)., have the tools they need to succeed. Our parents form invaluable connections with one another through PJ groups. Having a support network is critical in helping moms be their best selves as parents and individuals.
What is something new Parenting Journey has been working on recently? Parenting Journey has updated the language in our materials to move toward more equitable and inclusive language. We promote the use of person-centered and strengths-based language by shifting to gender-neutral terminology, diversifying the examples used in curriculum content, and eliminating any assumptive or negative language.
What is your favorite part about working at Parenting Journey? Parenting Journey is really concentrated on helping families, no matter what. Our network of parents and human services professionals are constantly providing us with feedback that we take to heart. If there is one thing we know, it is important to listen to our clients and do our best to meet their needs. We get a lot of referrals on both the group and training side because of our caring approach.
If someone is interested in groups or trainings, what should they do? Please visit www.parentingjourney.org. Our spring groups are full and start February 22, but if you are interested in being added to the waitlist for future groups, please email Leticia St. Remy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a part of a human services organization and would like to learn more about our trainings, please email Lydia Carbone at email@example.com.
What do donations to your nonprofit go toward? Donations go toward our operations, including running groups and trainings, doing outreach, offering more programming in different languages and with increased frequency. At this moment, the demand for our programs is much greater than our staff capacity. In this virtual environment, we have found that our groups and trainings must be capped at six people to remain effective. As such, this has added to the length of our waitlist.