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Amarillo schools requesting Family Support Services to host more classes to help families

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 6:11 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Family Support Services is seeing an increased demand for its Strengthening Families Program.

It’s currently being held at Emerson Elementary, and Trinity Fellowship North Campus teaching parents and children how to communicate, model good behaviors, and how to solve problems.

It’s the organizations first time holding the program inside of schools since the pandemic, and they usually host the program at three schools, but more are calling to get help.

“We’ve gotten a lot of requests from a lot of different schools and we’ve been booked since the beginning of the school year,” said Monica Balderas, prevention education coordinator at Family Support Services.

They received six calls last month from schools wanting to help parents and their children get support.

Amanda Bales, principal of Emerson Elementary says losing loved ones to COVID-19 or parents losing their jobs has caused some strained family relationships causing the demand for schools to request this program to help families.

“The demand probably has been high all around; I just think that with the pandemic going on its really highlighted the areas in which we need to have more support and where we can help our families do a little bit more to be successful,” said Bales.

Emerson elementary had to reach out last year to currently have the program, and Bales says the program helps children in the classroom.

“As parents learn how to [communicate] with their children and create that time in home to be able to extend the school day at home and communicate with each other and strengthen those relationships it really helps them at school as well,” Bales said.

For schools that are waiting to host the program, Family Support Services is planning to offer a new program called “Parent’s Café,” for parents to learn from each other.

“We’re hoping that they’re filling their toolbelt with skills and things they might learn from their parent peers,” said Balderas.

They’ll start offering this program next month starting at Southlawn Elementary.

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