Parenting Journey has been replicated at close to 500 locations across Massachusetts, New York, and through the United States. Here is what some of our trained Parenting Journey facilitators have to say about their experiences with the program:
Kate Pace Family and Community Engagement Coordinator, ABCD Head Start and Children's Services, Boston, MA
ABCD Head Start & Children’s Services has been privileged to have over 30 family service staff members trained to be Parenting Journey facilitators. We have been able to implement over 16 Parenting Journey groups for families enrolled in our Head Start programs over the past year. Staff who received the weeklong facilitator training reported that they felt that the training directly improved their skills in a variety of areas, including, but not limited to:
- Organizational and time management skills;
- teamwork and team building skills;
- interpersonal skills (such as active listening, the ability to communicate effectively, relationship building, and increased ability to work with diverse groups); and
- leadership skills (such as public speaking and facilitation skills).”
Marcos DaSilva Senior Group Facilitator, Parenting Journey
Relaxed and self-possessed, with a serene disposition that invites trust, Senior Group Facilitator Marcos Dasilva has been with Parenting Journey since 2009, advising couples on the obligations, challenges, and rewards of being fully engaged parents to their children. A Board-certified professional counselor with master’s degrees in Counseling, Psychology, and Divinity, Marcos has had a fruitful and influential career in the Boston area, active in the refugee and immigrant communities and as a couples and family therapist.
All one needs to know about Marcos is that he would rather talk about the people he counsels than about himself.
“I continue doing this job because of the truthfulness of the people, and because their remarkable changes inspire me all the time,” Marcos said recently. “Every session, there is always some sparkling moment that happens in the group.”
Marcos was quick to share such a sparkling moment, a small yet revealing memory that he cherishes, the kind of experience that makes his work worthwhile and satisfying. The married couple came in—one of two couples in the parenting session—and, as is typical when a group is getting underway, they were shy. Slowly, over time, they began to share more of themselves in conversation.
Then, one evening, they brought a beautifully decorated cake. It was their 11th wedding anniversary. They could have shared their celebration with their friends, or with their church community, they said, but they chose to share it with their counseling group at Parenting Journey “because this group is helping us keep this marriage together,” they said.
The couple had come to the group in the grip of separation, Marcos remembered, with the father emotionally disconnected from his stepson. But because they had made such advances as a couple and as parents over the course of their sessions, they wanted to acknowledge this success and share it publicly.
“Everyone was so surprised. We all clapped our hands,” Marcos said with a delight that still glowed. Later, at the graduation ceremony that concludes the parenting sessions, the couple’s pastor came to honor them and “to meet the people who helped save their marriage,” Marcos recalled.
Sparkling moments. These are the experiences that crystallize the essential contribution of Marcos Dasilva and the counselors like him at Parenting Journey.
Sister Paulette LoMonaco Executive Director, Good Shepherd Services, Brooklyn, NY
On behalf of Good Shepherd Services, I am pleased to offer our endorsement of the Parenting Journey program and Parenting Journey Training Institute. Good Shepherd Services has been connected with Parenting Journey for nearly 15 years. This partnership has been incredibly beneficial for our staff and clients, as well as for our agency as a whole.
At Good Shepherd, we have a profound belief in the strength of every individual, and Parenting Journey is compatible with this core belief. Over the years, approximately 80 of our staff members have been trained to be Parenting Journey facilitators, and as a result we have positively impacted hundreds of families by offering Parenting Journey groups on an ongoing basis. Good Shepherd Services has also been dedicated to supporting the Parenting Journey program’s evidence base and dissemination of the results in the field.
Parenting Journey Training Institute staff members are essential to the success of our partnership. Their ongoing support and counsel have helped us to maintain fidelity to the Parenting Journey curriculum and ensure positive results for our clients. We are very proud of our partnership with Parenting Journey, and support their efforts to reach more human service professionals in the New York City area and beyond.”
Shawn Howard Assistant Director of Family Services at the Jewish Board of Children and Family Services, Staten Island, NY
After several years of facilitating Parenting Journey workshop I have witnessed firsthand how this program has changed the lives of the parents who have participated. Specifically, many parents were mandated by the family court system and were initially reluctant to participate. However, after each week’s session I could see a shift in attitudes and the participants started to realize that this program was designed to nurture them rather than blame.
Each week I watched the parents’ confidence grow as they put to use the skills they learned. At the end of their journey these once reluctant parents were filled with pride at their graduation. As the facilitator I had the great honor of witnessing the parents interact with their children in a more positive manner. These families have truly benefited from the Parenting Journey experience and come back to share with me their successes with their children!”
Kathy Mizell St. Vincent’s Services, New York, NY
Thanks to Parenting Journey, St. Vincent’s Services is able to offer a group for birth parents at risk of losing their children to foster care. These parents need help understanding why they parent the way they do, and they need strategies to break the toxic cycle of parenting that they were taught. Our staff, who trained at Parenting Journey Training Institute, are able to help these families stay intact.
When parents slip up or act out, they are now capable of acknowledging what brought them here in the first place and are willing to make change. Parents learn about themselves from the inside out, so in turn they can teach, learn, nurture, and respect their family. Mission Accomplished!! We Love Parenting Journey!”